The Cleveland Browns traded wide receiver Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots on Monday in exchange for a fifth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Patriots will also receive a conditional seventh-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Browns announced the move on the team website.
Thus ends one of the strangest tenures of a Browns player in franchise history.
Cleveland selected Gordon in the 2012 Supplemental Draft after a troubled collegiate career that saw him be asked to leave from both Baylor and Utah.
After a respectable rookie year, Gordon was hit with a two-game suspension by the NFL to open the 2013 season. He came back to post his lone good season as a pro, but what a season it was as he led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards.
It all went downhill from there, however, as Gordon continued to run afoul of the league’s substance-abuse policy as he was suspended for 11 games in 2014, all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, and the first 11 games of last season.
Along the way there were numerous exclamations that Gordon was “back,” only for fans and the Browns to see Gordon’s career repeatedly interrupted.
Gordon took a leave of absence from the team this past summer during training camp and returned in time to start the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he caught a touchdown pass on his only reception of the day.
The Browns finally reached their breaking point with Gordon over the weekend when he showed up at team headquarters with a hamstring issue. The Browns made him inactive for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, announced they planned to release him and then worked out the trade with the Patriots.
There are some Browns fans who will lament that the Browns decided to finally move on from Gordon, but it is hard to miss a player who has only been eligible for 41 of a possible 96 games in his career and has posted just 43 receptions and two touchdowns since 2013.
The Browns, more than anyone else in the NFL, know what is going on with Gordon’s personal life and finally decided that six years was more than enough to wait around for him to show that 2013 was not just a fluke season.
The team also supported Gordon to an extent that the NFL has likely never seen, as head coach Hue Jackson commented on when the trade was announced:
#Browns Hue Jackson on trading Josh Gordon: We've done all we can do for Josh. It just didn't work out— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) September 17, 2018
Truer words may never have been spoken in the history of the NFL.