Well, it looks like we’re here again. Josh Gordon has applied for reinstatement in the NFL for the millionth time. But in all seriousness, good for him that he hasn’t given up on his dream. I mean, he didn’t look half bad in the fan-controlled football league earlier this year if that counts for anything.
If reinstated, Gordon will be a free agent at 30 years old, with his most notable career accomplishment being that he led the league in receiving yards back in 2013. Nonetheless, there are always NFL teams desperate to add talent to their roster throughout the season. I expect someone to at least give Gordon a shot given his athletic abilities. So without further ado, here are my top three landing spots for Josh Gordon this upcoming season:
Kansas City Chiefs
A team eager to build the next NFL dynasty, the Chiefs have been willing to gamble on players whose careers appear to be heading south. One example of this was seen last year when they signed Le’Veon Bell. Now, of course, things didn’t exactly work out with Bell. My point is that Kansas City takes risks to fill even the smallest holes on their roster. And, with the departure of Sammy Watkins this offseason, a new hole has opened up at the WR2 spot.
While Mecole Hardman is someone who I think has a lot of potential, he still has a lot to prove. Aside from him, the Chiefs don’t have many other options. This weakness was on full display in Super Bowl 55, with Kansas City receivers not named Tyreek Hill combining for just 41 yards.
Enter Josh Gordon. Gordon is the strong, fast, and physical receiver that the Chiefs need to help stretch the field opposite Tyreek Hill. In a passing offense that already features Hill and Travis Kelce, Gordon would be the ultimate X-Factor for Patrick Mahomes.
Perhaps the best part about pairing Josh Gordon with the Chiefs, is that they won’t need him to be on the field for every game. Their current offense is more than capable of success with or without him. I would expect Gordon to have a similar impact to Antonio Brown with the Buccaneers last season, a mid-season signing that explodes in the post-season. He may not put up the stats, but he’ll make a few key plays in the biggest moments.
Even if Gordon gets suspended again or doesn’t produce, there’s not much harm done. At least nothing that would derail the Chiefs’ ultimate goal of revenge in the Super Bowl.
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans would be an intriguing spot for Josh Gordon, but I think that the fit is there. Similar to the Chiefs with Tyreek Hill, the Saints have a superstar receiver in Michael Thomas, but almost no one to play alongside him. Tre’Quan Smith is a serviceable option, but he too is mostly unproven and has failed to hit even the 500-yard mark in a season. Beyond that, the Saints WR room is mostly special teams players.
Josh Gordon would be an incredible, low-cost addition to this unit. He would be the deep threat the Saints now lack following the departure of Emmanuel Sanders. Even though Drew Brees did retire, I believe that Gordon would actually benefit from Jameis Winston throwing him the ball instead. Winston possesses the arm strength Brees lacked in the final years of his career and the Saints will surely go to the deep ball more often.
The addition of Josh Gordon would also open up the field more for Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara in the passing game. Plus, there’s whatever else Sean Payton would have up his sleeve with a weapon like Gordon.
The main issue with Josh Gordon to New Orleans is the amount of mutual interest. But again, even with Brees gone, the Saints are still contenders. The defense is ready to win, and the offense still has dangerous weapons. As I said, Jameis Winston has the potential to make the Saints better than before. That is, assuming the eye surgery really did fix his interception bug (as well as getting to learn from a Hall of Famer).
Another potential problem is cap space, but Gordon is the cheapest option out there as far as veteran receivers go. The Saints definitely need one to keep their Super Bowl hopes alive, especially with the defending champs residing in their division.
Out of all the teams that I would list as Super Bowl contenders, the Ravens probably need a number one wide receiver the most. Currently, their WR core consists of Sammy Watkins, Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman, and Miles Boykin. Not terrible, but considering what other teams have surrounded their superstar quarterbacks with (see Stefon Diggs on the Bills and DeAndre Hopkins on the Cardinals), Lamar Jackson needs help. Looking inside the Ravens’ division as well, the Bengals, Browns, and Steelers have all invested heavily in the receiver position.
Josh Gordon is a veteran guy who could round out the WR room in Baltimore. Now of course, even if he stays on the field for a full season, I think he’s past the point in his career of being a WR1. But Gordon is still a decent option to have. He’ll make plays, and could even provide the spark that Baltimore has been looking for in the postseason.
Plus, the Ravens are one of those AFC North teams with a personality. Not only does it seem like he’d be the perfect fit for the tough, physical culture in Baltimore, but John Harbaugh might end up being the coach that can help Gordon on a personal level as well.
One potential situation is bringing a guy like Gordon into a locker room of young wide receivers. Gordon and Harbaugh both being fiery either means that they’ll get along great or hate each other. But again, the Ravens are desperate for a solution at the position after missing out on Julio Jones. If Baltimore wants to at least make a Super Bowl before having to pay Lamar Jackson the bag, they need to take a risk and upgrade.
Overall, it’s hard to say what Gordon’s impact would be if he makes an NFL roster. After all, he hasn’t played an NFL game in nearly two years. That being said, if he can get anywhere near his 2013 form, he would be a huge addition to not only the teams listed above but any team in playoff contention, which is why I think it’s worth the risk to sign him.