The Patriots have never been ones to overvalue draft picks. Therefore, this seems like a great risk on paper for them.
Gordon, who’s battled substance abuse problems in his six-year NFL career, finally got his ticket out of Cleveland. It’s unclear if the 27-year-old can remain sober for a full season after issues with marijuana and alcohol. In fact, he admitted last year to using one or the other before every single game at one point in his career.
But the one x-factor here is that Gordon has undeniable talent. Is that talent enough to change the Patriots’ Super Bowl odds dramatically? Find out as I look at what Gordon brings to the table, and New England’s current championship odds.
Gordon Gives the Patriots an Explosive Playmaker
The Patriots didn’t make this deal because they want to resurrect Gordon’s career. Instead, Bill Belichick brought the troubled wide receive here for a selfish reason.
New England’s offense lacks any sort of explosion. Last year, wideout Brandin Cooks and running back Dion Lewis were the two speedy players that kept defenses honest. The Pats traded Cooks to the LA Rams in the offseason and let Lewis walk in free agency.
WR Julian Edelman will soon return from suspension. But he’s a possession receiver who doesn’t make safeties back-peddle often.
This brings us to Gordon, who is exactly what New England was missing in their Week 2 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 6’3″, 225-pound wideout runs a 4.4 forty and can stretch defenses like nobody on the Patriots’ roster.
The Gordon deal has been compared to when New England took a chance on Randy Moss, which worked to the tune of over 3,700 receiving yards and 47 touchdowns in three seasons.
Let’s not get this carried away with Gordon, who’s only topped 1,000 yards once in his career. But that one season, 2013, saw him lead the league with 1,646 receiving yards and score nine times.
There’s no doubt that Gordon would’ve been up for more success had he stayed eligible. But he’s missed a slew of games over the past five years, including entire seasons in 2015 and ’16.
Can Gordon Keep from Getting Suspended?
The first key for Gordon will be staying on the field and out of trouble. This might be easier with a perennial winner like New England, rather than the dumpster fire that’s been Cleveland (although they’re better in 2018).
Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel discussed how Gordon now has a chance to embrace the Patriot way:
“Then he spoke to what is a part reminder to Gordon of what the expectations are in New England, but also, and more notably, a bit of a nod that while Josh Gordon was a problem for the Browns, it stands to reason the Browns were also a problem for Josh Gordon.
“Chaos breeds chaos. Yes, Brady needs to be able to count on Gordon and every other teammate. But Gordon, in turn, can now know that he can count on his quarterback, and Brady knows that’s what he needs to do for Gordon.
“[…] The past is the past. There is no reason to treat someone differently because of that past. An acknowledgement that losing can make losers of good people, and maybe, just maybe, Josh Gordon is good people and just needs a chance to be a winner. To that, it’s a two-way street, and Brady will aspire to be the QB that Gordon deserves.”
If players like Moss and the late Aaron Hernandez can embrace the Patriot way, then it stands to reason that Gordon might be able to as well.
New England Patriots Odds with Gordon
The Patriots’ odds have slightly shifted with Gordon now on the team. Our GTBets sportsbook now has them at -750 on winning the AFC East; +270 on winning the AFC Championship; and +600 on winning the Super Bowl.
The Patriots have opened the season 1-1, losing the Jaguars last weekend. But they’re still heavily favored to win the East.
They don’t have amazing odds of winning the Super Bowl right now. Therefore, you might get value out of this bet if you think that Gordon can transform their offense.
This is a big “if,” though, when considering that he has yet to play a snap for them. Let’s see how things progress over the weeks and if he can quickly pick up New England’s complicated scheme.