The New York Jets passed on the Josh Gordon waiver wire sweepstakes on Friday. Here are the top 3 reasons why that was a mistake.
The New York Jets are reeling at 1-6. With the playoffs out of sight, injuries piling up, a lot of fans are in their feelings without much to look forward to.
Although there could’ve been something to look forward to on Friday evening: the Josh Gordon waiver wire sweepstakes.
The New England Patriots gambled on the superstar talent in September of 2018. The team traded a fifth-round pick for Gordon and a seventh-round pick from the Cleveland Browns. A low risk for a potentially high reward based on his talent.
In his 17 game Patriots career, he caught 60 receptions for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. Just when it looked like he was turning his life back around after multiple suspensions, the Patriots put him on injured reserve two weeks ago.
The only problem was Gordon wasn’t hurt enough to be finished for the year, so the Patriots held onto him until after the trading deadline before they released him. Which put him on waivers and it was a lottery system to see who would ‘win’ Gordon’s services.
After a long period of suspense, it was revealed the Seattle Seahawks won his rights with the 28th waiver wire priority. This means the Jets passed on Gordon and so did at least 26 other NFL teams. Here are the top three reasons that was a huge mistake by the green and white.
Next: 3. Could've helped your QB out!
3. Josh Gordon could’ve helped out QB Sam Darnold
There were two goals for the 2019 season for the New York Jets. Make a run at the playoffs and help develop Sam Darnold.
With the team at 1-6, the postseason hopes are likely a pipe dream. This means developing Darnold is the No. 1 objective of this coaching staff and front office.
The problem is it’s hard to evaluate Darnold when he’s getting hit every other play behind this porous offensive line. It’s also difficult to evaluate Sam when he has no one to throw to.
The Jets are lacking weapons, while Robby Anderson is a nice receiver, he isn’t a true No. 1. He’s been labeled a one-trick pony who can run deep routes and hasn’t developed the rest of his route tree.
Landing Gordon would’ve given the Jets an immediate boost to their offense with an All-Pro talent.
Josh has been in the league since 2012 but has struggled with staying on the field due to a variety of off the field issues. Although when he’s on the field, there’s no questioning his talent.
His best season came back in 2013 when he caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in only 14 games. While that was a while ago, he has still shown he has game-changing speed and a great frame at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds.
Joe Douglas said at his press conference that the organization would “wrap its arms around Darnold and help him with protection and weapons”, apparently that statement was nothing more than a pile of dung.
Next: 2. Jets could've stolen a draft pick!
The Patriots held on to Josh Gordon past the trade deadline, subjecting him to waivers. And a reason for doing that was to keep him from contenders.
So why would a non-contender claim him? Bc if he walks as a UFA in March, such a team could get a comp pick for, in essence, free.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 31, 2019
2. The Jets could’ve had a *free* compensatory draft pick!
Okay if you didn’t even like or want Josh Gordon, you still should’ve claimed him off of waivers. Why do you ask?
You could’ve gotten a FREE compensatory pick in 2021.
It’s a complicated formula that determines who gets picks based on players you gained vs lost in free agency. But long story short, even if the Jets simply rented Josh Gordon for the final nine games of the season, they could’ve been awarded a future draft choice in essence for free.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated revealed that nugget on social media earlier this week stating why a non-contending team should consider grabbing Gordon off of the waiver wire:
“If Josh Gordon walks as a free agent in 2020, he’s currently an unrestricted free agent after this season, a team would’ve received a compensatory pick.”
Let’s be honest new general manager Joe Douglas needs as many future draft assets that he can get his hands on, regardless of where they came from.
On top of getting the draft pick, it would’ve only cost the Jets the remainder of Gordon’s contract this year. Which by the way would’ve only cost the team a little over $1 million against the cap.
Next: 1. NYJ would've had an exclusive audition
1. New York would’ve had an exclusive audition over the next 3-4 months.
This is another reason that seems to be slipping people’s minds. By claiming him off of waivers, which if the Jets did put a claim in they would’ve been awarded the player. Per Field Yates, the Jets had the fifth waiver wire priority (1-6 record helped acquire that).
So it would’ve only cost the team a small amount of money against the cap, provided Darnold a top weapon, and they could’ve received a future comp pick.
Or of course, let’s say you scoop him up and you like the player and want to keep him?
If the Jets would’ve claimed Josh Gordon, they would’ve had an exclusive nine-game audition during the 2019 season.
The team could’ve seen how he gelled in the offense or better yet with Sam Darnold from a chemistry standpoint.
The team could’ve evaluated Josh not just on the field, but off the field as well.
Gordon has experienced a lot of off the field issues and the Jets could’ve seen how they all worked together and what kind of citizen he was with the green and white. If everything checked out, the Jets would also have exclusive negotiating rights before the new league year kicks off in March of 2020.
So if the team liked what they experienced in the small sample size they could’ve signed him to a long term deal and filled one of their many needs heading into the 2020 season on the cheap.
Long story short this was a huge swing and a miss by the New York Jets. Actually it was just a miss and a miss because all they had to do was put in a waiver wire claim on him, which they didn’t do.
Gordon is going to have a ton of success in Seattle and the Seahawks are going to maximize all of these reasons that were just mentioned. Russell Wilson has a new No. 1 target in Seattle that should stay there and help him win a few more Super Bowl rings before it’s all said and done. Thanks for nothing Jets, you continue to disappoint me.