Gordon unfazed by rumors

BY foxsports • September 25, 2013

BEREA, Ohio - Josh Gordon doesn't think he's on the trading block because his head coach told him he wasn't. 
But the NFL's trading deadline isn't for another month, and Gordon doesn't think he's the only player in the Cleveland Browns  locker room who is at least a little uneasy about his immediate future. 
"I guess after what happened (last week with) Trent (Richardson), I think that's probably the way it's going for a lot of these guys," Gordon said Wednesday. "You're going to think about until the deadline definitely happens, so for me as well as anybody else, yeah, you think about it."
Whether or not Gordon is the most gifted player in that locker room remains up for debate, but he's in any discussion. The Browns won for the first time this season last week as Gordon returned from a two-game suspension, and it was no coincidence they went from scoring 16 total points in their first two games to 31 in their first victory in their first game with Gordon on the field. 
Gordon caught 10 passes for 146 yards from Brian Hoyer, who found Gordon early and often. Gordon was targeted 19 times in the game, which was played a couple hours after national media reports said the Browns were trying to trade Gordon and had received at least one substantial offer. Last Wednesday, the Browns traded Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2104 first-round draft choice. 
Gordon said he found out he'd been linked in trade rumors "from social media, stuff like that, people texting me and asking me about it." Gordon said earlier this week he received a text from Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski "talking about it and just reassuring me there were no trade offers or anything like that."
His goal from here, starting with Sunday's suddenly very interesting game against the Bengals, is to make himself untouchable in the eyes of the Browns decision makers. 
"It was definitely, I guess, a shock (to see Richardson traded), but at the same time, right after the Trent situation, I couldn't put it past anybody to see if it (could) happen," Gordon said. "For a good business decision, it might be good. I don't know for sure what was on the table for that. I really don't know what could happen."
Gordon's talent says the Browns would be crazy to trade him, but beyond the feeling that there's no such thing as a sure thing for a Browns team in transition is that any evaluation of Gordon goes beyond talent. He failed multiple drug tests in college, leading to the Browns selecting him in the second round of the supplemental draft in the summer of 2012. He knows the NFL suspension that cost him the first two games of this season will be for 12 months if it happens again. 
So, whether or not he's in the long-term plans is partially up to Gordon and partially on the Browns, who might be hesitant to eventually play him like a top-flight receiver if they aren't sure he can be a top-flight receiver for a long time. The 6'3, 225-pound Gordon is just 22 and after really only playing one year of college football, might just be starting to play his best football. 
Gordon is big and fast, capable of effectively running multiple routes and changing games in a flash. His ceiling seems very, very high. The risk/reward ratio with Gordon, especially if some receiver-needy team would make a bold offer for him, would at very least make the Browns think hard about how he fits into the long-term plan.
For now, all Gordon knows is that Chudzinski told him that he's not going anywhere. Come Sunday, he'll be going for an encore and his team will be going for a win that could change lots of things about a season that seemed lost just two weeks again. As for Gordon's future, he can see it being very bright.
And he seems to realize that just how bright might be up to him. 
"I want to reach that goal of being one of the household names, the kind of NFL athletes that you could refer to when you think of (the top) wide receivers," Gordon said. "You know, the big-play kind of guy. I work on it every week and going out there doing it during the games is the biggest time to prove it."


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