Mike Garafolo reported this morning that the Eagles are preparing to be without wide receiver Mike Wallace for “a while” due to the ankle injury he picked up Sunday afternoon. Adam Schefter says he might be done for the year.
So of course we’re now debating whether or not the Eagles should go for a misfit free agent like Dez Bryant or maybe Josh Gordon, who the Browns are apparently trading or releasing today.
97.5 the Fanatic put out a poll asking if you would trade a fourth round pick for Gordon and I’m honestly surprised at how lopsided the early results are:
Just to rewind here, Josh Gordon:
- has not played meaningful football since his 2013 Pro Bowl year. He has two touchdown catches in five years (this season included) and has only appeared in 11 games.
- did not participate in Browns training camp because he needed more time to focus on rehab and addiction issue
- transferred from Baylor to Utah and didn’t play a single snap
- was suspended in 2013 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy
- was arrested for DUI and speeding in 2014
- had another substance abuse violation in 2014
- was later suspended for a violation of team rules
- 2015: banned again by NFL, applied for reinstatement and failed a drug test
- entered rehab in 2016
- reinstatement again denied by NFL
- reportedly injured his hamstring at a promotional shoot
It’s not about weed, really. It’s 2018, if the guy wants to fire up a spliff on Monday afternoon after a big win, who really cares?
The problem is that the guy doesn’t learn. He’s had more chances to clean up his act than most NFL players get, probably because the Browns are going to give you a longer leash than other teams. Gordon has been on a rollercoaster of bullshit for half a decade now and has shown zero maturity, zero mental fortitude, and zero personal responsibility.
And I know that Nigel Bradham beat up a pool boy and that Michael Bennett is going through some legal stuff right now, so it’s not like the Eagles are 100% clean, but giving Gordon another chance here feels like a Cowboy type of move.
So hard pass on Josh Gordon, who might not even be ready to play if you trade for him this week because of the hammy injury.
As for Dez Bryant, I touched a little bit on him last week in the “Obligatory Dez Bryant Article.”
Dez is 29 years old and is on the downslope of his career. The Browns, who tolerated Gordon for five years, couldn’t come to terms with Bryant. The Patriots didn’t want him. He had an offer from the Ravens and turned it down, now he sits on Twitter watching the games like the rest of us.
A lot of fans out there will say, “well the Eagles locker room is good, maybe a change of culture helps.” Well, of course it would probably help. This is not dysfunctional Dallas with Jerry Jones running around or dysfunctional everything in Cleveland. But what if one of these guys ends up having a half-decent year? You can’t pay them beyond this one. Alshon Jeffery is due $11 million and Nelson Agholor is due $9 million next season. Carson Wentz needs to get paid. The Eagles already have a bunch of cap issues heading into next season, so even if you get something out of Gordon or Dez, they’re probably gone five months from now. The Eagles are trying to build something sustainable to be competitive with a franchise quarterback for the next ten years. Tell me we’re not at the point where we’re doing low-risk grabs for misfit rentals like Josh Gordon and Dez Bryant.
Here’s the thing – Mike Wallace is a WR3. Gordon and Bryant are WR1 type of players. The Eagles do not need to find a WR1, they need a WR3 who will get 2-5 targets per game. Bryant and Gordon aren’t coming here for 2-5 targets a game, they want WR1 snaps and targets, which is not what this team is. At its peak last season, this Eagles offense showed a lot of diversity in targets and involvement, which is why it was so successful. Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor will receive about 24-27 targets per game moving forward, which leaves little for everybody else.
That said, there’s enough talent on this team to fill the WR3 void. Give Shelton Gibson a chance on the outside. Use Ertz in the slot and out wide if necessary. He’s a top-five NFL tight end and can do a lot of things for you. Maybe even try your top draft pick this season, Dallas Goedert, who has barely gotten a sniff. You can run plenty of three and four-receiver sets without needing to go to Kamar Aiken and Josh Perkins. Give me 12-personnel or get Corey Clement more involved coming out of the backfield. Maybe Mack Hollins comes back and does something.
In a few weeks you’re going to see an offense that has Carson Wentz throwing the ball to Jeffery, Agholor, and Ertz. That’s as good a group as you can find. You’re basically back to replacing Torrey Smith on the outside and I really do think you can get it done with in-house talent. Trust the guys you have on the roster and move it forward organically, otherwise you’re just admitting to us that you missed on the Gibson draft pick and didn’t do enough to build WR depth in the preseason, despite the DeAndre Carter feel-good story.
Making a week three move for Dez Bryant or Josh Gordon would reek of desperation. The Eagles are far from desperation. They are not even remotely close to desperation.