The NFL conditionally reinstated Patriots receiver Josh Gordon Friday and the former Baylor star will be able to rejoin the team Sunday.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter dropped the biggest bombshell of the day, reporting that the troubled receiver that has struggled with substance abuse over his NFL career will be getting another chance.
The Patriots acquired Gordon early last season from the Browns and it appeared Gordon was meshing nicely with the receiving corp until he was suspended indefinitely after violating the league's drug policy.
Gordon has shown time and time again that when active, he is one of the most dynamic receiving options in the National Football League.
NFL’s statement on Josh Gordon’s conditional reinstatement. Gordon has been scheduled to meet with the commissioner this past week. Apparently it went well. pic.twitter.com/adDKw5HdnN— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) August 16, 2019
After coming into the league in 2012, Gordon appeared to be one of the league's next great receivers.
In his rookie season with the Browns in 2012, Gordon recorded 50 receptions for 805 receiving yards and five touchdowns in sixteen games.
The following season, Gordon blossomed into a star, recording 87 receptions to lead the NFL with 1,646 yards and grabbing nine touchdowns en route to being named First-Team All-Pro.
In August of 2014, the NFL suspended Gordon for the entire 2014-15 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
In February of 2015, the NFL suspended Gordon for one year for again violating the league's drug policy.
He was reinstated by the league in July of 2016 before being activated by the Browns the next month.
In November 2017, the Browns announced that Gordon had been fully reinstated from his suspension.
In April of 2018, the team re-signed Gordon to a one-year, $790,000 contract before trading him to New England with a conditional 2019 seventh-round draft pick on September 18 in exchange for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick.
In 11 games with the Patriots, Gordon recorded 40 receptions for 720 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
On Dec. 20, 2018, the NFL suspended Gordon indefinitely yet again for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
On April 23, the Patriots re-signed Gordon to a one-year, $2.025 million contract.
Gordon has played five seasons total out of a possible seven. He's played 52 games out of a total 112, but when's he's at his best, he is one of the best athletes the NFL has to offer.
With Rob Gronkowski no longer with New England, and Julian Edelman the only proven option in Brady's arsenal, the team opted to select N'Keal Harry in the first round of April's draft.
Edelman is projected to be a top-20 receiver in 2019. Harry is a sleeper and isn't expected to contribute much.
Gordon is the ultimate wild-card.
If he's active for all 16 regular-season games, he could easily finish as a top-25 fantasy receiver in PPR.
That's just the thing though.
Gordon will not be drafted amongst the NFL's top tier receivers in fantasy drafts leading up to the season. Once the early rounds finish up, however, he possesses the best upside of anyone available.
Would I draft Gordon ahead of up-and-comers like Seattle's Tyler Lockett or Carolina's D.J. Moore? Absolutely not.
But would I roll the dice on Gordon ahead of players like Kansas City's Sammy Watkins or Houston's Will Fuller V? Without a question.
Gordon joins the list of high-risk, high-reward options in fantasy football. He could easily be a league winner just as likely as not even taking the field.
The NFL wants Gordon to succeed and they've shown that on multiple occasions. The question is whether this will be the year he puts it all together.