Browns

Josh Gordon trade rumors – Cleveland Browns Roundtable

WFNY_roundtable

WFNY_roundtable

With the talk about Josh Gordon re-surfacing yesterday, we thought we’d put all of our thoughts together on the topic. We’ve all had a night to sleep on it and some time to consider all of our thoughts. So here’s the Josh Gordon Roundtable.

Craig: Do you even believe the Josh Gordon rumors? Isn’t this round of rumors just a timing thing where the Browns probably talked to the 49ers before he came back from suspension like what was reported earlier? Obviously, the downside risks with Gordon are real because of his off-field issues and status in the league’s substance program. Is there any compensation that’s good enough to justify trading him right now for you?

Rick: I don’t know how you couldn’t believe the Gordon rumors. Let’s face it, we shouldn’t be surprised by anything the Browns do at this point. Also, there has to be something to the fact that Lombardi’s NFL Network co-worker Ian Rapoport had some of the information.

It is hard to say on the timing of this round of rumors. Could very well have happened prior to Gordon’s return, but is there any way to tell?

I am not opposed to trading Gordon, but I prefer these kinds of trades to happen before or after the season. Just as with the Trent Richardson trade, I fear what kind of message this sends to the team and the fans. Also, trading him in the off-season gives you a chance to replace him. Right now there is no replacement for Gordon on the roster, and I doubt there is anything in free agency that is better than what we already have.

Are you ready for Greg Little ‘feature receiver’? Me neither.

Craig: Rick, are you forgetting that the Browns re-signed Josh Cooper to the practice squad?

Rick: Gamechanger

Scott: When there’s smoke, there’s fire.

There’s a fine line between motivation—the whole keeping guys on their toes cliché—and building an environment of distrust. Trading Gordon in the midst of a three-game winning streak when he has been integral in each win borders on the latter.

As I’ve said all along, these guys aren’t commodities. A 6-4 receiver with Gordon’s quickness and ability to move in right spaces is a rarity that’s only afforded to few. Had Gordon not had these substance abuse issues, he would’ve never found his way to Cleveland.

Given that he’s a franchise receiver, at least for *this* franchise, it’d take a first- and third-round pick for me to even consider moving him. Players with his skill set don’t grow on trees (no pun intended). Moving him would be criminal.

Jacob: Tom Reed and others said it best on Twitter last night: There isn’t any harm in talking. Anyone is available at the right price. And I really mean anyone: If Trent Richardson was traded, what’s truly holding back Banner from finding a perfect price for Haden or Thomas? Doesn’t mean he will, but he obviously isn’t making moves based on fan’s opinions.

Josh Gordon has had a very good start to his career, don’t get me wrong. But he’s also only started 16 games and is one false move away from a one-year suspension. I’d rather have him playing for my team than any other team; but he’s not exactly a true blue-chipper.

Ben: I believe the Gordon-to-Niners rumors as much as I believe any nationally reported trade scenario. We’ll know if it’s true when the trade happens. Speculation is all we have. Gordon has been an absolute beast, so I imagine that Banner and co are fielding more calls after his hot start.

The suspension and potential future suspension *has* to play a major part of the Browns’ mindset. If they really do think Gordon is going to relapse and they’ll be without their best receiver, it makes sense that they’d try to cash in (middle of a three game winning streak or no).

Also, I find trading the guy with the pot problem to hippie dippie San Francisco is kind of hilarious.

I’d prefer the Browns keep Gordon, but if they do flip him, I’d like a first rounder and at least one other lower round pick. If Trent Richardson and his no good, very bad yards-per-carry average is worth a first, then the guy who actually produces on the field should be worth a little bit more.

Andrew: I don’t know how much I believe it. I tend not to believe too much in the media when it comes to trade rumors. But there seems to be something to this. It really feels like the Browns are actively trying to trade Gordon, and that infuriates me.

I was 100% behind the Richardson trade. I loved it at the time, and I love it even more today. But trading Gordon makes no sense to me. You can’t just find receivers of Gordon’s caliber. The reason I loved the Richardson deal is because I felt he was a replacement level RB at best. Gordon is way more than a replacement level WR.

Like Scott, I need at least a 1st and a 3rd to feel ok with trading Gordon. I know he’s had his problems and I’m afraid he will have future problems. But I think taking that risk is better than taking a 2nd round pick, which is what the Browns are rumored to be seeking. I hate everything about this rumor. I hope it stays as just that, a rumor, and never becomes a reality.

  • mgbode

    the best thing about this rumor is that the media is reporting it. how much did you hear about Richardson to Indy before it actually happened?

  • whosevelt

    If the Browns could get a first and a third for Gordon it would be palatable but I wouldn’t like it. But if the talk about a second round pick is accurate, it would be disastrous. I understand that Gordon is a gamble, but so is a second round pick. Worst case in both scenarios is no value at all, but best case for Gordon is much higher than a second rounder. To boot, it’s one thing to take a hit on a mediocre gamble, like Richardson. It really stings to take a loss on a gamble that was a big win.

    Scott is right – there is no guarantee, in fact it’s relatively unlikely, that we could replace Gordon even with a first round pick. He has the skills of the very best first rounders in recent years, Julio Jones and A.J. Green. He is not only a threat on his own, but he stretches the field and pulls coverage away from the others, making the entire unit better. And even if we can get another WR in the first round, for every Jones or Green, there is a Crabtree or even a Jonathan Baldwin who would not replace Gordon at all. The more I think about it, the more I am baffled at how Gordon could be valued at a second rounder.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Exactly.

    But let’s play anyway: If Gordon didn’t have a suspension risk, he’d be untradeable unless it were a top-6 pick? Top-12? From there it’s a Q of “how much does the suspension risk reduce his value”.

    The other point to consider is that he’s not really tradeable at all. If the Browns believe he can stay clean, they wouldn’t trade him unless it really is for a top-6 or top-12 pick. If they aren’t sure, then other teams won’t trade for him simply because there’s no reason to think “well he’d be better here with that stuff” especially since the Browns likely have the clearest view of him.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    And just like I said it was Lombardi/Banner who contacted Indy and not vice versa.

  • whosevelt

    The reason a transaction might make sense, assuming that GMs think the way you do, is that probably everyone believes he will eventually get suspended. The question is when.

    If SF can get a Super Bowl run out of him before he is suspended then it was worth a second rounder for them. Meanwhile, if he plays out the year in Cleveland, plays a part in three extra wins, and then gets suspended three games into 2014 then all we’ve gotten out of him is a worse position in the draft.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I agree with this, and it’s just about the only thing that makes sense, but then it’s a Q of what do you value a loaner stud WR at and how close is SF really? At that point perhaps he is worth a 2nd round pick (contrast to your other comment which I otherwise do agree with).

  • BuckeyeDawg

    There’s the risk that he could be suspended. There is also the risk that he comes down wrong on a jump ball and breaks his leg/blows out his knee. Both would cause him to miss a year. Should we go around trading players because they might miss a year to injury too? I know that the risk of suspension in Gordon’s case is likely higher, but you have to weigh that against other risks and his talent level as well. You can’t just dump a talent like Gordon for a 2nd rounder.

    Personally, as a Browns fan, I want to keep him. As a GM, I wouldn’t even consider it for anything less than a 1st and a 3rd. I’d even have to think about that, considering SF’s picks will likely be at the bottom of the rounds.

  • Natedawg86

    We have Gordon the next two seasons at 1.5 and 1.7 mil. Show me a FA WR that you would be able to replace him with for that kind of $$. He may be one more mess up away from a years suspension, but anyone in the NFL is one play away from a torn _____ (insert muscle/body part) that could put them out for a year. Even if you got a 1st rounder for him, it will be from a good team so the pick will be late 20s or 30s. One of the best picks CLE has had the last few years

  • humboldt

    mgbode, off-topic question for you: Do I correctly recall you saying that you use NFL Rewind?

    I’m going to have to miss the several upcoming games due to other commitments on Sunday afternoons, but want to secure a means of watching retrospectively. Just wanted to know from you (and others) if you felt it was a good investment. I’d likely choose the $30 “follow your team option”. Looks like a pretty good deal to me, but thought I’d crowd-source it w/ the resident experts!

  • Natedawg86

    good call i may do the same…

  • Harv 21

    There’s an awful lot of wishful thinking about this fella by people who say ” I wanna first and third rounder only!” I’ve outlined his offenses in other comments and won’t do so again, but I really suggest anyone who thinks he’s not a major risk do a timeline of 5 failed tests in 3 years and think about the consequences he was warned about beginning after the first failed test. The idea that he just needs effective babysitting is delusional – as if Baylor (2 failed tests and counseling), Utah (counseling, failed test when he knew tests were scheduled) and the Browns (2 failed tests within less than a year) didn’t try that.

    Try looking at it this way: if Josh had 5 concussions in 3 years, and the next one meant league protocol banned him a minimum (minimum) of one year no matter how minor or severe, and you’d still have no idea if he could stay on the field after that … would you hold out only for a first rounder? Didn’t think so.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    “The more I think about it, the more I am baffled at how Gordon could be valued at a second rounder.”

    It’s the suspension risk by a guy who had 3 violations in college and 2 in the NFL. In this scenario, it truly is High-Risk, High-Reward. If you trade for him and he gets suspended, you’re an idiot. If you trade for him and he stays clean, you’re a genius. If you trade him and he gets suspended, you’re a genius. If you trade him and he stays clean, you’re an idiot.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Injuries are accidents. 5 failed drug tests in 3 years is not an accident. It’s a habit.

    One of those you have absolutely zero control over. The other you should…but if you don’t…then what is your actual worth?

  • Natedawg86

    Would you sign FA gordon for 2 years for 1.6M average knowing he is 1 failed test from being out for a year?

  • Harv 21

    There’s a huge difference between Joe Thomas being one torn something away from a lost season and Montario Hardesty being one torn something away. The difference is history, not a perfect indicator but one awfully important here. Montario tears his thumb on a shotgun snap. He might now start playing rugby for 10 years without a scratch. But I kinda doubt it.

  • Harv 21

    not the relevant question to me. The question is: if I have a choice between that and a second rounder, what’s my move? If I’m a GM, I take the second and throw up a little in my mouth. If I’m a Browns fan I gnash my teeth that watchable football is yanked away again, and then I get it when Josh is bye-byes this off-season.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Do you really think that FA Gordon is only going to sign for 2 years 1.6M average? If anything, he’ll have a clause in his contract that voids it out if he fails. But he’ll still make a lot more money than 1.6M per year.

  • mgbode

    well worth the investment. you might want to consider splurging and going with the all team option though just to be able to watch some of the crazy endings (it works in the offseason too…going through a bunch of the game-enders in Feb. helps that ache in your heart from the end of the football season).

  • mgbode

    we aren’t going to the superbowl this year?

  • Natedawg86

    I would think he has a crapload more to lose right now. The other infractions in the NFL got him 2 games suspended. The next one is a year, and then he will have to fight his way back in. And he will not get paid for that year. I can see him being more irresponsible when he is making big $$, but he is 2 years away from huge money as a FA. 2 years clean could get him a 5 year 45-55 M deal including at least 20-25 guaranteed. You would have to think we have that working for us

  • Natedawg86

    Exactly my point man. We have him in 14 for 1.5 and 15 for 1.7

  • Natedawg86

    Good WRs make a lot more than that. We have him on the cheap another 2 years before he hits his huge payday. If I tell my 2 year old, the first time you hit your brother you have to sit in that chair for 5 minutes, and the second time i hit you back, he will probably think about and maybe do it the first time, but he will probably think twice about doing it the second time.

  • Natedawg86

    Chance that he stays clean or a selection in the 60s? That is a tough call man.

  • mgbode

    if your 2yo believes you’ll hit him back, then you might have some other issues to deal with there 😉

  • Ben Frambaugh

    One would hope…counting on someone who has made the same mistake so many times to suddenly wise up…not necessarily the smartest gamble. Still, I’d personally rather hold on and hope then let him go. For as long as he’s clean, he’s a huge asset that opens everything up for us.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I’m actually for keeping him…but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t understand the front office trading him.
    This is (of course) the quandry. His on field production warrants more than a 2nd rounder. So if we are willing to let him for for a 2nd rounder…what does that tell you of our Front Office’s beliefs. If you’re the 49ers…and you see we’re willing to give up on that talent (even if we do “demand a 1st rounder”) you have to play hardball suspecting that our front office “knows” something about a guy this talented that we’re willing to let walk.

  • Harv 21

    Agree 100%. A tough call, horrible call. That’s why I couldn’t be the gimlet-eyed GM the Browns need.

    Here’s the most powerful counter-argument I can think of: you cannot win in the NFL without physical excellence, and that excellence often carries baggage which makes it temporary. That’s why even My Way/Highway dudes like Belichik and Parcell took in the Randy Mosses and Lawrence Taylors. But … this isn’t like the Lions putting up with Suh. The new substance abuse policy, unlike the unnecessary violence policy, has real teeth. And incredibly, our knucklehead has reached its jaw in less than 1 1/2 seasons.

  • There are a lot of really great comments on this thread. Good conversation.

  • whosevelt

    I guess we should just be confident it can happen without Gordon.

  • It’s not THAT bad!

    Also – the “trade rumors” that national guys report seem to be more reactive than proactive. The only two teams you see involved in trade talks are the jags (MJD, Blackmon) and browns (JGo, Little)…. two teams that have made trades already. So in come the network guys to find out what else they have “discussed.” It’s not like basketball where this is all that common midseason.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    My reaction to this, as I told to Harv yesterday, is that I understand how a GM would believe it’s a smart move to trade 5-time test-failing Josh Gordon to another team for a 2nd round pick. But I have no interest in putting on my GM pants this season. It’s warm, comfy Browns-fan pants or nothing (and you guys don’t want to see me in nothing). I was really excited for this Browns team to make a run at the playoffs, and after seeing how weak the AFC North is, I only want it more. I truly believe that chance is shot if the Browns have to count on G-Little as their #1 wide receiver. Having to go through yet another rebuild? When does it end? What if the QB they take in next year’s draft is a bust? Is it time for another rebuild? I get physically sick thinking about it. At some point you have to stockpile real talent, not future picks.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I actually think that when it comes to the Browns, the national guys have been the first ones to report with the local guys (and MKC) bringing up the rear. I think that’s because Lombardi has such good ties with the national guys from his time with NFL Network. If memory serves me right, I think Adam Schefter was the first to report the T-Rich trade.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I actually think that when it comes to the Browns, the national guys have been the first ones to report with the local guys (and MKC) bringing up the rear. I think that’s because Lombardi has such good ties with the national guys from his time with NFL Network. If memory serves me right, I think Adam Schefter was the first to report the T-Rich trade.

  • It’s not THAT bad!

    Not saying that exactly – just saying no one really reported anything about trades and scenarios until after they already made a trade. Everything else seems like catch up. I’d be surprised if the Browns have had MEANINGFUL conversations since the Trent Trade.

  • Harv 21

    and like yesterday, agree. It’s just begs the question of whether Joshie’s is a talent that can be stockpiled. He’s got one pinky left on the pile, greased by some unknown combination of his idiocy, entitlement, lack of self-control and/or addiction. One more blown test and he’s probably not gone only a year but forever. With this non-stop team, media and fan scrutiny, with his livelihood on the line, putting anything in his body stronger than celery juice would make all teams loathe to invest any resources in him. More dirty urine would also set up a showcase for Goodell regarding what other reinstatement conditions to impose upon an unrepentant drug failure. Gordon’s not a star the league needs and it’s safe to bet Goodell would really lower the boom.

  • Natedawg86

    I have to get out the wooden spoon that mommy drew the funny frowney face on. I wish i would have taped her explaining to them the spoon and watching them laugh hysterically at her.

  • Natedawg86

    the punishments are slap, 2 foot fall, fall off cliff

  • Harv 21

    C’mon, Gordon is a legit weapon but hardly on the level of Green or Jones and not valued like them. His game is nowhere near that developed, he’s nowhere near as reliable. He still drops balls by running before securing the ball (twice Thursday) and he forces timeouts when he doesn’t know the plays (the previous Sunday). He has their type of physical skill, but so do other guys in the league. A first AND third rounder?

    Sure, it’s possible both Gordon and a second rounder will have no value. But those chances are hardly equal after 5 failed tests in 3 years. It’s possible a top 3 pick will turn into Ryan Leaf. Doesn’t mean you don’t jump at a better percentage move.

  • mgbode

    okay, so let’s make this simple. we’ll take Julio Jones who is missing this season for sure, but will likely come back healthy and be able to contribute in a long career. ATL get Josh Gordon who might miss a season in the future that could end his NFL career.

    what side does everyone want here?

  • mgbode

    haha. oh, the good ole wooden spoon.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Welcome to WFNY. 😉

  • Bryan

    Any way Atlanta gives a 1st rounder for Gordon with White out for season? I would do that. I don’t think I would do it for a 2nd rounder.

  • mgbode

    I think it’s more likely that they trade Tony-G back to KC to let him finish his career on a playoff team. And then grab a defensive guy in the top10 of the draft.

  • Rob Ackland

    I hope the lad wakes up and understands that he has the tools to become a top top receiver in this league and a true browns favourite, I think he will come around with the senior players in the team guiding him, don’t want him traded as see the potential and also not happy with just a first round pick for T Rich, think we should have maybe got a fourth or fifth rounder as well…..If that’s what we got for T Rich what would we get for Gordon? Would only entertain a first rounder can’t see that happening

  • Bryan

    BTW, I meant Jones not White! Fail.