The Browns have agreed to pay Josh Gordon a total of $5.3 million, with $3.8 million guaranteed.
He will be competing primarily (at least this is the idea) with Mohamed Massaquoi to be the second outside WR.
Massaquoi now knows exactly how Colt McCoy feels. Wasn’t that Mike Holmgren praising Mo to the heavens mere days ago?
I think he’s ready to have a breakout year. I think he’s healthy, for one…a receiver like Mo, who has good size and who catches the ball easy, smart…there is no reason to think that he shouldn’t be fine. There is nothing there to tell you this shouldn’t work. Now we have to pass him the ball.
(from Tony Grossi, ESPNCleveland)
But, hey, Mo—we’re going to go draft this other kid. Talk about the kiss of death.
If Gordon comes down with the starting job, that leaves Travis Benjamin, Joshua Cooper and Jordan Norwood all vying for the slot.
There are a lot of wide receivers suddenly on the bubble by the lake. Gordon’s arrival will have an unpleasant impact on Massaquoi, Norwood and Carlton Mitchell.
One intangible to watch will be Greg Little’s emerging relationship with the rookie. They have a great deal in common, but let's not count on Little taking on a mentorship role just yet.
The entire Browns wide receiving corps suffered from an inability to get open and an inability to hang onto the football.
Drops will probably be aggressively addressed by new receivers’ coach Nolan Cromwell. With so many in camp, drop-itis will lead to unemployment.
Little, Benjamin and Gordon have draft status and salary going for them. Cooper has his friendship with Weeden. UFAs Bert Reed and Jermaine Saffold have speed. One of them was expected to make the squad at least on special teams, but now...
The bottom line is that the four or five ball-catchers who can separate from opposing DBs will be the ones who get targeted by their rookie QB. Bank on it.
So, what is the best-case statistical scenario for Joshua Gordon’s inaugural NFL season?
Based on history, fans can hope for:
12 starts, 30 receptions, 500 yards and five touchdowns.
Trent Richardson is going to compose fully 60 percent of this offense—at least.
Greg Little will go into the year as the clear first choice (if his hands improve in preseason). Joshua Cooper and Travis Benjamin will also compete for targets. Cooper has the inside track early due to his collegiate experience with Weeden.
Plus, the Browns have several pass-catching tight ends and a young H-back named Brad Smelley who will at least be featured on some stunts.
If Josh Gordon approaches the above numbers, Cleveland can hope for a blossoming receiving game for the next five years.
Even if all Gordon does is force opposing teams to take him seriously and cover him, Little, Richardson and the TEs will all benefit.
Considering H & H’s utter lack of draft-trading subtlety, fans need to fervently hope that both Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon turn out to be the mother lode and not bridges in the desert.
Because absolutely no one in the Cleveland front office is fooling anyone in negotiations these days.
Here’s a note of free advice to Cleveland management: stay away from Texas Hold ‘em.