In return, the Browns will get a fifth-round pick, while the Pats will get a seventh-round pick from the Browns if Gordon is not active for 10 games, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
At least 8 to 10 teams called the Browns inquiring about potentially trading for Gordon, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, after the Browns announced Saturday they intended to release Gordon on Monday.
To make room for Gordon on the roster, the Patriots released wide receiver Corey Coleman. The Patriots have now made 28 transactions involving a wide receiver since the start of the new league year in March, tied with the Denver Broncos for the most in the NFL in that span.
Cleveland’s preference had been to trade Gordon to an NFC team, a source told Schefter on Sunday.
The Browns provided no details behind their decision to part ways with Gordon, but a source told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen on Saturday that Gordon broke the team’s “trust” when he reported to the facility Saturday with a hamstring issue after being a full participant in practice all week. The source said there were other “mitigating factors” inclusive of current and past incidents.
“There were things that we do not want to have happen here,” Cleveland coach Hue Jackson said Monday in announcing the trade. “And we made a decision that is this is best for our football team moving forward.”
Despite his hamstring strain, Gordon is considered healthy enough to play Sunday against the Detroit Lions, a source told Schefter.
“Huge s/o to the city of Cleveland,” Gordon wrote in an Instagram story posted Saturday. “This place will always feel like home to me.. I’m extremely honored and blessed to have been able to grow up and start a life amongst such a passionate and motivated group of individuals.. It’s been a hell of a journey with you guys. I wish all of you nothing but the best.. Thanks to the @ClevelandBrowns organization for having me, I’ll never forget my time here.
“Same book, next chapter..”
He ended the post by writing, “P.S. Anybody need a deep threat WR??”
Gordon’s immense talent has been overshadowed by substance abuse that has derailed a promising career. He has been suspended by the NFL for most of the past four seasons because of multiple drug violations, and the Browns have been supportive of him for years as he has tried to turn things around.
Gordon, 27, missed three weeks of training camp this summer to undergo counseling and treatment, and he recently said he was in a good place mentally and physically.
The Browns declared Gordon out Saturday because of a hamstring injury and left him in Cleveland before the team departed for New Orleans to play the Saints on Sunday. Gordon had not been on the injury report all week.
A source told Schefter that Gordon hurt the hamstring at a promotional shoot, not at practice. The event was not sponsored by the team but was for a line of products, possibly clothing, that the wide receiver was endorsing, the source said.
Week 1’s tie against Pittsburgh, in which he caught a game-tying, 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, was Gordon’s first appearance in a Week 1 game since his rookie season in 2012.
Gordon has not played in a game that his team has won since Nov. 23, 2014, when the Browns beat the Falcons 26-24.
Gordon emerged as one of pro football’s most dynamic players in 2013, when he led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns. Gordon missed the 2015 season because of a drug suspension and opted to spend 2016 in rehab.
He sat out the first 11 games last year before returning for Cleveland’s final five games.
The Browns selected Gordon in the 2012 supplemental draft despite his background of drug use at Baylor.