By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Will the Josh Gordon trade to the Patriots ever be completed?
That’s the question that everybody’s left asking after Bill Belichick addressed the media on Wednesday morning at Gillette Stadium. The coach said the deal was not yet completed and refused to discuss the trade in a radio interview Monday, even though the Patriots and Browns had both sent out news releases confirming the deal. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Belichick again refused to discuss the deal, saying it was still not completed. But on Tuesday afternoon when the deal officially appeared on the NFL’s transaction wire, surely the deal was signed, sealed and delivered.
At least, that’s what most everybody believed, until Belichick stepped to the podium on Wednesday morning and stated that the team is still going through some personnel moves, and that he’s not prepared to talk about them until they’re finalized.
A reporter asked Belichick if this meant they weren’t allowed to ask about Gordon.
“You can ask. I can’t … we’ll talk about it when it’s done. If it’s done. When it’s done,” Belichick said.
Belichick was asked if the trade was not completed despite appearing on the transaction wire.
“That’s correct,” he answered.
When asked what still needs to get done, Belichick said, “The finish of the trade.”
When asked by Tom E. Curran what specifically needs to be done in that finish of the trade, Belichick answered, “I’d guess it has to be finalized, Tom. That would do it.”
Belichick promised that he would talk about Gordon when the time comes … if the time comes … but also when it comes.
“When that happens, it happens. If it happens,” Belichick said.
The only detail Belichick offered is that there are certain terms that have not yet been met.
“There are terms that have to be met before the trade is finalized,” Belichick stated. “And when those are completed, then we’ll have a completed trade. And until they’re completed, then I’m not going to get into it.”
All of that being said, Belichick didn’t necessarily give any indication to the positive or the negative about where this deal currently stands.
“If and when it happens, I’m happy to talk about it. It’s not completed. I don’t understand how we don’t understand that. … Right now it’s not competed, so next question,” Belichick said when asked about the deal later in his press conference. “I’m not saying it’s not going to happen. I’m just saying it’s not completed. It’s a process. When we’re through the process, then great.”
Gordon has reportedly passed his physical, and an MRI reportedly cleared the hamstring issue that led to the Browns moving on from him this past weekend. Whatever terms may not yet have been completed are not exactly known, but NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said he believes it has to with a tweaking of the language regarding the seventh-round pick being sent to the Patriots in the deal. (The seventh-rounder was initially reported to only belong to the Patriots if Gordon failed to be active for 10 games this season.)
UPDATE: Well, it would seem to be official, as Gordon was on the practice field for the Patriots Wednesday afternoon. Belichick will speak to the media on Friday. Presumably he’ll be free to speak about his newest wide receiver.