With Gordon Trade Looming, Pederson Addresses ‘Baggage’
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles have a serious problem at receiver after losing Mike Wallace to a fractured fibula during Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns are looking to move the talented but troubled Josh Gordon.
From there it doesn't take much of a leap to picture Howie Roseman on the phone with John Dorsey.
Gordon, 27, missed the entire 2014 and 2015 seasons due to multiple failed drug tests and has missed 56 games in total since 2014, admitting to a number of addictions that date back to middle school.
He was reinstated by the NFL last season but only appeared in five games and did not report for training camp this summer as he continued to deal with his personal issues.
Gordon did return for Week 1 but the Browns decided to move on when he was late to the team facility after injuring his hamstring at an outside event.
The apex of Gordon's career came in 2013 when he returned from a two-game suspension to lead the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards on 87 receptions.
Gordon is only in the conversation because the Eagles are without their projected top three outside receivers: Alshon Jeffery (shoulder surgery), Mack Hollins (on injured reserve with a growing problem) and now Wallace.
In a general sense, Eagles coach Doug Pederson discussed bringing in "problem players" to his locker room, which is considered to be among the strongest in the NFL.
"I think the biggest thing is not only can they play football. That's an important part of it, we're always looking for guys that can help us at any position and can they play ball," Pederson said. "But you also particularly want to look at guys and (look at) how well will the current team embrace the players?"
Pederson brought up running backs Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount as examples of players who had less-than-pristine reputations who fit into the Philadelphia locker room seamlessly, calling both "awesome individuals, great teammates and players."
It's unfair to compare players like that to Gordon, however, who's issues are far greater.
"You lean a lot on the character and the culture of the football team. A lot," Pederson said. "But can the guys that you want to bring to your team, can they help you win football games? Again, it's not an at all costs decision that you make moves like that."
Pederson was not discussing Gordon specifically and his quotes could also apply to a larger personality like a Dez Bryant.
Either way the coach intimated a desire to add a veteran receiver while the team continues to wait for Jeffery's return.
"I think we're constantly looking at adding depth and talent at any position and every position," Pederson said. "That's the focal point right now."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen