FOXBOROUGH – One of the only question marks that the New England Patriots had during the 2019 off-season has been the wide receiver corps. Definitely the weakest part of the team’s 2018 Super Bowl run, head coach Bill Belichick still knew that they would not contend again if the receivers were not bolstered. (Boston Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski should take a page out of that playbook for his bullpen.)
In response, the Patriots added wide receivers N’Keal Harry, Demaryius Thomas, and Cameron Meredith to the mix, among others, as well as adding Benjamin Watson in the hopes of filling a Gronk-sized void in the offense. But there has been one wide receiver who has circling the Patriots all off-season, and he could be a major game changer if things break his way.
It might seem like a broken record at this point, but I have hope in Josh Gordon. As a member of the Cleveland Browns, Gordon was suspended for two games in 2013, eleven games (in two stints) in 2014, sixteen games (the whole season) in 2015, and four games in 2016. Eventually making his way to the Patriots, Gordon played in 11 games for the team before being suspended indefinitely by the NFL for once again violating the league’s drug policy.
Gordon made it clear that he was suffering from an addiction to marijuana and that he needed to focus on his mental health. In March, a second round tender was placed in Gordon to keep him with the team if he is cleared by the league to return. With the support of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell behind him, Gordon made good on his promise to make the effort to return to the league by applying for reinstatement last week, per Howard Balzer.
The decision is in the hands of the NFL, but if they are going to allow Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill to play after numerous allegations of domestic abuse (he shouldn’t be playing, but the NFL is familiar with allowing domestic abusers to continue playing), then Gordon, who is doing everything he can to better himself, should absolutely be allowed back on the field.
The team has nothing but good things to say about Gordon and hopefully, he will come back to help take the Patriots to the next level on offense.
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Erik Drost