Mailbag: Could the Eagles Bring In Josh Gordon?

If the Browns want to get rid of the receiver, should the Eagles inquire about him?

Josh Gordon. (USA Today Sports)

Josh Gordon. (USA Today Sports)

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I wouldn’t go so far as to say they don’t care about character — I don’t think Greg Hardy is coming to Philadelphia any time soon — but it’s fair to say that, based off the rookie class they’re bringing in, Howie Roseman’s regime seems to have a different standard than Chip Kelly’s.

Here’s what we know about the Eagles’ 2016 picks and undrafted free agents:

  • Defensive back Jalen Mills was arrested for second-degree battery of a woman in the summer of 2014. The charges were reduced to a misdemeanor and eventually dropped after completion of a pretrial diversion program. He was also ordered to pay the victim’s medical expenses.
  • In July of 2014, running back Wendell Smallwood was charged with witness intimidation in relation to a murder case, but the charges were officially dropped after Smallwood’s friend pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Smallwood vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
  • Receiver Cayleb Jones transferred from Texas after punching a Longhorns tennis player and breaking his jaw.
  • Florida dismissed defensive end Alex McCalister from the team for an unspecified violation of team rules last year.
  • Guard Darrell Greene tested positive for marijuana last year and was one of five San Diego State players suspended for the first six games of the season.
  • Utah State suspended receiver Hunter Sharp for the first two games last season for a violation of team rules.

It’s unclear what prompted this one, so I include it as something I’m sure the Eagles wanted to investigate, while not necessarily being the fault of the player:

  • Tight end Dillon Gordon was stabbed several times in a bar in January, which Baton Rouge Police said occurred “during a fistic encounter.”

Howie Roseman emphasized he feels the Eagles didn’t bring in any “bad people,” while Doug Pederson added this:

“The past is the past, history is history — that’s why they call it history — and you really have to dive into each person individually. The personnel side and the scouts that are out there every day, they are the ones that are diving into the backgrounds of these players. We just coach them up once they get here. We explain to them exactly how business is run here, obviously it starts with myself and then the assistant coaches can help in that process, but we know that guys could be flawed in their past but coach them up and point them in the right direction.”

As it relates to Josh Gordon, here’s what we know:

  • In October of 2010, Baylor suspended Gordon after police found marijuana in a car Gordon was in.
  • In July of 2011, Baylor suspended Gordon indefinitely for a violation of team rules, which Gordon later revealed was because of a failed drug test.
  • In June of 2013, the NFL suspended Gordon for two games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Gordon said at the time that he used cough medicine containing codeine.
  • In July of 2014, Gordon was arrested and charged with driving while impaired. He later pleaded guilty, was placed on probation and had to pay a fine.
  • In August of 2014, the NFL suspended Gordon for one reason for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, which was later reduced to 10 games under the league’s new drug policy.
  • In December of 2014, the Browns suspended Gordon for the final week of the season for violating team rules, because he reportedly skipped a walkthrough.
  • In February of 2015, the NFL suspended Gordon for a minimum of one year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy due to alcohol consumption. The NFL had previously issued a “zero-drinking stipulation” for Gordon because of his repeat drug offenses.
  • When Gordon applied for reinstatement this spring, the NFL delayed a decision because of a drug test with questionable results.

Reports out of Cleveland suggest Gordon could be traded when — if? — he finally returns. Gordon is immensely talented — he led the NFL in receiving in 2013 with 1,646 yards, despite playing in just 14 games — but I just don’t think there’s any reason to believe Gordon can stay on the field if you acquire him.

Could the Eagles call about Gordon? Sure, but I wouldn’t expect anything to happen, even though they’d love to add a talent like him to the receiving corps they currently have.