Seahawks free agents: If Josh Gordon’s suspension is lifted, should Seattle bring him back?

Feb 19, 2020, 1:01 PM
Seahawks WR Josh Gordon...
Josh Gordon was suspended last year and is a free agent. Will he return to the Seahawks? (Getty)

How can the Seahawks get back to a Super Bowl in 2020?

Bumpus: Seahawks get ‘true tight end’ in Olsen who can ‘do everything’

That’s the question Tom Wassell, Jake Heaps and I will be asking on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy over the next few months as we go through our Seahawks “offseason project” series, which will be broken up into four phases. On Tuesday, we looked at receiver Josh Gordon and left guard Mike Iupati.

You can hear every new segment of this series at 2 p.m. every day on Tom, Jake and Stacy. Here’s a look at what you need to know about Gordon and Iupati and the chances of them returning to Seattle in 2020.

Seahawks free agents

WR Josh Gordon

• Age: 28
• 2019 season: 5 games, 7 receptions, 139 yards

The argument for bringing Gordon back in 2020 is the same argument the Seahawks could have made in November when they claimed him off waivers: Gordon has a high ceiling at a low cost. Even in just five appearances with Seattle, Gordon showed he can still beat a defender in the biggest moments. His 58-yard reception against the Carolina Panthers – his last game as a Seahawk in 2019 – was impressive, but it was his two catches to convert third-down situations in the fourth quarter and in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers that best demonstrates that ability.

The difference between then and now, of course, is Gordon’s availability. The soon-to-be 29 year old was issued an indefinite suspension in December for violating the league’s substance abuse and performance-enhancing drug policies. As of late February, there hasn’t been an update on his status, and Gordon is forbidden from having any contact with the Seahawks in the meantime.

Should NFL commission Roger Goodell lift the suspension, though, the Seahawks could very well have interest in bringing Gordon back in 2020.

“I actually do,” 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps said when asked whether he could see Gordon back on the Seahawks’ roster in 2020. “If Josh Gordon is available and able to come off suspension, I think Josh Gordon is on the Seahawks’ roster. The Seahawks have the first crack at him in terms of his rights and I think that they really liked him in the building, and that they really appreciated how he conducted himself, how he was on the football field, and the talent that he is. They’re not bringing him on to be the No. 1 or No. 2 receiver, but if you draft a guy and have him (and Gordon) No. 3 and No. 4, I think that could be a really interesting situation. It’s going to be a cheap option. His price tag is going to be somewhere near the same amount as it is for (Seahawks wide receiver) David Moore right now.”

G Mike Iupati

• Age: 32
• Last contract: 1 year, $2.75M

Iupati played in all 16 games in 2019 – though he suffered a neck injury at the close of the regular season – and wouldn’t be expensive to re-sign. The former first-round pick brought plenty of veteran experience to Seattle’s offensive line, but will the Seahawks opt for youth up front?

“The unfortunate things about re-signing him, in terms of where he fits on this roster, would be that he’s not young, he’s a patchwork solution and he lacks the mobility to get to the second level in the run game,” Heaps said. “Really, it’s going to come down to what you do with your guard spots. If you’re going to leave one guard situation open and you’ve got (right guard) D.J. Fluker under contract, I think Mike Iupati is a candidate you could move on from, and instead try to develop from within your program and create competition.”

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Stacy Rost on Twitter.

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Previously in the series: TE and LB | RBs

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Seahawks free agents: If Josh Gordon’s suspension is lifted, should Seattle bring him back?