Patriots

It's Josh Gordon's choice now- make history or be history

It's Josh Gordon's choice now- make history or be history

Line up all the other "name" receivers to whom the Patriots have thrown a life preserver in the last dozen seasons
 
There are castoffs, washed-ups, has-beens and never-weres that should-have-beens. 
 
But there's never been an acquisition at that position quite like Josh Gordon. 
 
Reggie Wayne, Torry Holt, Joey Galloway, hell, go all the way back to J.J. Friggin' Stokes if you want. Michael Floyd, Anthony Gonzalez, Ocho, Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, even Randy Gene Moss. 
 
None of them had once-glimpsed brilliance that was then put under a basket for four-plus seasons. 
 
None of them - except Moss - had the same combination of size, speed, quickness and body control. 
 
None of them had this absurd boom-or-bust potential: Gordon could literally add years to Brady's career, make Gronk the team's second most-potent target and give Julian Edelman pastures to prance in when he returns. Or he could be gone in two weeks. 

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I had a Twitter tete-a-tete today (I only argue on Twitter when I'm in America) when a follower said that, because I was skeptical about Gordon I must have also thought Moss was a bad idea.

Gordon is not Moss.
 
For all the bad pub that he got over the years, Moss' gravest sin was supposedly saying that "I play when I want to play" (and that was taken out of context).  Gordon barely plays at all. And while he may be more solidly built than Moss and more daunting after the catch, who knows if he's even in the same intellectual stratosphere as Moss was. 

Brady and Moss together - when Moss was engaged - was simply unfair because Brady finally had a guy with the physical AND mental skill to literally toy with defenses. 
 
Moss is the greatest or second-greatest wide receiver of all-time. Gordon was the best receiver in 2013. 

Since he was reinstated to the NFL less than a year ago, Gordon did his due diligence to bare his soul and burnish his image.

But his last two months in Cleveland hint at a guy who doesn’t have a handle on either his sobriety or mental well-being. Or maybe both. Gordon went AWOL from the start of training camp, saying he wanted additional counseling before camp to deal with his mental health and anxiety and avoid self-medicating so that he didn’t violate the NFL’s substance abuse policy and wind up suspended or exiled permanently.

On August 18, he decided he was ready to join the Browns. And by Saturday the Browns had had enough of Gordon and announced they were releasing him. He had a statement at the ready for that too.

For the Browns to sit through as many years of Gordon’s struggles and foolishness as they did only to say “Fudge it…” when they were on the cusp of becoming competent doesn’t just speak to their fatigue with him. It means they don’t believe him either.

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So he’s the Patriots problem now. And to be blunt, for them, he’s no problem at all.
 
If he so much as swears after stubbing his toe, they can kiss Gordon goodbye and go back to being a really good team with the best head coach, quarterback and tight end in football and a brilliant little slot receiver who’ll give the offense a turbo shot in two weeks time.
 
It will suck if they build Gordon a nice little nest of love and support just like the Browns did and he then plays them. But if that happens, they can tell him to hit the road. Or the league will if Gordon fails whatever tests they have lined up for him.
 
Gordon hasn’t been denied support, second chances or love by football. He’s not a victim of circumstance. Not anymore.
 
If Gordon is gone by Sunday, whatever … they tried to “do what was best for the football team” and took a chance.
 
If he helps them win a few games and takes heat off Gronk for a few plays, great, that’s gravy.
 
If he becomes a really good employee, plays to his potential, makes his fellow employees better and winds up in a confetti typhoon at the end of the year, tears, hugs and smiles all around.
 
The only way that fairytale ending has a chance at happening is if Josh Gordon wants it to. Sincerely.  

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AFC Championship Game Madden simulation

AFC Championship Game Madden simulation

DJ Bean and Marc Bertrand simulate the AFc Championship Game between the Patriots and the Chiefs in Madden 2019.

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Rob Gronkowski becomes first tight end ever to reach 1,000 career receiving yards in the playoffs

Rob Gronkowski becomes first tight end ever to reach 1,000 career receiving yards in the playoffs

Rob Gronkowski has entered uncharted territory for his position. 

Against the Chiefs on Sunday, Gronkowski became the only tight end in NFL history to amount 1,000 receiving yards in the postseason. He had 997 coming into the game. 

He is already the all-time leader in receiving yards for tight ends, and is now one of 15 players ever to record 1,000 playoff receiving yards. 

Gronkowski's claim as the best tight end in NFL history is growing stronger every game he plays. The more the Patriots win, the more records their incredibly talented players like Gronkowski will have a chance to break. 

But if this is Gronkowski's last season, he's certainly going out on a higher note than any tight end before him. 

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