Eagles Linked to Patriots Pro Bowl Wide Receiver after Trade Deadline

Josh Gordon

Getty Josh Gordon was suspended in December of 2018.

Yes, the trade deadline came and went with no action. But the Eagles could still claim a game-changing wide receiver off waivers.

The New England Patriots placed puzzling wideout Josh Gordon on injured reserve on Oct. 23 and the expectation around the league was the team would cut him. According to ESPN, the Patriots used the minor designation on Gordon and his left knee injury isn’t considered serious.

New England was expected to release him in one to two weeks and he would be free to sign elsewhere. Well, that has officially happened. On Thursday, the Patriots released him and now the waiting game begins as teams clamor to claim Gordon off waivers.

The Eagles are up against 31 other franchises and their waiver priorities, assuming other teams want his services. That means a divisional rival, like the Cowboys, could target Gordon as a way to block Philadelphia from getting him. The latter is highly unlikely, but certainly a far-fetched possibility.

Remember, the Eagles reportedly spun the tires last year on a trade for Gordon. They ultimately decided he wasn’t worth the risk due to his checkered history and legal troubles, according to NFL Insider Adam Caplan.

“The reality is the information they had is they probably shouldn’t have got him. I don’t think they trusted the situation,” Caplan told 94WIP in 2018. “What they want was someone they knew could play right away and they could depend on.”

Why Are Patriots Cutting Josh Gordon?

Josh Gordon’s previous transgressions have been well-documented. He’s been suspended and fined multiple times for various offenses stemming from his long bout with mental health and substance abuse issues.

Gordon was most recently suspended “indefinitely” last year for violating the rules of his reinstatement. He had racked up 720 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns for the Patriots before being reinstated in August. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots’ decision to cut ties with Gordon was a bit of a surprise. The team is thin at the wide-receiver position and Gordon was productive.

Gordon responded to the news by saying “interesting” in an Instagram post. He had 20 receptions for 287 yards and a touchdown in six games this season while earning the trust of quarterback Tom Brady.

“He just kept answering the bell,” Brady said, via The Boston Globe. “I think that says a lot about him and his mental toughness, his perseverance. Guys were dropping like flies out there and he just kept getting back up.”

In seven NFL seasons, the 28-year-old has 240 career receptions for 4,113 yards and 20 touchdowns on 451 targets. Those numbers include him missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons in their entirety.

Eagles Getting Healthy at Wide Receiver

It doesn’t seem as if the Eagles are interested in looking outside the organization for help. GM Howie Roseman chose to stand pat at the trade deadline despite the availability of top-tier receivers like Robby Anderson and A.J. Green. On Wednesday, DeSean Jackson returned to practice and tested his injured abdomen. The team seems intent on getting their speed threat back, maybe as soon as Sunday versus the Bears.

While Josh Gordon would be an intriguing fit, the controversial receiver brings considerable baggage due to his battles with drug addiction. Then again, Gordon could be had on the cheap. The Patriots wound up paying him around $2.5 million for two rather productive — albeit suspension-shortened — seasons. Something to consider.

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