Imagine an NFL wide receiver with great size and play making ability. The kind of player you can throw on one side of the field and dare defenses to stop with just one player. A guy who still hasn’t reached the age of 30 and still has plenty (sort of) in the tank. Would you want him?
Oh, let’s not forget to mention off the field problems stemming from substance abuse? Did I mention various injuries at the worst possible time?
How about an all about me attitude that Terrell Owens would be jealous of? If you had to take the bad with the good would you still want him?
Well there’s actually two wide receivers that are available for the taking and it remains to be seen who’s buying. Josh Gordon and Dez Bryant find themselves in somewhat similar situations, reaching this point through very dissimilar paths.
At one time, Bryant was one of the premier playmakers in the NFL. He had three straight seasons with at least 88 catches, 1,200 yards and double-digit touchdowns.
He was signed to a five year $70 million contract in 2015. Since then, his health and production have gone down. The Cowboys were fed up with his attitude as well, seemingly worrying more about himself than the team. He was officially cut from the Dallas Cowboys on April 13th and hadn’t landed anywhere since.
Gordon has had an up and down (mostly down) career for the Cleveland Brown. In his first two seasons, he combined for 137 catches, 2,451 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Due to violations of the league’s substance abuse policy he has missed many games because of suspension. A few small injuries have kept him off the field as well, most likely due to lack of playing time and training.
The Browns announced on Saturday they would be moving on from Gordon either via trade or outright release. He will be officially released by 4 pm today if no trade occurs. Events over the weekend we’re the last straw for a team who has done everything for Gordon.
So which one of these highly skilled, problematic receivers would you want ? Gordon is only 27-years old and Bryant 29. Both players can still make big plays and definitely get into the end zone. Most teams would be interested in their upside but more than likely would dread their downside.
If Gordon is not traded he will be released and will join Bryant as a free agent. Can teams look past their history or maybe further into it to grab one of these players?
It’s been five months and Bryant hasn’t signed anywhere because he still feels he should get a more lucrative contract. Gordon might have a little more upside but his problems off the field are way more impactful.
Bryant has proven teams won’t put up with certain attitudes and players if they don’t need too. Gordon’s attractiveness remains to be seen on the open market.
Both of these guys should be playing for another team this season, their talent is too high. The question teams will have to ask is, are they worth the headache ?