“I’m really happy to be here.”
That’s how Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon feels about his new team since being released by the Patriots in November. After being claimed off waivers, he’s had to adjust to a new offensive system and playing alongside Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The move is yet another stop on Gordon’s journey of football, recovery, and starting anew.
During his five year run with the Cleveland Browns, Gordon solidified himself as one of the top receivers in the NFL. In 2013, he earned All-Pro honors and had a single-season franchise record of 1,646 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. However, his addiction got the best of him throughout his time with the Browns: he was suspended for two games in 2013, for eleven games in 2014, and indefinitely in 2015 for substance abuse. After being traded to the Patriots in 2018, he was faced with another indefinite suspension from the NFL and took a lengthy period of time off to focus on his health. He was then reinstated by the league in August, and despite the setbacks, he finished his two-year stint in New England with 60 receiving catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. After being placed on IR for a knee injury this season, he was released.
According to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, he was released after his health improved.
“We released him because he was healthy,” Belichick said in a press conference on Nov.1. “He passed his physical.”
Now in Seattle, here is how Gordon is doing with his new team.
In his debut game against the 49ers, he made “huge catches”:
Gordon finished with two catches for 27 yards in a 27-24 overtime win over the 49ers. With 3:12 left in the game, he caught a 13-yard reception on a 3rd-and-6, which led to a field goal that gave the Seahawks a 24-21 lead. In overtime, his 14-yard catch went for a first down. Those vital plays earned him praise from his new quarterback.
“Josh Gordon has been a great addition to our team,” Wilson said after the game. “We have a lot of great receivers and a lot of guys who can catch the football and make plays. He made some huge, huge catches today on third downs. He had the one slant to the right and I think another on the left. Just some of the plays he was making with confidence on big third downs to continue drives. He was great. He had a great week. It’s great to have him on our football team.”
He dedicated the win to his brother
Against Philadelphia and Minnesota, he had two catches for 20 yards:
With only three games under his belt, Gordon is coming into a strong Seahawks offense that is currently ranked third in the NFL. In wins against Philadelphia and Minnesota, he finished each game with two catches for 10 yards, and with more snaps and offensive opportunities it’s likely that his performance will improve throughout the season.
He always wanted to play in Seattle with Wilson:
While Gordon felt “comfortable” in New England and playing with quarterback Tom Brady, he always had his eyes on playing in Seattle with Wilson one day.
“Actually, yes for a long time,” he told reporters early last month. “Me and [Wilson] have been talking about it for a long time, for a while behind the scenes, how nice it would be.”
Time to put in this work!@JOSH_GORDONXII
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) November 1, 2019
“I admire his game,” Gordon said of Wilson. “I think maybe he respected mine mutually. I love the way he plays, it’s as simple as that. He’s a great ball player, he can make it happen from pretty much anywhere. . . . I guess we kind of just kept tabs on each other from time to time, and mutually admired each other’s game and saying, ‘What’s up?’ That’s about it. We always talked football, and I think we built some type of relationship prior to me getting here. It’s pretty nice to have that.”
He’s enjoying the team so far.
“A great environment, a great football team, and organization,” he said. “I’m really happy to be here.”
He feels like he’s “trending upwards in quarterbacks”:
As he’s moved from team to team, Gordon said the caliber-of quarterbacks has gotten better and better.
“Seems like in this part of my career, I’m trending upwards in quarterbacks,” he said about Wilson to host John Clayton on KIRO-AM, ESPN Seattle.
While some took his comment as a “jab” at Brady, it was known that Gordon had a close relationship with his former quarterback. He said understands the “business” of the NFL and the Patriots’ choice to release him.
“We all know it’s a business,” he said. “Your time can be short-lived anywhere. You never know what could happen day to day in the NFL. But that was the decision they made and I’m glad to be here now.”