Josh Gordon filed for reinstatement Wednesday March 1st. If reinstated, I believe the Buccaneers should target him for the number two receiver behind Mike Evans.
The Buccaneers are a young offense with a defense on the rise. With youth sometimes comes lack of depth and experience. The Buccaneers number two option, Vincent Jackson, is a free agent this off-season and was hurt for over half the past two years. With the Buccaneers unlikely to bring him back a strong secondary target is a big need. Adam Humphries is a good not great receiver but plays the slot better than anyone else on the roster. The Buccaneers need a vertical speed threat that can run past guys. Desean Jackson is a big name available on the market that fits that description but he will be 31 by the end of the season. Speed is one of the first things to go with age so how much longer does he actually have in the league. If I had the ability I would bring in Josh Gordon.
Josh Gordon hasn’t played a down of regular season action since 2014 due to multiple suspensions for the same issue. After failing multiple drug tests, going to rehab, and a brief stint as a car salesman Gordon has a real chance at a comeback in the NFL. Gordon is currently on the Browns roster but is expected to be released as soon as he is confirmed an eligible player. Josh Gordon would fit the need of number two receiver for the Buccaneers because he’s got great speed and only turns 26 in April.
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If you don’t remember Josh Gordon, because he’s been out of the league let me re-inform you on how dynamic of a play maker he was. In 2013 Gordon missed the first two games of the regular season due to his first violation of NFL’s substance-abuse policy. After that he started to make a name for himself averaging 97 yards per game in his first six games back. However starting in week 11 he would go on to have one of the best four game streaks in NFL history. In that four-week stretch Gordon had 774 yards and five touchdowns. With a two game streak of over 230 yards per game. To finish the season Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646 and 9 touchdowns. All while having Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden as his primary quarterbacks.
In 2014 Gordon only played in five games due to multiple suspensions. He was also suspended for the entire 2015 season due to drinking alcohol in his rehabilitation from a DWI arrest in 2014. In the summer before the 2016 season Gordon was reinstated by the NFL but suspended the first four games of the regular season. He was eligible to play during the preseason in which Bucs fans got a taste of what he could do. Gordon only had two catches but they both went for over 40 yards and one touchdown. His touchdown was over Brent Grimes where he just over powered Brent Grimes in the end zone.
I want Josh Gordon on this team for two reasons. One, he is a play maker plain and simple. He will make splash plays and get past corners for a player that the Bucs haven’t had in a long time. Two, he will be cheap. Josh Gordon is not going to require a huge salary or a long-term commitment. I would like them to lock him up long-term but with the suspensions an incentive full low guaranteed contract would be best.
If the Buccaneers do manage to snag Josh Gordon I feel like they could still use depth in the draft. The combination of Mike Evans, Josh Gordon, and a rookie is an offense that can grow around Jameis Winston.