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Josh Gordon’s struggles off the field have sporadically kept him off the field.
Having been suspended six times for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, the door for Gordon’s reinstatement has been inching closer to shutting for good. Luckily for the incredibly athletic and skillful Gordon, this league is a sucker for giving special talents a second (seventh?) opportunity.
After filing for reinstatement and with the NFLPA’s approval after completing a substance-abuse program, the league aims to welcome back Gordon — at the age of 30. While the league is glad to welcome Flash back on the field, will a franchise follow suit?
If reinstated, Gordon will be declared a free agent and is at the liberty of signing with any team keen on giving the incalculable receiver an opportunity. Gordon has played in 29 games since leading the league in receiving yards (1,646) in 2013-14.
Having played for the Browns, Patriots and Seahawks, Gordon now looks for a new team to join. Which teams will reach out to Gordon for his services, assuming Goodell’s approval? Here are the top prospects after Week 1:
Admittedly, Jared Goff was not as bad in Week 1 as the tea leaves suggested, albeit strong performances from running back D’Andre Swift and rookie Penei Sewell.
With the first-year player shoring up the offensive line’s protection for Goff, and Swift ripping off a screen pass for a 40-yard score, the Lions offense appeared to hum against the stout 49ers defense; however, the group omitted from the team’s surprising performance was the wide receiver position.
Training camp journeyman Khalif Raymond led the receiving corps with 50 yards. The team’s lead tight end and top two running backs — Swift and Jamaal Williams — nearly doubled the production of the wide receiver group.
In order for the Lions to pursue a consistent identity on offense, they’ll need to get Goff a deep threat — which proved to be his best look as a passer in Los Angeles.
San Francisco 49ers
Could Trey Lance and Josh Gordon become a Kroger version of Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill? Perhaps.
While Jimmy G is still at the helm of the 49ers offense, Trey is sure to get the starting role by season’s end. Former Vandy receiver Trent Sherfield has been a favorite of Lance’s, but the 49ers are keen on getting their new QB an improved target. Deebo Samuel had an incredible Week One, but a late-game fumble may have landed him in some hot water with the coaching staff. Kittle’s value to the offense will not wane, but 2020 first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk was nowhere to be found on Sunday.
The additional pro to this signing would be the lack of urgency needed to get Gordon on the field, with the potential to warm him up on the sidelines in anticipation of November/December football.
Washington Football Team
Delegating Curtis Samuel to short-term IR dampened Washington’s hopes on offense for the start of the season, along with the loss of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Adam Humphries is available to bolster the passing attack, but Terry McLaurin’s priority for deep-ball plays may be the clear focus for opposing defensive coordinators.
Josh Gordon at 80 percent is certainly enough to help McLaurin and new QB Taylor Heinicke challenge some opposing DBs and safeties. Maybe even help FedEx Field sell an extra ticket or two.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela