Source: Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports
They did it again. Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio and the Patriots did it again.
Whenever a star player is reportedly up for grabs, everybody on Twitter immediately starts speculating about how long it’s going to take the Patriots to trade for or sign that player. In this case, it took about 46 hours.
According to Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter, the Patriots are sending a fifth round draft pick to the Browns in exchange for wide receiver Josh Gordon. If Gordon doesn’t play in ten of New England’s remaining fourteen games this season, the Pats will receive a late round draft pick.
If you started to pay attention to the NFL in the past five years or so, you may not be familiar with who Josh Gordon is. You’ve probably heard the name on numerous occasions, but the chances of you seeing him play in a live NFL game have been slim. That’s because Mr. Gordon is a fan of what the cool kids like to call marijuana. The Ganja. Mary Jane. Reefer. The Herb.
Due to his love for this green leafy plant, he has been disciplined by the NFL multiple times. Since the 2013 season, when Gordon put his name on the map as one of the league’s elite receivers, he has missed 54 of a possible 65 games. Here’s a list of the suspensions he has been handed since 2013:
- 10 games in 2014 for substance abuse
- The entire 2015 season for substance abuse
- 4 games in 2016, after being re-instated from his 2015 ban
To go along with all of those suspensions, he has missed many more games as he was trying to better his life in rehab facilities or elsewhere.
Now, you may be thinking “If he has missed that many games, and clearly has an addiction problem, why are you so excited about the Patriots acquiring him?” Well, my friend. Let me tell you why.
Before all of these suspensions started to be handed down, he was an absolute monster in the aforementioned 2013 season. That year he caught 87 passes for a league leading 1646 yards and a total of 9 touchdowns. In that season, he had back-to-back games with over 200 receiving yards and a game against the Patriots in which he caught 7 balls for 151 yards and a tuddy (a touchdown, for those of you who aren’t very ‘hip’).
Obviously, there will be questions about whether he can still perform at that level, since he’s missed the vast majority of the past 4 seasons. But he quickly proved those theories wrong when he caught the game-tying touchdown in week 1 against the Steelers.
This also comes a day after the Patriots lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game that the Patriots had trouble getting their offence in a rhythm; a game in which Rob Gronkowski was held to 15 total yards. If anything, having Gordon on the field will force defenses to double team Gronk on a less frequent basis, which will open the field for the best non-QB in the league to work his magic.
With all that said, I absolutely love this trade for the Pats. It’s not very often that you get the chance to acquire a world class talent for a measly fifth round pick. It’s the ultimate low risk-high reward move for the Pats. If Gordon continues to have off field issues, Belichick will cut him. No blood on his hands. If Gordon can get his life straight and is consistently on the field, then this is a possible Championship winning move.
To end this, I feel it’s necessary to list the weapons that Tom Brady now has at his disposal:
It’s going to be a fun season in Foxboro.
PS. Did I mention that Gordon is still only 27 years old and is under team control through next season? My mistake.