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Josh Gordon Reportedly Released from Chiefs Contract; KC Open to WR Returning to Team

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2022

Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs are reportedly set to release wide receiver Josh Gordon ahead of the NFL 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday.

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Gordon has shown "great character" during his time in Kansas City, and the Chiefs are open to bringing him back, but he is currently the "odd man out."

The 31-year-old Gordon appeared in 12 games and made seven starts for the Chiefs last season, but he was largely a nonfactor, finishing with five receptions for 32 yards and one touchdown.

Gordon was a second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 supplemental draft, and he is best known for his dominant 2013 season.

After registering 50 receptions for 805 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie, Gordon exploded for 87 receptions for a league-leading 1,646 yards plus nine touchdowns the following season.

That production yielded Gordon a Pro Bowl nod and first-team All-Pro selection, but he has never come close to matching those numbers again.

In fact, Gordon has appeared in just 45 regular-season games in the eight years since his breakout campaign.

The main reason for Gordon's extended absences was the fact that he was suspended multiple times for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, costing him the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons, plus parts of other seasons.

He also missed the entire 2020 season following a suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.

After appearing in parts of five seasons with the Browns, Gordon had stints with the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, before catching on with Kansas City.

Gordon spent some time on the Chiefs' practice squad last season before getting activated in October 2021, but he never carved out a significant role in the explosive Kansas City offense.

There was some thought that Gordon would be able to become a more impactful player in 2022 following the Chiefs' decision to trade Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, but KC heavily addressed the wideout position in free agency and the draft instead.

The Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, plus they selected the electric Skyy Moore in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft.

When adding in the return of holdover Mecole Hardman, the Chiefs likely viewed Gordon as no better than the No. 5 option on their depth chart, and at that point, it perhaps became more valuable to keep receivers capable of contributing on special teams in addition to the offense.

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