Could the Seattle Seahawks actually sign Antonio Brown or Josh Gordon?
While the Seattle Seahawks heavily favor running the football down opponents’ throats for four quarters, the team often finds itself relying on Russell Wilson in close matchups. The Seahawks already put a strong supporting cast around their All-Pro quarterback, but recent rumors suggest the team wants to add another pass-catcher.
Pete Carroll’s team arguably features the deepest tight end room in the NFL, but Seattle could use another option at wide receiver. Former seventh-round pick David Moore and failed first-round selection Phillip Dorsett are currently competing for Seattle’s third wide receiver spot. With two career backups battling for the position, the Seahawks could entertain signing a more successful veteran.
Free agents Josh Gordon, who appeared in five games for Seattle last season, and Antonio Brown have heard their names linked to the Seahawks in recent days. The former All-Pros certainly come with their risks and personal issues, but adding a reliable third receiver could transform the perception of Seattle’s offense.
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Brown is a better player than Gordon at this point and proved he could contribute on a winning team while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, ESPN’s John Clayton claims the Seahawks have an 85 percent chance of re-signing Gordon and only a 5 percent chance of reaching an agreement with Brown, despite Brown’s close connection with Seattle’s Geno Smith. Clayton also reported that Wilson would “love” to see Brown in Seattle.
Gordon set the NFL on fire in 2013, emerging as a First-Team All-Pro and a premier threat. Despite catching passes from a rotating cast of quarterbacks with the Cleveland Browns, Gordon averaged 117.6 receiving yards per game. He finished the year with 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. However, Gordon only played five games for Cleveland in 2014 because of suspensions from the NFL and the team.
Unlike Gordon, Brown sustained All-Pro production for several seasons. From 2013-2018, Brown made six Pro Bowls and earned four First-Team All-Pro selections. He seemed destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame until everything unraveled in a series of confusing and scandalous actions that ultimately resulted in Brown’s arrest. Since he wasn’t on an NFL roster, the league did not officially hand down a suspension.
Gordon did not make a significant impact when he played for the Seahawks last season. Seattle acquired Gordon off waivers from the New England Patriots, but he only appeared in five games before facing an indefinite suspension for violating the league’s policies on performance-enhancing substances and substance abuse for the fifth time.
Gordon only caught seven passes for 139 yards during his short stint with the Seahawks. Physically, he looked like he was in great shape, but he didn’t perform like a productive receiver. Unlike Brown, who made the Pro Bowl in 2018, Gordon has one season with over 700 receiving yards in the past six years. While Seattle seems interested in Gordon, it’s worth wondering if passing Gordon will create a difference for the team’s offense.
Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Gordon is applying for reinstatement and wants to play this coming season. The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement severely loosened league rules regarding substances and suspensions, but Gordon must still satisfy the old standards since his infraction came under the previous deal.
Brown could also face disciplinary measures if he returns to the NFL. The former All-Pro never dealt with a suspension for his actions over the previous year, which resulted in an arrest and proved detrimental to the league’s appearance. Depending on Brown’s punishment and Gordon’s reinstatement process, neither veteran may be a viable option in 2020.