Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) catches a touchdown as Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) defends during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium.

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Tom Brady cautious with expectations following Josh Gordon trade

Gordon's lack of professionalism won't fly with Patriots

September 18, 2018
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Daryl Ruiter-Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Tom Brady hopes Josh Gordon will be a difference-maker for the Patriots while the Browns couldn’t be more thrilled to send him packing.

Such is the life of a trade – one team’s trash is another team’s treasure.

Brady is hopeful that the Patriots hit the jackpot by acquiring Gordon on Monday for a 2019 fifth round pick. If Gordon doesn’t live up to ‘The Patriot way,’ Cleveland will have to send New England a 2019 seventh-round selection as a make-good.

"I hate to make projections and expectations. That’s not fair,” Brady told Westwood One prior to the Monday night football broadcast of the Seahawks and Bears, which aired on 92.3 The Fan. “I’ve never met Josh personally... We’ll see how it goes this week.

“Hopefully he can work hard and put the team first and end up helping us in any role that he can find for himself on the team.”

For Gordon, that would be a first.

Brady’s reaction the first time Gordon runs the wrong route, or doesn’t finish a route, or doesn’t know a play, or won’t give 100 percent on the practice field, or shows up late for meetings and work will be priceless.

That’s the Josh Gordon the Browns knew.

Gordon’s football talent is once in a generation. He led the NFL in receiving yardage during the 2013 season despite only playing in 14 games because of his first of what would be several suspensions for substance abuse.

That’s the player the Browns thought they were going to get this year after he was conditionally reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell last November and even after he took a leave of absence during training camp.

The Browns supported him. Even arranging to allow him to qualify for an accrued season, despite being late for camp because they did not want to punish him for seeking the help he needed in August. 

Gordon’s problems with substance abuse and addiction are tragic and unfortunate.

His professionalism – or lack of – on and off the field is something the Browns just couldn’t deal with anymore. Gordon was his own worst enemy in not scratching the surface of reaching his own potential in Cleveland.

The Browns did not fail Josh Gordon, no matter how much he'll probably try to make the world believe that they did when he gets to New England.

He failed the Browns, and himself.  

After returning from a 10-game ban in 2014, Gordon had a chance to be the player that put a 6-4 Browns team over the top. Instead he ran the wrong routes and contributed to current Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer's benching with throws intended for him being intercepted. He was suspended for the season finale by the team for not showing up for the trip to Baltimore. 

For years fans and the franchise hoped that Gordon would recover and return to be the missing piece. It never happened. 

With the amount of opportunities Gordon had been given over the years – even with new general manager John Dorsey this year – you'd think Gordon would be grateful. He wasn't.

Gordon was more focused on his own agenda and brand as evidenced by what took place Friday night that led to a mysterious hamstring injury that he reported to the team Saturday morning – after showing up late to the facility prior to the trip to New Orleans.

Not surprisingly, according to an ESPN report Monday, Gordon’s hamstring is magically healthy, and now he’ll be able to play should the Patriots choose to put him on the field this week, but he wasn’t healthy enough for the Browns on Sunday.

Gordon posted a video on his Instagram story Monday morning of him chuckling while watching TV and getting a massage when a sports anchor indicated that Gordon lost the trust of the Browns.

He found it amusing.

That’s Josh Gordon for you.

Down to his last strike, the Browns didn't bother letting Gordon on the plane Saturday. Hours later general manager John Dorsey announced Gordon's departure from the organization that stood by him through 4 suspensions that totaled 55 games for substance abuse.

So, while the trade is a low-risk, high reward move that could benefit Brady and the Patriots immensely, Brady is right in tempering his expectations. If there’s ever a player that will let you down, it’s Gordon, the least available and reliable player in the league.

Just ask the Browns, who tried for 6 years to help him pull his life together and even begged the NFL successfully to let him play football again.  

And look at how Gordon thanked them. By putting himself first.