FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The Patriots aren’t ready to give up on the possibility of Josh Gordon playing football again in New England.
The team extended qualifying offers to the restricted free agent receiver as well as to defensive back Jonathan Jones on Wednesday.
They placed second-round tenders on both, meaning any team that signed them would have to send New England back second-round draft picks as compensation.
Gordon could rejoin New England only if he’s reinstated from his latest suspension for violating an agreement that allowed him to play after multiple drug suspensions. Gordon returned to the reserve/commissioner suspended list indefinitely in December for breaking the terms of his reinstatement under the NFL substance abuse policy. He has been suspended several times by the NFL for violations of its drug policies since being drafted by the Browns in 2012. He missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Gordon’s outlook improved with New England last season, where he landed in September in a trade after the Browns felt it was time to cut ties with him. He had 40 receptions for 720 yards and three touchdowns with the Patriots, five years removed from an All-Pro season in 2013 with 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.
On Tuesday, Gordon seemed to address the impending tender offer from the Patriots when he wrote “Thank You Patriots,” along with a picture of himself, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Julian Edelman on his Instagram page.
Gordon made about $790,000 last season with the Patriots.