The New England Patriots made the decision to move on from Josh Gordon on Wednesday afternoon. The veteran receiver was placed on IR with a minor injury. It seems likely once he's fully healthy, the team will waive him from IR and let him move on with his career.
The move was a surprising one at the time, as there hadn't been any indication lately that the team really wanted to move on from Gordon. However, as Tom E. Curran pointed out to Phil Perry on the latest episode of his Patriots Talk Podcast, the team's reaction to initially getting him back from suspension to start the season was lukewarm at best.
But there's always going to be the specter of, could [Gordon] be less dependable? When the Patriots found out in August, and it seemed really clear to me, Phil, that he was plunked down in their laps and [the league] said, 'Here's your player back', they needed him. But I don't know if they were, 'Oh thank god, everything's going to be great!' I think it was a very measured response to his re-entry into the organization. Because there's always, again, a specter of, can we count on him the whole way through?
So, perhaps the Patriots never really bought into Gordon lasting the season. That would certainly explain why they decided to move on from him now.
And as Perry would later note, the acquisition of Mohamed Sanu made the team deeper at receiver and may have made Gordon a bit more expendable because of his lack of dependability.
With Sanu, you get deeper. They're not a one-for-one player-for-player replacement situation where Mohamed Sanu is all of the sudden going to be playing the same role that Josh Gordon did. They're both bigger players, but Sanu is an inside guy and Gordon's an outside guy even if he's not a down-the-field guy necessarily. So, it does make you deeper when you add Sanu. And I think your question about dependability is a good one, and a reasonable one on your part. Because this is a player that, by his own acknowledgment, has not been dependable over the course of his career.
The duo would later go on to discuss how odd it was that the team had previously announced that Eric Tomlinson would be released to make room for Sanu but later made the decision to move Gordon to IR instead. For more on Gordon and the team's roster moves, listen to the Patriots Talk Podcast in full.
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