Is trading for Josh Gordon the right move for the Patriots?

"Big if? Obviously."

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon warms up before an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Josh Gordon warms up before a game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sept. 9, 2018, in Cleveland. –David Richard / AP

Welcome to’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through TwitterFacebook, email, his Friday chat, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation. 

Are you glad the Patriots got Josh Gordon? Could fill a huge need, but he’s got as much baggage as anyone in the league. – Jeff C.


The correct answer, I think, is sure, why the heck not? He’s going to need his own carousel at Logan for all of the baggage he’s bringing with him, but he’s a supremely talented player, and I think they’ll be reasonable about their expectations. They will not look at him as a savior, but as someone who could make meaningful contributions if he gets his act together and dedicates himself to learning what’s expected of him.

Big if? Obviously. Tom Brady values reliability more than just about anything from his receivers. He counts on them to be in the right place all the time on the field, and Gordon has been a player who you can’t always count on to even show up at the field. It’s going to take him a long time and a lot of work to win Brady’s faith, and we don’t know if he has it in him.

He’s a troubled guy who has battled substance abuse issues for years. Since his monster 2013 season (87 catches, 1,646 yards with Jason Campbell, Branden Weeden and – hmmm – Brian Hoyer as his quarterbacks), he’s missed two full seasons, and has a total of 43 catches in 11 games from 2014-18.


The Patriots are taking a flier here, and our expectations should be tempered – please do not compare him to the one and only Randy Moss coming here in ’07. There’s a reason he cost just a fifth-round pick. If he gives the Patriots as much as Terry Glenn did in 2001, the deal is worthwhile.

I like the trade. He’s a talented player who was once great in a lousy situation. Imagine the 2013 version of Josh Gordon playing with Brady. But imagining it is different from expecting it. Gordon is unreliable in an organization that demands it. I have no idea how this is going to go, but I do know this: Gordon is never going to have a better opportunity to straighten out his career. It’s the rest that worries you.

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But what do you guys think? Are you glad the Patriots signed Josh Gordon? Would you have preferred Dez Bryant? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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