I don’t normally condone midseason trades, but the news of the Browns hearing trade offers for Josh Gordon caught my ear. I started looking around for teams that could benefit quite well from Josh Gordon, and I believe that the Raiders are one of those teams that could actually benefit extremely well from a midseason trade like this. By now, you’ve likely heard that the Browns have traded Trent Richardson to the Colts for their first-round pick. While the NFL was definitely surprised, seeing as how the Browns drafted him just a season ago, they were at least able to get some fair trade value in what seems to be an absolutely loaded rookie class next year. This morning, Adam Schefter reported that the Browns’ retooling on offense is still continuing, as Josh Gordon, their talented second-year threat, is also available for trade. This is presumably because he is one failed drug test from being suspended for a year, but when on the field, Gordon seems to be one of the best young playmakers in the league. After serving his two-game suspension to open the season, Gordon exploded against the Vikings with 4 receptions for 103 yards, a TD, and a 22-yard rush…in the first half. His play opened up a lot of the field for the rest of the Browns as they exploded for a 24-point first half before the Vikings clamped down on defense and shut Hoyer down.
Despite the amazing fist half, I still believe that the Browns are interested in trading their most explosive offensive playmaker. It makes some sense, I suppose; with a new GM, offensive-minded head coach, and an effective offensive coordinator, one can understand why it may be better for these minds to draft players that best fit their offense. Apparently, the players that are currently on the Browns’ offense are not those players, although I’m admittedly confused how Josh Gordon can’t fit into an offense. It seems like he is too much of a risk for the Browns to care for, and since nobody there drafted any of the offense last year, it seems like they are just getting whatever they can. If the price is right, the Raiders should pounce on this discount.
I believe that the Browns would be willing to part with Josh Gordon for a fairly low price, so I looked for the price of a very-talented-but-risky receiver. A few years ago, Chicago got Brandon Marshall from the Dolphins for a pair of third-round picks, and I could see Gordon going for a price close to this. If the Raiders could maneuver a trade with one of our receivers, the asking price could be even lower. With his inconsistent play over the past few years, I could realistically see a trade involving Denarius Moore and a third- or fourth-round pick. If the Raiders could pull off a trade anywhere near this, the Raiders will have gotten the steal of the decade.
Despite Moore’s breakout rookie season, his play has been inconsistent at best and frustrating at his worst. The Raiders’ offense right now can be explosive, but it is inconsistent because of a lack of true #1 receiver. With the exception of Rod Streater, the Raiders’ receiving threats are terribly inconsistent, and none seem to be threatening enough to take pressure off of the running game. Josh Gordon is this type of threat, as he seems to explode every time he touches the ball. At the very least, he is talented enough to warrant double coverage, which would have a ripple effect and improve the entire offense: Streater would be an incredible WR2, with Ford, Butler, and Criner making up the rest of our receivers; the coverage would make the already-efficient run game even more explosive, taking pressure off of the offensive line, making them even better. This offense would be the youngest in the league, but it would get a rare opportunity to grow together and become lethal for years to come.
The Raiders are primed to pounce on the league, and this could be the trade that pushes them over the hump. Gordon comes with risk, no question, but the Raiders have a strong front office and coaching staff. With their cap space and strong general manager, I expect Gordon to get a contract laden with bonuses related to staying clean and out of trouble. With how hard the team is working, I expect Gordon to get to work right away and to help the Raiders become the best they can be.