On Monday, it was revealed that Browns receiver Josh Gordon will be reinstated to the NFL this year after he serves a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season. There has since been speculation if Cleveland will keep Gordon or trade him in order to move on and get something for him in return while they still can.
Though it's not exactly clear what the Browns will do, at least one NFL insider is suggesting he could be available. Here's what ESPN's John Clayton said in an interview with the 97.5 The Fanatic Midday Show with Rob Ellis and Harry Mayes.
"I wouldn’t be surprised, as [the Eagles] looked down the landscape, if a receiver pops free … in fact, I was trying to go through the rationale, let’s say, for example, the Browns want to trade Josh Gordon," said Clayton. "What teams might be interested? Philly might be one of those teams that might consider it because you’d be getting a great talent cheap and he would fit the outside slot."
It's clear Clayton is just speculating here. He's not definitively reporting that the Eagles are interested in Gordon. But might they be? Should they be? Some thoughts on the matter:
• The Eagles reportedly showed interest in veteran wideout Anquan Boldin before he signed with Detroit. That could be a sign that the Birds are trying to upgrade their uninspiring receiver corps. They might look into Gordon.
• Philadelphia had an opportunity to trade for Gordon in the past. In 2013, the Browns reportedly offered Gordon in exchange for quarterback Nick Foles. The Eagles declined the deal. It's worth noting that Chip Kelly probably would never stand for Gordon on his roster, so that was a factor back then. Howie Roseman is a little more willing to gamble on character concerns, as evidenced by some of Philadelphia's selections late in the 2016 NFL Draft.
• Acquiring Gordon is a big risk if the Eagles have to give up anything of value. Philadelphia already lacks a 2017 first round pick and a 2018 second round pick due to the Carson Wentz trade. Even if the Eagles don't give up much to get him, one little mistake from Gordon could mean he's done in the NFL for good.
• I don't see why the Browns would trade Gordon when they're so bad and they might as well just take a risk on seeing what happens if they keep him.
• If the Eagles did trade for Gordon and he stayed out of trouble, well, that would be huge. There's reasonable concern that he could be rusty after missing the entire 2015 season, but there's no denying his impressive production through his first three seasons. He's accumulated 161 receptions for 2,754 yards and 14 touchdowns through 35 career games. That production was amassed with bad Browns quarterbacks throwing to him, too.
Ultimately, I don't see the Eagles making a play for Gordon. I wouldn't be surprised if Roseman kicks the tires, but I think the Browns will keep their embattled receiver.