Seahawks 'Very Open' to Josh Gordon Reunion, Monitoring Antonio Brown's Status
Over the past several months, multiple reports have surfaced about the Seahawks apparent interest in re-signing veteran receiver Josh Gordon, who remains suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, coach Pete Carroll wasn't able to elaborate much on the possibility of a reunion with Gordon, reiterating the receiver's status "is not in our hands." However, he did confirm Seattle would have interest in the event the league does allow him to return.
“Josh did a really good job with us last year. He fit in really well," Carroll commented. "He was part of this team by the way we opened and embraced his coming to us but also by the way he adapted. So we are very open to that thought, and we’ll see what happens."
The Seahawks originally claimed Gordon off waivers from the Patriots last November and were the only team to put in a claim. By all accounts, the embattled receiver impressed Carroll, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and quarterback Russell Wilson, immediately hitting the playbook upon his arrival and displaying excellent work ethic on the field.
Gordon made his debut two weeks later against the 49ers, making a pair of clutch third down receptions to help his new team eventually hand their NFC West rival their first loss in overtime. The former All-Pro showed he could still be a dangerous downfield threat five weeks later against the Panthers, reeling in a diving 50-plus yard reception with his fingertips from Wilson.
Unfortunately, it was evident after that game in Carolina that something had gone wrong for Gordon. Normally cordial with reporters, he refused media availability in the locker room, a sign of trouble brewing. The next day, the NFL slapped him with his fifth drug-related suspension and he could no longer access the team facility or be with his teammates.
Gordon appeared in five games for Seattle, catching seven passes for 139 yards before receiving his latest suspension.
Shortly after Gordon received his ban, Wilson expressed interest in "Flash" eventually returning to the Seahawks, believing he enjoyed his brief stay in the Pacific Northwest. The fact the receiver has stayed in the Seattle area during his suspension confirms that.
"I think this environment has been great for him, to be honest with you," Wilson said. "He really, really fit in, in terms of just the everyday part of the process. Since day one he was studying and working and highlighting and doing all the extra work. He had the biggest smile on his face."
Though the Seahawks signed Phillip Dorsett and used two draft picks on receivers in Freddie Swain and Stephen Sullivan in April, the team has been linked for months to Gordon as well as Antonio Brown, who just received an eight-game suspension from the NFL.
It's clear the organization would still like to upgrade the position and while Carroll didn't completely rule out signing Brown on Monday, if Gordon is reinstated, he would be the far safer play and the preferred option. He already knows Seattle's offensive scheme, has developed a rapport with Wilson, and doesn't have all of the legal baggage Brown carries. Plus, he'd be available to play in Week 1.
For now, all the Seahawks can do is wait and see how the NFL proceeds with Gordon. As long as he remains suspended, he can't sign with anyone. In the meantime, they will continue to monitor Brown's legal proceedings, as he could still be an option to add for the second half of the season if Gordon isn't able to return.
“It’s a very complex situation," Carroll said of Brown's status. "We just need to see how it fits somewhere down the road. That’s all I got for you."