No matter what forum, podcast or other New England Patriots related conversation you engage, you’ve undoubtedly heard the talk surrounding Josh Gordon’s potential return to the NFL, and his chances of landing back with the team that gave him a shot in 2019.
While Gordon still must be successfully reinstated after being banned from the league for multiple violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, one NFL expert has already discussed the path for the Patriots to bring back the talented, but troubled receiver.
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Patriots’ salary cap expert Miguel Bezan was recently asked by a fan on Twitter whether it was financially possible for the team to sign Gordon with just over $650,000 of room under the cap. This was Bezan’s response:
Yes, if he agrees to a deal with a cap number no higher than $1.4M as he would displace Tashawn Bower’s $750K salary from the Top 51 list. https://t.co/i3vFe5iehL
— Cap Space=$650,989 (@patscap) June 26, 2020
That’s a strong, accurate and specific answer to the fan’s question, but that only relates to the Patriots’ ability to sign Gordon, and not their willingness to bring back the receiver they had to say goodbye to after his long-time battle with substance abuse got the better of him after six games with the Patriots last season.
CLNS’ Evan Lazar spoke more to the latter on Friday on an episode of Patriots Press Pass. Lazar was asked a similar question, but one that was more directed toward the potential fit from a talent, commitment, and belief standpoint.
Here’s what Lazar said:
I would say that it is a pretty big longshot for him [Gordon] to come back to the Patriots. The biggest thing last year was not necessarily that they didn’t know the suspension was coming. I actually think the biggest thing with Josh Gordon last year was that he wasn’t himself. He was kind of a shell of himself out there at times. He had clearly lost a step, maybe a step and a half in some of his vertical routes as well. I just think the team thought he just wasn’t that good anymore, quite frankly. They were looking to N’Keal Harry involved. They wanted him to hit the ground running. They knew that they wanted to give Gordon’s snaps in his role in the offense at the X-spot to Harry, as soon he came off of injured reserve. So there was really now reason to keep Gordon around, especially considering the biggest advocate for keeping him now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Here is a look at the entire Q&A:
Lazar is obviously referring to quarterback Tom Brady who has never shied away from advocating for talented receivers who have proven to be problematic in one way or another. He desperately wanted and got Randy Moss added to the team, and the same went for Antonio Brown and Gordon.
It’s hard to imagine the Patriots wanting to throw Gordon in a mix with so many young players.