In the aftermath following the disaster that was Johnny Manziel’s first start...
Cleveland Browns Should Roll the Dice and Keep Josh Gordon for the Long Haul
The Cleveland Browns have absolutely succeeded in bringing attention their way recently. Most of it is good and great, but there is one major hiccup. The hiccup being the situation that looms with the possible suspension for wide receiver Josh Gordon, for testing positive for marijuana, allegedly.
Last year at the trade deadline, there were a number of reports that the Browns were shopping Gordon due to his off the field issues. Ultimately, Gordon was not dealt, and came on to absolutely shine during the regular season–clearly making him the number one WR of the future for the Browns. Unfortunately for the Browns, with these recent reports they are left in a pickle yet again on what to do with Gordon.
Some say trade him, some say keep him. In reference to a recent article here on Buckeye State Sports on possible trade targets, it should be noted that those options (outside of the slim chance of Andre Johnson or Calvin Johnson being traded) would not be able to replace Gordon as the number one guy. They are simply options to go opposite Gordon upon his return to the team if that is the direction wants to go.
If suspended, Gordon will most likely appeal and get a reduced suspension. Teams might want to trade for him just given his extreme talent, and the Browns will most likely field calls listening to offers, but the offers will not be as great as they were last trade deadline due to this most recent distraction.
So the only logical option is for Ray Farmer and the Browns brass to stick to their guns yet again and give Gordon a vote of confidence and keep him as a Brown for a very long time. Owner Jimmy Haslam gave Gordon a vote of confidence already by stating, “All of us have made mistakes when we were that age. We’re counting on Josh being a good football player for the Browns for a long time to come.”
Haslam is correct, and everyone makes dumb decisions. The one that is truly hurt by Gordon’s ill-advised decisions is Gordon himself. Gordon most likely just cost himself $20-$40 million dollars for his next contract. No team will want to invest a large amount of money in him with his current issues.
Gordon is a rare talent on the field, and though many think Haslam may be blowing some post-draft smoke, he should make a case to Farmer to keep Gordon as a Brown and roll the dice on his exceptional talent.
For what the Browns could get for him on the trade market, the high-risk, high reward of keeping him on the team severely outweighs a trade scenario. He is simply too good to get rid of. Gordon’s major advantage is that he is only 23-years old, which will most likely play a huge role into the Browns keeping him because he is so young and talented. He is a true asset to this team, and Farmer and the rest of the Browns staff and players need to rally around Gordon and help him stay on the field.
Gordon also has a favorable contract to the team, as he is inexpensive as well as under contract until 2016. These years could be vital to Gordon’s long-term future with the Browns as a “prove it” type of mentality to get the larger money extension before hitting the open market in 2016; thus feeding the notion of the favorable risk for the Browns to keep him.
Gordon, paired with the other receiving threats on the team, instantly made the quarterback play better for the Browns last season, and that is truly saying something considering the three signal callers were Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell and unproven Brian Hoyer even though he did fill in admirably looking the best out of the three.
The Browns offense is suddenly dangerous again with the additions to the run game, which will only benefit the pass game. If Gordon is removed from that, the Browns will have a very hard time finding someone of that caliber to take his spot. Gordon should remain a Brown for a long time, and after Haslam’s comments it seems Gordon will be.
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