The NFL trade deadline passed at 4 p.m. today with the Browns standing pat despite rampant speculation about the possibility of them shipping away wide receiver Josh Gordon or making a smaller splash with another move.
Teams may not make trades until the new league year begins at 4 p.m. March 11.
Gordon, 22, reiterated Sunday after the Browns’ 23-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that he was tired of all the rumors and answering questions about them. He was eager for the deadline to arrive.
“When [the trade deadline is] over, it’s over,” Gordon said. “However it goes, it’s beyond me, it’s above me. I will be excited either way. Hopefully [I’ll] get some new questions.
“I do want to stay in Cleveland. Cleveland is my first home, the team I got drafted to. It’s a great place to be. I love the fans in Cleveland and everything about it, but business is business.”
Reports surfaced for the past six weeks about the Browns receiving offers for Gordon, who was picked in the second round of last year’s supplemental draft by the previous regime. Coach Rob Chudzinski and CEO Joe Banner stressed that the organization had no plans to trade Gordon, but they never ruled out the possibility of a deal, either.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Gordon has 32 catches for 582 yards (18.2 average) and three touchdowns in six games this season. His receiving yardage is ranked 15th in the NFL, and he’s clearly the Browns’ most dangerous weapon on offense.
But even though Gordon’s production on the field has been stellar, there is a risk in keeping him. The NFL suspended Gordon for the first two games this season for violating its substance-abuse policy, the result of a failed drug test he blamed on prescription cough medicine that contained codeine. It’s Gordon’s understanding that one more violation of the policy would result in a season-long banishment from the league.
Inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, the defense’s captain, said Sunday after the game that he hoped Gordon remained with the Browns (3-5).
“Absolutely,” Jackson said. “The team that we have now -- we can with this team.
Other Browns players mentioned in trade rumblings were tight end Jordan Cameron, wide receiver Greg Little and right offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
Jackson said it would be a relief when the deadline passed.
“It's one of those deals where you know you have to talk about it,” Jackson said. “But I can't wait for it to be over with.”