Josh Gordon's NFL career has been defined more by his time off the field than on it, with the former Pro Bowl wide receiver missing more than 50 games due to five different suspensions since 2013. But that isn't stopping the former Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots standout from requesting one more chance at a comeback, as the 29-year-old Gordon has reportedly reached out to commissioner Roger Goodell about a potential reinstatement for the 2020 season.
Because he's received multiple indefinite bans from the NFL for repeat substance abuse violations, it's unclear whether Gordon will, in fact, return to football this year. In the event he does, however, here are five teams that stand out as logical landing spots:
A return to Seattle is easily the most likely scenario for Gordon. The Seahawks were reportedly the only NFL team to claim Gordon off waivers in 2019, and Gordon himself has made it clear he'd like to reunite with his most recent team.
The veteran wasn't particularly dominant during his five-game stretch in Seattle, catching just seven passes, but he flashed big-play ability and has the support of Russell Wilson. The Seahawks added Phillip Dorsett this offseason to play behind Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, but they probably wouldn't want Gordon as more than a situational target anyway. As a low-risk gamble for depth, you can do a whole lot worse.
Coach Bruce Arians has already spiked the idea of another ex-Tom Brady receiver coming to Tampa, saying Antonio Brown is "not a fit in our locker room." But Gordon is, by all accounts, a quiet and well-liked teammate. More so, he was apparently just as close to Brady in New England, where the longtime Patriots quarterback took him under his wing and helped him explode on the field in 2018.
The Bucs already have two of the game's top young wideouts in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and Brady already lured Rob Gronkowski out of retirement to bolster the offense, but Tampa could still use insurance at the No. 3/4 WR spot. Brady obviously has a big say in what the organization is doing. If you can get Gordon on a one-year flyer, why not?
New coach Joe Judge carries a no-nonsense attitude, but he was part of the Patriots team that welcomed Gordon to town in 2018. Fellow Giants staffers Jerry Schuplinski and Brett Bielema, a former Bill Belichick consultant, also witnessed Gordon's brief revival in New England. More importantly, the Giants could stand to improve their depth behind Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, especially with Daniel Jones entering a critical Year Two.
Would the G-Men want to invite Gordon and his history of availability issues to the New York market? Maybe not. But from a football perspective, the idea of adding another big body to that offense has merit.
New England Patriots
On one hand, the Patriots willfully parted ways with Gordon when they released him off injured reserve in 2019, less than a year after he faced another indefinite suspension. On the other hand, they still used a second-round tender to retain him after the suspension, and many notable names inside the organization expressed confidence and well wishes for the WR upon his departure.
The Pats may be in quasi-rebuild mode with Brady gone and Jarrett Stidham set to take over at QB, but it seems hard to believe Belichick is just going to roll over in 2020. He's never been afraid to stockpile veteran hopefuls, and Gordon has familiarity in the system. If you can add competition to a WR room currently banking on an aging Julian Edelman, a recovering N'Keal Harry and guys like Mohamed Sanu and Marqise Lee, you do it.
Coach Ron Rivera apparently doesn't want to stunt young WRs' growth by adding a veteran, but that stance a.) was taken in response to a query about Antonio Brown, and b.) could easily change once Washington gets to camp and realizes its young guns may have been affected by the disrupted offseason. There's a reason the team reportedly went all in on to try to land Amari Cooper; they know Dwayne Haskins needs more help at WR.
Scott Turner, the team's new offensive coordinator, was Gordon's WRs coach in 2013, when the wideout went off for 1,600 yards in Cleveland. He might vouch for a chance to unearth the talent he saw back then. And if it's a low-risk deal, like it almost assuredly would be, why not?