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Report: Josh Gordon will become restricted free agent

Receiver Josh Gordon has stated that he’s committed to the Cleveland Browns long term. His commitment to the team (and the team’s to him) could be tested in a big way during the NFL offseason.

Citing the NFL Players Association, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that Gordon is set to become a restricted free agent.

“This means that he finally has completed his rookie contract, but that he doesn’t yet have four years of service under the NFL’s labor deal,” Florio noted. “The Browns will have to decide whether to extend a tender offer to Gordon, at any of the various available levels of compensation, up to and including a first-round pick. If they don’t, he’ll be eligible to be signed by any other team. If they do, he’ll be eligible to sign an offer sheet, and if the Browns don’t match it, the Browns will get the designated compensation.”

It will be interesting to see both how the Browns regard Gordon, and what other teams are willing to potentially give up for him.

Gordon’s talent is unquestioned. In 2017, after a two-year absence from the NFL, Gordon hauled in 18 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown in only five games. Of course, Gordon missed two years because he was battling his addictions.

The signs have generally been positive. Given what Gordon did in such a poor offense and his age (27), he’ll certainly draw interest. He’ll be one of the more fascinating free agents to watch come March.