49ers’ potential trade for Browns’ WR Josh Gordon was huge risk


For much of the 2013 season, the San Francisco 49ers were in dire need of a reliable deep-threat at the wide-receiver position. A team that had little to work with as WR Michael Crabtree recovered from a torn Achilles, it was basically WR Anquan Boldin or bust for QB Colin Kaepernick. And despite Pro Bowl TE Vernon Davis becoming the lone deep-threat, the 49ers desperately needed more from the wide out position leaving them to evaluate a possible trade with the Cleveland Browns.



The Browns who were very interested in dumping their talented but troubled Pro Bowl talent in WR Josh Gordon under the GM Michael Lombardi regime, were extremely close in striking a deal with the 49ers. However, the deal eventually fell through and Gordon would go on to lead the NFL in both receiving yards (1,646) and big plays with 30 catches of at least 20 yards all while ranking second in per catch average (18.9). The talent could not be ignored but it was his off-field issues that may have been the deal breaker.

While at Baylor, Gordon tested positive for marijuana in July 2011 and was suspended indefinitely. It was that type of behavior that carried over into the NFL as Gordon was once again suspended in 2013, this time for two games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. You would think that would be enough right? Wrong. Gordon would then go on to fail a second drug test on May 9 which would put his entire 2014 season in jeopardy. Then to further validate his troubled history, Gordon was once again arrested just two months later on July 5 for DWI. Is this the Forty Niner way? Absolutely not.

Could you imagine the backlash the 49ers would be receiving if they had another troubled but talented player in hot water with the law? Man, that would not be good. And the fact that the Browns have to deal with it means the 49ers dodged a bullet, or should I say torpedo, as they were extremely close in acquiring the troubled All-Pro talent.

What are your thoughts Forever Faithful? Do you think he was worth the risk? Leave your comments below and start the discussion.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.