RENTON -- The Seattle Seahawks made a high profile addition to their roster on Friday, claiming wide receiver Josh Gordon off waivers from the New England Patriots.
Gordon was released by the Patriots from their injured reserve list on Thursday. With the trade deadline now having passed, all players - veterans and young players alike - have to go through the league's waiver system. The Seahawks, with a 6-2 record through eight games, were 28th on the waiver wire, meaning every team in the NFL except for the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers had a chance to claim Gordon before Seattle got a shot at him.
But the 27 teams ahead of Seattle all elected not to put in a claim on Gordon and he was awarded to the Seahawks Friday afternoon.
"He’s a unique talent," head coach Pete Carroll said after practice on Friday. "Next week, we’ll take a look and see what he looks like. He’s done a lot of good stuff and made a lot of good plays. We’ll find out more next week. Won’t have anything to do with this game.
"I’ve said it a million times to you guys that we’re always looking for guys that have something special about them. We need to find out. We’ll take a look next week and see what that means.”
The Seahawks waived defensive end Dekoda Watson to clear a spot on their 53-man roster for Gordon. Watson was signed by Seattle on Wednesday to take the place of injured safety Tedric Thompson on the active roster.
With the week of practice done for Seattle ahead of Sunday's game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gordon has no time to join the team and get up to speed. He will join the team in earnest next week as the team prepares for a Monday night meeting with the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks are currently carrying eight wide receivers on their roster following Gordon's addition. Since Seattle rarely keeps more than five receivers active for a game as it is, it would seem unlikely they can continue to be that overloaded at the receiver position for very long.
Carroll said Friday that tight end Ed Dickson made it through his first week of practice and could be activated from the injured reserve list on Saturday. If he is, that move could come at the expense of one of their receivers as well. He needs to be added to the 53-man roster by 1 p.m. Saturday to be eligible to play on Sunday. That move could wait until next week if they elect to go with their current group of Luke Willson, Jacob Hollister and George Fant for one more game as well.
"He did fine," Carroll said of Dickson. "He did make it through the week. Gives us a chance that we could activate him. We’re going to take it all the way up to game time here, or to our last opportunity tomorrow. We’ll let you know what we’re doing there.”
Gordon is a reasonably high-risk, high-reward flier for Seattle. He led the NFL in receiving in 2013 during his second season with the Cleveland Browns and was named a first-team All-Pro. However, multiple suspensions for substance-abuse issues have repeatedly derailed a promising start to his career.
The Patriots acquired Gordon is a trade from Cleveland last September. He appeared in 11 games for the Patriots before another suspension ended his season in December. He caught 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns a season ago in New England and 20 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown in six games this season for the Patriots.
“He’s a big play guy," Carroll said. "He’s been able to really stretch the field. Those that I know have worked with him and coached him, they rave about his talent and his play making ability.”
Three current Seahawks have been teammates with Gordon in recent years. Cornerback Jamar Taylor was teammates with Gordon in Cleveland for two seasons in 2016-17. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks spent last offseason in Cleveland with Gordon before he was released and Gordon was traded to the Patriots. Tight end Jacob Hollister became teammates with Gordon in New England before Hollister was traded to Seattle this offseason.
All three spoke fondly of their time with Gordon.
"I know JG as being just a workaholic and good football player, great teammate," Taylor said.
Gordon only appeared in five games while teammates with Taylor due to his struggles off the field, but Taylor spoke highly of the player and teammate he saw over that span.
“He tried to do everything right and the dude made plays for us,” Taylor said. “For anybody, this is one of the best organizations I've been around from an upstairs standpoint and a coaches standpoint. I think he'll fit in perfect here."
Kendricks didn't learn of Gordon's acquisition until overhearing reporters' conversation with Taylor about the move.
"He's going to do just fine here," Kendricks said. "He was cool, man. He's a good dude, bruh. ... I know how much of a tremendous athlete he is and what he can do for a team so the fact that we got him? It's lit. It's real lit."
Hollister was injured off and on during his time with Gordon in New England and wasn't able to be around him all that much. Nevertheless, Hollister has good things to say about Gordon as well.
"From what I saw, he was an awesome guy — down to earth and works his butt off. Obviously, a really talented guy, so we’re excited about that.
"He brings a lot to the table. He’s a specimen. He’s a tall, athletic dude. And on the outside, he creates mismatches in a lot of ways."
Photo Credit: ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Josh Gordon #10 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball as Jordan Poyer #21 of the Buffalo Bills attempts to tackle him during the third quarter at New Era Field on September 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)