On Friday afternoon, Adam Schefter finally broke word that the National Football League had reinstated wide receiver Josh Gordon. It was an expected move that the NFL would allow the veteran wideout to earn yet another try after sitting out a lengthy suspension. And while fans might be waiting for a signing of another kind, Josh Gordon would add gasoline to the K.C. Chiefs fire, if they wanted.
At this point in the season, it’s no secret that the Chiefs need help on defense. That’s why many fans would likely rather hear about potential moves related to, say, defensive end or linebacker or safety help. That’s not a surprise since most of us are tired of seeing missed tackles and poor angles and little disruption up front.
Here’s the school of thought. Most fan bases would love to see their favorite team have balanced sides. They want to see excellence on offense and on defense. But if you can’t shore up a weakness then at least lean into a strength. And the Chiefs have a chance to do exactly that right now by signing Gordon.
Signing Josh Gordon would only encourage what the Chiefs already do best.
No one should be misguided here in a couple directions. For those who would say, “What about the defense?”, the truth is that there are no obvious free agents to sign or trades to be made at this point. Olivier Vernon is an intriguing veteran edge rusher, but he’s coming off of an Achilles injury and I’m sure the Chiefs would be all over it if they thought he was healthy and ready to produce. Maybe Trent Murphy or Tre Boston or Gareon Conley turn your engine. If so, that’s fine. Maybe the Chiefs should make such a move.
For me at this point, the only name that’s even remotely exciting is Gordon, and even this isn’t some automatic hit. Gordon hasn’t played since 2019, and it seems like he’s been given 100 chances already to stay clean in the NFL. The very fact that we’re back here again feels like recycled headlines, so it’s easy to understand why some fans just roll their eyes at the idea.
However, the idea of Josh Gordon at his best makes the idea worth checking out. When healthy, Gordon has always given teams a big physical target who is ideal in creating mismatches. The Chiefs lost Sammy Watkins this offseason, and while they’re not having issues scoring points in 2021, the reality is that the best teams know how to minimize the damage of Travis Kelce and/or Tyreek Hill when it matters most. If Gordon can provide even a better mismatch on offense more than Demarcus Robinson, it’s at least worth a look, right?
Most important, any deal for Gordon is going to be a veteran minimum deal, so the money involved is negligible and won’t make a bit of difference for the Chiefs in the long run. In short, signing Gordon wouldn’t keep them from being able to make other moves to fill real needs later this season or at the trade deadline.
At the very least, given the way he could fuel the Chiefs fire, it’s worth bringing Gordon in for a free agent visit in order to see what shape he’s in, how he’s feeling, and what the offense could resemble with him in it. If not, he comes and goes like just another free agent workout. But if he stays, it could be the sort of midseason addition to put this offense in another gear.