The Cleveland Browns traded wide receiver Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots on Monday, both teams announced.
According to multiple reports, the compensation is a fifth-round pick. ESPN adds the Patriots will receive a late-round pick in return if Gordon isn’t active for at least 10 games this season.
Coincidentally, the Patriots released former Browns wideout Corey Coleman — who was signed last week — to make room for Gordon on the 53-man roster.
Gordon, who was ruled out of Sunday’s game at New Orleans because of a hamstring injury, is healthy enough to play for the Patriots Sunday night against the Detroit Lions, according to multiple reports.
A talented but troubled wideout, Gordon reportedly injured his hamstring during a promotional shoot between Friday’s practice and Saturday’s walk-through session. The injury worsened an already weak level of trust between the player and the team, leading the team to announce its plans to move on from Gordon.
“There were things that we do not want to have happen here,” head coach Hue Jackson said Monday about the trade. “And we made a decision that is this is best for our football team moving forward.”
NFL Network reported earlier Monday that the Browns and Patriots were nearing a trade. ESPN reports the Browns also spoke with the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers and others about a deal and hoped to send Gordon to an NFC team before accepting the Patriots’ offer.
After leading the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646 in 2013, Gordon has played only 11 games since, including five last season and one this year. Drug-related suspensions cost Gordon 56 out of 96 possible games over his first six seasons.
Gordon, 27, is set to hit restricted free agency next March. His contract has previously tolled on multiple occasions due to suspension.
The Patriots have been looking for wide receiver help for the last several months, having released players such as Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell, Chad Hansen, Amara Darboh, Bennie Fowler, Riley McCarron and now Coleman. Hansen, Darboh, Fowler and Coleman were all added after final cuts but didn’t last long on the roster. The team also signed veteran Eric Decker, who retired before the season.
Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett have been the Patriots’ primary receivers during Julian Edelman’s suspension, which still has two games remaining.
The Browns will rely more on rookie fourth-round pick Antonio Callaway, who had three catches for 81 yards and a 47-yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Cleveland signed wideout Rod Streater, who was among the Bills’ final cuts and hasn’t caught a pass since 2016, to fill Gordon’s roster spot.
—Field Level Media