By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Josh Gordon has a new home, and the Patriots are have added some depth to their wide receiving corps.
The Patriots and Browns agreed to a trade Monday that will send the troubled wide receiver to New England in exchange for a fifth-round pick. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that if Gordon is active for fewer than 10 games this season, the Patriots will receive a “late-round pick” from Cleveland. Ian Rapoport was the first to report the deal.
The Browns decided to move on from Gordon, who was inactive for Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints with a hamstring injury that he reportedly suffered during a promotional shoot. That injury doesn’t appear to be a problem anymore, as Gordon could suit up for New England as early as Sunday night against the Detroit Lions.
To make room for Gordon on their roster, the Patriots are reportedly releasing receiver Corey Coleman. Bill Belichick goes from one Browns reclamation project to another.
Gordon has loads of talent, and at just 27 years old, should still have plenty in the tank in New England. If he can return to form as a No. 1 receiver, Gordon will give Tom Brady another legitimate threat in the passing game, which he currently lacks with Julian Edelman suspended for the next two weeks and Brandin Cooks now catching passes in Los Angeles.
But as talented as Gordon is when on the field, there are just as many concerns about where his head is at. He has played in just 11 of a possible 66 games over the last five seasons, missing both the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The Browns were going to release Gordon on Monday, but several teams reached out inquiring about a potential trade for the receiver. They were reportedly only interested in trading him to an NFC team, but must have had a change of heart Monday.
Gordon was initially drafted by the Browns in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft, and hauled in 50 catches for 805 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie. He was an All Pro in 2013 after leading the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards to go with nine touchdowns. In 41 career games in the NFL, Gordon has 180 receptions and 16 touchdowns.