At the time the team claimed Gordon off waivers, Wilson already led the NFL in touchdown passes (17) and passer rating (115.5). He dragged the Seahawks to a 6-2 record through the first half of the season, despite the defense ranking 23rd in yards allowed and the rushing offense averaging 4.1 yards per carry, 18th best in the NFL.
Now he gets a player who once led the NFL in receiving yards in a season by averaging 117.6 yards per game. Granted, it’s no guarantee it’ll work out for Seattle. It’s pretty easy to be optimistic, though.
How Gordon helps Wilson
The Seahawks don’t need a ton of help passing the ball. They’re already 13th in the NFL in receiving yards, despite being 27th in pass attempts. But adding Gordon could be one hell of a bonus for a team that has been excellent at getting production out of deep threats, thanks to Wilson.
Russell Wilson finished in the top 3 in basically every major deep passing category this year. pic.twitter.com/Qpp0II7EUz
— PFF (@PFF) January 23, 2019
Gordon’s a player who has should fit that bill perfectly.
“He’s a big-play guy,” Carroll said of Gordon, via Seahawks.com. “He has been able to really stretch the field. Those who have worked with him and coached him, they rave about his talent and his playmaking ability.”
So it’s no wonder Wilson reportedly pushed for the addition.
So, Seattle’s offense got better. And Russell Wilson’s relationship with Josh Gordon helped. https://t.co/9Yg9kMoeC0
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 1, 2019
While the Seahawks have got MVP numbers out of Wilson, the receiving options were lacking, especially after the team lost tight end Will Dissly for the season due to an Achilles tear.
Tyler Lockett, rookie DK Metcalf, and Dissly have four touchdowns each through eight weeks, and Lockett is leading the way with 615 receiving yards. Lockett is the only Seahawks receiver who ranks in the top 15 in the NFL in any major receiving category, and after him, receptions and there’s quite a dropoff.
With Dissly now gone, Lockett, Metcalf, and running back Chris Carson are the only three players on the roster who have caught at least 15 passes this season.
Gordon doesn’t have to be the version of himself that was an All-Pro for the Browns in 2013 for it to be a success story in Seattle. He just needs to avoid the problems that have come to define his NFL career.
It might not work out, though
The unfortunate reality with Gordon is that he’s missed way more games than he’s played.
Gordon has been suspended six different times over the course of his career and he’s missed more than 60 games since 2013 — including two entire seasons. When he was on the field for the Patriots, Gordon wasn’t the unstoppable receiver that he was for the Browns early in his career. In 2019, he caught 20 passes for 287 yards and one touchdown in six games with New England. Those numbers don’t scream game breaker.
It doesn’t help that Gordon was reportedly late to meetings, and his undependability both on and off the field were why New England was comfortable moving on from the receiver.
He was placed on the Patriots’ injured reserve in October with a knee injury, but released from the list before the end of the month. He’s passed his physical, making him eligible to play immediately for a new team.
If Gordon doesn’t produce for Seattle, or misses more time, it won’t cost the team much of anything. He was playing on a one-year, $2.025 million deal with the Patriots. That makes the acquisition a low-risk move for the Seahawks with the potential for high reward if Gordon manages to give his career another revival. Better yet, it could be all Wilson needs to hold off the other contenders in the MVP race.