NFL Rumors: Josh Gordon Not Being In ‘Football Shape’ Frustrated Browns


September 20, 2018

To say Josh Gordon isn’t in shape seems foolish.

The New England Patriots wide receiver is built like an action figure and runs like a cheetah. He’s absolutely jacked, with impressive muscle mass and definition, and the 27-year-old is capable of doing things on the gridiron that most players only dream about.

But that physical prowess wasn’t enough for the Cleveland Browns, whose frustration with Gordon evidently went beyond his off-the-field issues: They believed he wasn’t in good enough “football shape” before trading him to the Patriots earlier this week, according to NFL insider Albert Breer.

“The Browns had gotten frustrated with him, and it wasn’t just the hamstring or what happened last weekend. It was also the fact that he had trouble getting himself into football shape,” Breer said this week in a video published on NBC Sports Boston’s website. “I think a lot of people look at him and see he’s all rocked up, and by human standards he’s in great shape — not the same thing as being in football shape.”

Gordon logged 69 snaps in the Browns’ Week 1 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers and caught one pass for 17 yards. It was just his sixth regular season game since the 2014 season and his 11th since the 2013 season, as Gordon has been suspended multiple times for failed drug tests. He missed both the 2015 and 2016 NFL seasons entirely.

Most of the questions surrounding Gordon center on him staying out of trouble, something that’s been problematic for almost his entire life. But the reality is Gordon hasn’t played much football over the last five years, so there’s no guarantee he’ll thrive moving forward even with the change of scenery.

“My understanding is part of the reason (the Browns) put him out there for that long (in Week 1) was to show him, ‘Hey, look, you may think you’re in great shape, but being in football shape is something different,’ ” Breer said. “And so if you watch the game (against the Steelers), he wore down a bit at the end, and that’s something they didn’t experience at practice.”

Gordon totaled 87 catches for an NFL best 1,646 receiving yards with nine touchdowns in 14 games during the 2013 season, earning him a Pro Bowl selection. Can he return to being an elite receiver alongside Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in New England? Maybe. But it’ll take more than a jaw-dropping physique.

Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images
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