John Schneider has never been shy about betting on veteran talent – whether they’re big trades or no-risk deals.
Josh Gordon might be the first guy Schneider has taken a cheap flyer on twice. The troubled but talented receiver is back, conditionally reinstated by the NFL and eligible to play for the Hawks in Week 16 against the Rams (if he’s ready that fast).
Seattle got five games out of him in 2019 before the league suspended him for the fifth time. Schneider re-signed him just before this season started, and plenty of media and fans have been wondering when he would be pardoned by the NFL.
Gordon didn’t see much action in those five games last season, but he made the most of his seven catches: He caught key third-down passes that led to scores in close wins over the 49ers, Eagles and Vikings. And he made a 58-yard catch that set up a TD in a 30-24 win over Carolina – his last game before he was banned yet again.
The question is not whether he can be effective for Seattle. The question is whether he has overcome his addictions and is focused on living a healthy, productive, happy life. It takes effort for an addict to live well on a daily basis, and hopefully he has found the inner strength to finally commit to that.
As Russell Wilson said, “I’m rooting for him to be able to overcome. Hopefully this time it’s better than the last time.”
If Gordon stays sober, he should be able to offer a few key plays again as this season winds down. He could play as many as six games for the Hawks, if he steps in immediately against the Rams and the Hawks don’t get the bye and reach the Super Bowl.
Beyond that, if he stays out of trouble, Gordon should be a great No. 3 option in 2021. The Hawks have stuck by him for over a year, so it seems a no-brainer that he will choose to come back again.
The Seahawks tried all year to add a third playmaker at receiver. They signed former first-round pick Phillip Dorsett, who has been injured all year, and flirted with the stupid idea of adding Antonio Brown. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have been a star duo, and David Moore has stepped up at times. But Gordon could be a big upgrade over Moore at the No. 3 spot; at the least, Gordon should supplant rookie Freddie Swain as No. 4.
Brian Schottenheimer said Gordon “gives Russ another fun toy to play with.”
Gordon is Schneider’s latest cheap flyer on a former high pick who had busted out for one reason or another. Most of the GM’s low-cost reclamation projects have not worked out or lasted long in Seattle: Braylon Edwards, Barrett Ruud, Deuce Lutui, Alex Barron, Kellen Winslow, Terrell Owens, Eddie Lacy, Dion Jordan, Marcus Smith, Brandon Marshall, Jamar Taylor, Dorsett, et al.
Gordon didn’t last long the first time either. As Wilson said, we’ll see whether this time is different.