Josh Gordon Trade Rumors Still Floating About
Cleveland Browns wideout Josh Gordon has been the subject of many trade rumors over the last several weeks. He has been linked to several different teams, including the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons. The Browns have publicly said they aren't actively shopping Gordon, but that doesn't mean they won't pounce on a good offer.
The Falcons seem like a plausible destination for Gordon given the recent season-ending injury to star wideout Julio Jones, but the Falcons haven't been known to take on players with some character concerns. The Falcons are in win-now mode, and while losing Jones represents a major setback, trading away a second- or third-round pick won't save their season. Look for Atlanta to make a low key signing and wait for Roddy White and Steven Jackson to return to full health.
The Lions have been another team rumored to be looking for a wideout. Nate Burleson was injured trying to save a pizza, Ryan Broyles is limited returning from knee surgery and Calvin Johnson is dinged up as well. If the Lions are serious about adding another wideout, this move would make plenty of sense. Unlike the Falcons, they have plenty of characters on the team, and a duo of Megatron and Gordon would instantly make one of the most dynamic offenses in the league (when healthy) even more potent. The Lions may not trade a second-round pick, but if the Browns are looking to unload Gordon, they might take anything they can get.
The Panthers are arguably the best fit on paper here. Cam Newton has virtually no weapons besides an old Steve Smith and Greg Olsen, and the offense lacks a true game-changing player. Instead of spending a first-round pick in next year's draft on a guy like Sammy Watkins, the Panthers can trade a second round pick to land Gordon and give Cam a deep threat he's been lacking. Gordon would give the Panthers the big receiver that is needed to breathe some life into the offense.
The 49ers certainly have the ammo to pull off a trade, as they have already have 11 picks in next year's draft. Getting a deep threat like Gordon would add a new element to the offense and certainly roll some coverage away from Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis as well as give Colin Kaepernick a receiver who can stretch the field. A trips formation of Michael Crabtree, Gordon and Boldin would be more than a handful for opposing defenses, and that's before accounting for Kap's legs, Davis or Frank Gore.
The Ravens can certainly use another receiver. One-time deep specialist Torrey Smith has emerged into a No. 1 wideout, but beyond him, the Ravens have nobody on offense. Very rarely does Ozzie Newsome make a splashy trade, but Gordon would command attention that would no doubt benefit the entire Ravens offense. Last time Ozzie made a big trade was for Boldin, and that move turned out pretty well for him.
An interesting name is the Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Reid has shown a willingness to take on players with character concerns (Michael Vick and Terrell Owens come to mind), and could use another receiver. This trade seems unlikely, as he appears content with speedster Donnie Avery and Dwayne Bowe. Reid's offense may not be the best fit for Gordon either, but stranger things have happened in the NFL.
A wild card team here could be the San Diego Chargers. They have been plagued by injuries to their wide receiver corps since the onset of the season, and are still left with the injury prone Vincent Brown, underwhelming Eddie Royal and rookie Keenan Allen. Gordon would instantly become the best wideout on the team and provide Philip Rivers with the best wideout he's had since Vincent Jackson. If the deadline approaches and the Chargers think they can make a push for the playoffs, this could be a move that makes a lot of sense.