Published 6:27 PM EDT Sep 17, 2018
The New England Patriots' latest experiment at wide receiver this season might be their grandest yet.
The Patriots acquired former Pro Bowl pass catcher Josh Gordon in a trade with the Cleveland Browns on Monday, the teams announced. Cleveland will receive a 2019 fifth-round pick in the deal and send back a 2019 conditional seventh-round pick.
The Browns previously announced on Saturday that they planned to release Gordon. The wide receiver showed up late to the facility that day and the organization reached the point where many believed they could no longer trust him, a person with knowledge of the move told USA TODAY Sports' Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
"For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported him and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we feel it’s best to part ways and move forward," Browns general manager John Dorsey said in a statement on Saturday. "We wish Josh well.”
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Gordon, 27, led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013. But he played just 10 games from 2013-17, missing two full seasons while serving suspensions for multiple violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy. He also sat out the beginning of training camp this August to focus on his recovery.
New England has made a rash of moves to reshape its receiving corps this offseason but is still thin at the position as the team awaits Julian Edelman's return from a four-game suspension. After completing just nine passes to wide receivers in the opener against the Houston Texans, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was held to 234 yards passing and two touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
The Patriots cut recently signed wide receiver Corey Coleman in a corresponding roster transaction.
Gordon is set to earn a base salary of $790,000 this season before becoming a restricted free agent in 2019.
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.