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Breaking Angles: Josh Gordon to Patriots

Gillette Stadium by Diane Horvath is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Breaking Angles: Josh Gordon to Patriots


Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Oh, what a day, what a lovely day! A short time ago, I sat down and wrote an article all about how the Patriots wide receiving corps was a flaming pile of dog poo and they needed to do something. The game at Jacksonville proved me right, but it didn’t take long for the Patriots to do something. Hello, beautiful. Hello, Josh Gordon.

When the Browns announced that they would be releasing Josh Gordon, a part of me felt he would be coming to the Patriots. I knew it was a long shot, but if I believe in anything, I believe that Browns will become Patriots and then champions. That’s how things work in the NFL.

The #Patriots have agreed to trade for #Browns WR Josh Gordon, I’m told. Done deal. IT’s for a conditional 5th round pick.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 17, 2018

Some people may find fault with the Patriots trading and giving anything up for a player that was going to be released, but I personally have no issue with it. On the open market, Gordon would assumedly have more leverage in contract talks whereas the Browns have none after admitting they were going to release him. Not to mention certain other teams may have gone further to get him. For example, there was a brief rumor about the Jaguars and Gordon having mutual interest, and the Patriots can’t afford to let the Jaguars get any better. Now the Patriots get all-star talent and Gordon has a chance to rehabilitate his image in a successful franchise. All for the cost of a conditional fifth-round pick.

Things aren’t all sunshine and roses though. Gordon has some major issue, mainly off the field. He’s been in the league since 2012 and has only played in 41 games. 41 games out of 96 possible. That’s not a stat that reflects well on him. His issues with marijuana are well documented, resulting in a suspension partway thru the 2014 season and lasting until he was reinstated in 2017. Naturally, that’s a red flag, but given the fact he came late to training camp for mental health reasons, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he’s trying to get better.

The Patriots have a long history of rehabilitating players with problematic histories. I fully believe that if any team can get Josh Gordon on the right track, it’s them. Bill will not tolerate foolish behavior and hopefully, that structure brings out the best in Josh Gordon. If the Patriots did it for Randy Moss, I bet they can do it for Gordon.

Let’s not forget how talented he is. Last year in 5 games he had 335 yards on 18 receptions for an 18.6 average. Put into a full 16 game season, that comes out to 1,072 yard. That’s a pretty solid season, but let’s be real, Tom Brady can do better than Deshone Kizer, Kevin Hogan, or Cody Kessler.

I don’t anticipate Gordon becoming an unstoppable force in this offense. He still needs to acclimate to the culture and get to know the offense, but he has enough pure talent to be a potent weapon for the Patriots. Throw him a few targets in the red zone and see what happens. I guarantee he’ll pull off some plays based on pure athleticism alone.

This is a big signing for the Patriots and should help them going forward this season. Between this and the return of a (hopefully) healthy Edelman, the Patriots skill group is now vastly improved. Just bring in Stephen A. Smith to tell him to stay off the weed and everything should be okay.

A 90s baby from New England, Chris currently resides in Indiana attending Indiana University for grad school. An unabashed New England sports fan, you will find Chris in equal measures criticizing and praising his team. When not developing hot takes Chris can be seen on the stage in various theatrical productions.

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