3 potential landing spots for Josh Gordon in NFL free agency

After being suspended the entire 2020 NFL season, star wide receiver Josh Gordon could be back on the field later this month.

The troubled former leading receiver just recently officially applied for reinstatement after the NFL suspended him indefinitely for yet another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

All said, the 30-year-old Gordon has now been suspended eight times since the Cleveland Browns made him a second-round supplemental pick back in 2012. Despite his issues with substance abuse in the past, it looks like Josh Gordon is on the right path.

If that is indeed the case, there’s going to be some interest in the former Pro Bowler from teams around the NFL. It would be a low-risk move at the league minimum with zero guaranteed cash. Here’s a look at three potential landing spots for Gordon should the NFL opt to reinstate him from the suspended list.

Baltimore Ravens take a chance on Josh Gordon

baltimore ravens sign josh gordon
Dec 17, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) makes a catch in front of Baltimore Ravens cornerback Maurice Canady (26) during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Any team that signs Gordon wouldn’t necessarily be able to rely on him. That ship sailed years ago. Even then, bringing him in while hoping for the best would make sense for multiple Super Bowl contenders. That obviously includes the receiver-needy Ravens.

Fresh off drafting Rashod Bateman in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and signing fellow pass-catcher Sammy Watkins, one might think the Ravens are set. That’s not the case. Baltimore’s wide receiver group let former MVP Lamar Jackson down big time a season ago. Drops were too much a part of the Ravens’ lexicon. While providing Gordon with a mature locker room and stable environment, there’s a chance that Baltimore could help him resurrect a fledgling career.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign Josh Gordon

tampa bay buccaneers sign josh gordon
Oct 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) hugs wide receiver Josh Gordon (10) after he caught a touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of mature locker room presences, 43-year-old Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady helped Antonio Brown stay out of trouble in his first season in Tampa Bay. It led to Brown being a member of a Super Bowl champion without any off-field distractions. Could Brady and Co. attempt to duplicate that feat with Gordon? Remember, the two played together for a short time in New England with Gordon appearing in 17 games.

It seems unlikely given how deep Tampa’s wide receiver room is. The team boasts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as starters. Brown joins second-year pass-catcher Tyler Johnson as backup options. Right now, Gordon likely would battle with rookie Jaelon Darden for a roster spot. Even then, it certainly is an intriguing scenario.

Seattle Seahawks bring back Josh Gordon

seattle seahawks sign josh gordon
Dec 15, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon (10) catches a pass against Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson (26) during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Star Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was an outspoken proponent of Gordon when they picked him up off waivers from the New England Patriots back in November of 2019. Heck, Wilson wanted Seattle to take a chance on Antonio Brown. For the Super Bowl champion, it’s all about adding more talent to the mix and providing Gordon with a stable culture. Despite some drama this offseason, Seattle provides that type of culture.

On the field, these Seahawks could use more help behind starters D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. They have a built-in relationship with Gordon, too. That might very well play a role in any decision-making process. After being linked to Julio Jones in trade talks earlier this offseason, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Seahawks took yet another chance on Josh Gordon.

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