Quick Hit Thoughts Josh Gordon is going to need to find a new number

Patriots Acquire Josh Gordon:Just like that White
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, amid all of the Dez Bryant talk and
worries of yet another earth-shattering September Patriots loss, New England
went out and got Josh Gordon from Cleveland in exchange for a fifth round pick.
There were rumors over the weekend that the Browns were going to straight-up cut
Gordon, but instead managed to garner at least some compensation for him. The
Patriots now have a very intriguing option at receiver who will finally be
catching passes from a quarterback not named Brandon Weeden or Jason
Campbell.And while it’s easy to get excited by the prospect of Gordon in a Pats
uniform, what is the team really getting? How much can we rationally expect from
this guy? Are the Patriots immediately the clear-cut favorite to win the Super
Bowl? Or will Gordon be out of football by Week 7? Only time will tell, but for
now, here are my quick-hit thoughts on what Josh Gordon brings to the team.
Physical beast. Gordon is 6’3”, 225 pounds, and incredibly athletic. He has a 35
inch vertical and a 10-foot broad jump. He represents a physicality and skillset
that the Patriots don’t really have on the roster. New England will enter into
the month of October with Gordon, Edelman, Gronk, Dorsett, Hogan, and James
White as viable receiving threats, and that’s a very solid offense. Even if
Gordon doesn’t become the next Randy Moss (note: he most likely won’t, and
that’s an odd comparison), he’s the kind of player that defenses have to account
for, which should help draw double teams away from Gronk. It’s so rare for Tommy
B to have receivers who are just athletic freaks, and the prospect of what
Gordon has at his disposal is incredibly exciting.Obvious question marks. Gordon
has’t played a full season of football since 2013. He has looked solid in his
very limited action since then, but the bottom line is he has basically been out
of football for five years. He also seems completely incapable of staying off
the drugs and alcohol, and is known to be a bit of a headcase. We also don’t
know what his level of football IQ is; this isn’t an easy offense to
learn Youth
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, and if his brain is simply too clogged with
malted hops and bong resin, he may join the ever-growing list of receivers
brought onto the team mid-season who never quite figured it out. There are many
unknowns right now that we need to balance against Gordon’s obvious physical
talents as we temper expectations.Excellent fit. This is what the Patriots are
known for - they take troubled players that could never quite get their act
together with other teams, and give them a length of rope. They can then use
that rope to pull themselves up to superstardom (Randy Moss, Corey Dillon) or
they can get themselves clotheslined by it (Adalius Thomas, Albert Haynesworth).
Who knows if Gordon will fall into the former category or the latter, but that’s
pretty irrelevant to be honest, as this move makes all the sense in the world.
The Patriots need help at receiver, and Gordon has the potential to provide a
huge boost, assuming he can pick up the playbook and keep his head straight. And
if he can’t, that’s fine, because: Zero risk. The Patriots are giving Cleveland
their fifth round pick in exchange for an extremely talented player with high
upside. If Gordon isn’t active for at least 10 games, the Browns have to send
New England their seventh rounder. So in essence, the Patriots either get a
phenomenal receiver for a fifth rounder, or they trade what is sure to be a late
fifth round pick for a high seventh round pick, which is a deal you make all
day. Maybe it’s repayment for giving Cleveland Jamie Collins for free. Maybe
Cleveland was just desperate to get rid of Gordon. Maybe Belichick has been
working as a double agent for years and has some sort of master plan. Whatever
the case, the Patriots are getting a lot of talent for practically nothing,
which means that even Felger Shank the most ardent anti-Patriots folks are going
to have a tough time spinning this one into a negative.2018 Patriots roster
cuts: Quick-hit thoughts on the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster The New England
Patriots have cut down their roster under the 53-man regular season limit
through a series of transactions over the last two days. While more moves will
follow soon – the Patriots only have 52 players signed at the moment, after all
–, we now have a first roster to work with and analyze. Let’s do just that.The
Patriots need to add at least one more wide receiverAs things stand right now,
wide receiver is the lightest position on the team: after cutting Riley McCarron
and placing Julian Edelman and Braxton Berrios on reserve lists Youth
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, New England currently has only three pure
wide receivers under contract. Expect New England to add at least one more body
over the next few days to offer depth alongside the top trio, Chris Hogan,
Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson.The offensive line and safety
positions could also see reinforcementsWhile not as glaring a need as wide
receiver depth, New England could look at its offensive line and safety spots as
other positions in need of more bodies. While the Patriots might look to the
waiver wire or open market to find another offensive tackle, they may already
have a backup safety on their team: cornerback Jason McCourty has seen plenty of
snaps at the position over the past two weeks and could serve as the number four
safety if need be. It would also not be a surprise, though, if the Patriots
brought in another safety from the outside.New England’s defensive edge looks
deep on paperLast year, the Patriots had to rely on in-season signings Eric Lee
and James Harrison to provide depth along a defensive edge that was lacking just
that. This year, the group looks much better with Trey Flowers and Adrian
Clayborn as the top options, and Derek Rivers, Deatrich Wise Jr. and Keionta
Davis behind them. On paper, New England has been able to address one of the
major weaknesses of 2017.Another undrafted rookie makes the teamTraining camp
standout J.C. Jackson has survived roster cutdowns, which means that another
undrafted rookie free agent has been able to make the team. 2018 will therefore
be the 15th straight season that a player who did not hear his name called
during the draft has made it through cutdown weekend and onto the initial 53-man
squad. Whether or not Jackson can establish his presence on the team remains to
be seen, but the early signs certainly were encouraging.There are few surprises
on and off the teamWhile the Patriots made plenty of moves over the last two
days, there were not a lot of unexpected developments ones among them. The
release of Cyrus Jones and the Jordan Richards could be qualified as minor
surprises, as could Geneo Grissom making the team and New England opting to go
with just three pure wideouts. Ultimately, however, there were no real shockers
among the Patriots’ transactions.
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