JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: What Seahawks’ addition of wide receiver Josh Gordon means

Nov 1, 2019, 3:10 PM
Seahawks WR Josh Gordon...
The Seahawks didn't make a trade this week but still got WR Josh Gordon. (Getty)
(Getty)

Once again, the Seattle Seahawks have pulled off a surprise.

They claimed wide receiver Josh Gordon on waivers Friday. What was even more surprising is how far Gordon fell in the first place for the Seahawks to claim him after he was released by the Patriots. The Seahawks had the 28th spot in the waiver claim system, fifth lowest.

Seahawks add former All-Pro WR Josh Gordon on waiver claim

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Gordon won’t play this week against Tampa Bay, which is understandable. He wouldn’t have a chance to even study the playbook before Sunday’s game.

Even though the Seahawks drafted three wide receivers last April, they found a cheap way to add more talent at the position. Tyler Lockett is having a Pro Bowl season. DK Metcalf is one of the best rookie receivers in the league and is starting for Seattle. Jaron Brown and David Moore are solid.

Gordon comes to Seattle with great talent, but he also has some baggage.

As everyone knows, he’s had problems with drugs that led to suspension. Those problems appear to be behind him, but there were reports in New England that he wasn’t the best at being on time for meetings, either.

What would be interesting to learn is whether Carroll and John Schneider talked to former Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren about Gordon. When Holmgren was running the Cleveland Browns as team president from 2010-12, he drafted Gordon.

I remember seeing Gordon as a rookie and was amazed at his talent. Sure, he was raw. But before long he developed into one of the best receivers in football. He had 100-catch ability, and like Metcalf, he’s tall at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds.

Holmgren drafted Gordon in the second round in 2012. By his second year in Cleveland, he was an All-Pro.

In 2013, Gordon caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards. From 2014 through 2018, though, he had his off-the-field troubles. He didn’t play in 2015 and 2016. He started only five games for the Browns in 2017, and Cleveland gave up on him last September and traded him to the Patriots. He caught 20 passes for 287 yards in six starts this year before suffering a knee injury that landed him on the injured reserve.

Apparently, Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Carroll thought Gordon had enough talent for them to take a chance on him.

What’s clear this season is that the Seahawks have to rely more on their offense until the pass rush comes around. Russell Wilson is having an MVP-caliber season, the offense is scoring 26 points a game and Seattle ranks ninth in yards gained.

And now the Seahawks have Josh Gordon, too.

Nothing came of the trade deadline earlier this week for the Seahawks after the Quandre Diggs trade a week prior, but the offense did get more talented. Ed Dickson is coming off IR and has a chance to compete for the starting job at tight end, Rashaad Penny wasn’t traded and Gordon was added to the receiving corps.

Interesting move.

Here’s a few thoughts on Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.

• As much as Carroll wants to run the ball, the Seahawks might have to mix in more passes. The Bucs are the best run-stopping team in football, limiting opponents to 65.9 rushing yards a game and only 3 yards a carry. Vita Vea is having a Pro Bowl season at nose tackle. Ndamukong Suh has been a handful. William Gholtston is a solid defense end.

The Seahawks faced similar issues in two games they played against AFC North teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers ran plenty of run blitzes. Wilson countered by throwing passes in the middle of the field. The Baltimore Ravens are hard to run against up the middle, so the Seahawks had to rush Chris Carson outside the tackles. That didn’t completely work out, however, as Carson was limited to 65 yards on 21 carries in a 30-16 loss to the Ravens.

• Joey Hunt has taken over for Justin Britt at center. Britt is out for the year with a torn ACL. The 6-2 Hunt plays low the ground, and he’s a smart center who communicates well. The timing of his first start, though, is a concern, because he has to worry about blocking Vea and Suh. The Seahawks have confidence that he can get them through the rest of the season.

• Things are getting interesting at safety. Diggs (hamstring) and Lano Hill (elbow) remain out with injuries. Bradley McDougald returns Sunday after missing time with a bad back. He’ll play with rookie Marquise Blair, who had an 11-tackle game last Sunday in Atlanta.

For Seattle’s Nov. 11 Monday night game against undefeated San Francisco, though, Carroll will have to decide if he wants McDougald and Diggs on the field or one of the vets at safety alongside Blair.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Twitter.

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