Here we go again.
One of the league’s most controversial players could be making his return to the field. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A Josh Gordon comeback could be imminent.
On Monday, the NFLPA determined that Gordon has completed his NFL-monitored treatment program. The players association will now recommend Gordon for reinstatement. If granted, Gordon would be allowed to play immediately. If signed by an NFL team, it would be yet another chapter in what is surely one of the wildest career arcs we’ve ever seen.
The last time Gordon was on the field was in 2019 as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. He played in 11 games, catching 27 balls for 426 yards and a single touchdown. The 2021 version of Gordon wouldn’t light the league on fire like he did back in 2013 when he topped 1,600 receiving yards, but there are still a few teams out there that should consider taking a chance on the 30-year-old.
Here are three teams that should do their due diligence and look into signing Gordon.
We all had the Lions scoring 33 points and moving the ball for 430 total yards of offense on our bingo cards, right?
One of opening Sunday’s biggest shockers, Jared Goff threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 1 thriller that saw the Lions lose to the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 41-33. The Lions were down by three scores at one point but then began moving the ball at will while nearly completing an improbable comeback.
There was a lot of chatter regarding the Lions’ thin receiver corps heading into the season. Despite Sunday’s impressive offensive performance, this game did nothing to make me feel better about their receivers. If anything, this result only amplified my concerns. The Lions’ top three leading receivers were T.J. Hockenson, D’Andre Swift, and Jamaal Williams. That’s right, their passing game leaned heavily on their star tight end and not one, but two running backs.
Kalif Raymond was the team’s leading wide receiver, and he caught three balls for 50 yards. That’s not going to cut it. The Lions will likely trail in most games this season, so although we can probably expect more stat-padding performances from Goff and the offense, they’re going to need to throw the ball to their pure receivers a bit more often than they did on Sunday.
Gordon could walk into Detroit and compete for snaps immediately.
That was not the Arthur Smith offense I’ve grown familiar with over the past few years covering the Tennessee Titans. Smith’s Falcons were beaten truly and badly in his head coaching debut by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday to the tune of 32-6.
The Falcons struggled to move the ball and finished the game with a pathetic 260 total yards of offense. The 36-year-old Matt Ryan was hit early and often, and the Falcons never got anything going.
After trading Julio Jones to Tennessee in the offseason, many wondered who would be the Falcons’ WR2 in 2021. Sunday’s game revealed a concerning answer to that question: Nobody! Calvin Ridley was the team’s only wide receiver to catch a football during Week 1. Russell Gage, the expected WR2, was targeted twice and finished with zero catches.
Other than Ridley, Ryan completed passes to three running backs (Mike Davis, Keith Smith, and Cordarrelle Patterson) and two tight ends (Kyle Pitts and Hayden Hurst). That is an extremely concerning fact that the Falcons need to rectify immediately.
Gordon’s ability to win downfield would make a lot of sense in this offense. Make it happen, Terry Fontenot.
The Ravens need to do everything in their power to improve last year’s 32nd-ranked passing offense (a measly 171.2 yards per game).
Sammy Watkins was signed and Rashod Bateman was drafted in an attempt to move the needle forward, and both players are solid additions. The Ravens’ offense looked solid against the Raiders in a Week 1 loss, and things will get better once Bateman returns from injury, but I still can’t help but feel there’s room for improvement in the passing game.
Lamar Jackson completed 19-of-30 passes for 235 yards and a single touchdown on Monday night, but completed passes to just three different wide receivers: Watkins, Marquise Brown, and Devin Duvernay (who caught one pass for six yards). If the Ravens have Super Bowl hopes in 2021, and I assure you they do, they should be looking at all scenarios that could help improve their biggest weakness: their passing offense.
Gordon has the skill set that would mesh well with Jackson’s playing style. I honestly love this fit.
As Gordon gets ready to hopefully make his return to the league, we hope he’s put his troubles behind him, and we wish him nothing but the best in this new chapter.