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Browns notebook: Trading wide receiver Josh Gordon to 49ers unlikely though talks have occurred, ESPN reports

By Nate Ulrich
Beacon Journal sports writer

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The Browns have talked to the San Francisco 49ers about trading wide receiver Josh Gordon, but a deal is unlikely to happen with Mario Manningham coming off the physically unable to perform list and fellow wide receiver Michael Crabtree also expected back from injury next month, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also reported Monday that the Browns have talked to teams, including the 49ers, about dealing Gordon. The Browns would like a second-round draft pick in return, according to the report.

The previous regime drafted Gordon, 22, in the second round of the supplemental draft last summer. In three games this season, Gordon has 18 catches for 303 yards and two touchdowns.

Trade rumblings involving Gordon first surfaced the morning of Sept. 22, when Gordon returned from a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and caught a career-high 10 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown in a 31-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Before the game, Gordon became aware of ESPN reporting that the Browns were fielding trade offers and were open to dealing him and fellow wide receiver Greg Little. The next day, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski insisted the team had “no plans” to trade Gordon or Little.

On Sept. 26, Gordon said Chudzinski sent him a text message “just reassuring me there were no trade offers or anything like that.” Still, because the Browns traded running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in last year’s draft, to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a first-round pick on Sept. 18, Gordon said anything is possible.

“The fact that [Chudzinski] said there wasn’t [a plan to trade me], it makes me feel a little more comfortable,” Gordon said. “At the same time, anything can happen.

“I guess after what happened to Trent, I think that’s probably the way it’s going for a lot of these guys. You’re going to think about it until the [trade] deadline definitely happens [Oct. 29].”

Upon returning from his two-game suspension, Gordon said he believes he faces a one-season banishment from the league if he violates its substance-abuse policy again. He blamed prescription cough medicine that contained codeine for triggering a failed drug test that led to his suspension this season. He failed three marijuana tests in college.

Back despite scare

Starting right defensive end Desmond Bryant practiced Monday after leaving a 37-24 win over the Buffalo Bills early in the third quarter Thursday night because he was experiencing an irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath.

Bryant was taken to the Cleveland Clinic during the game and hospitalized overnight before being released Friday. Despite the scare, he is expected to play Sunday when the Browns (3-2) host the Detroit Lions (3-2).

“It’s a pretty scary feeling,” said Bryant, who leads the team with 3½ sacks. “Your heart won’t calm down. Fortunately we’ve got a great staff on hand, and they’ve got me doing the right things I need. And I’m now back to normal.”

When Bryant played for the Oakland Raiders last season, he left a game Nov. 4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an accelerated heartbeat. He then played the next week.

Bryant believes the right steps are being taken this time to ensure he won’t have any problems in the future.

“I’m pretty confident,” Bryant said. “The docs this time are doing some things to prevent it from happening again. I need to try to cut out anything that might start this up as well as I’m going to be taking some medication to help prevent it.”

Defending himself

Free safety Tashaun Gipson insisted he didn’t celebrate injuring Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel after hitting him in the right knee Thursday as he ran along the Bills’ sideline with 8:16 left in the third quarter. Gipson repeatedly pumped his fist while Manuel remained on the ground with a sprained lateral collateral ligament that’s expected to sideline him for a few weeks.

On Friday, Bills center Eric Wood said Gipson’s hit was fine, but he called the Browns “classless” for the way they acted after the play.

“Football is an intense game and maybe a little too much adrenaline and things like that came over me at the time,” Gipson said. “But at the end of the day, [I] did not look down and did not physically see him being hit.

“I did not try to hurt him, and my gestures at the end of the play probably didn’t suit me well. But I was not celebrating injuring no guy in this league. At the end of the day, we’re all brothers in some way because we are out here playing and giving the fans what they want to see, and I would not try and hurt the quarterback of their team. And I dang sure wouldn’t celebrate about it.”

Extra points

Fullback Chris Ogbonnaya ran sprints Monday, but he has yet to be cleared to practice after suffering a concussion Thursday, Chudzinski said. Tight ends MarQueis Gray and Gary Barnidge have been practicing in his spot. … Chudzinski said wide receiver Greg Little will continue to return kickoffs, though the team will also look at running back Fozzy Whittaker in that role. … Starting right outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (sprained left knee), backup outside linebacker Quentin Groves (high-ankle sprain) and backup defensive end Billy Winn (strained quadriceps) did not practice Monday. Sheard, who wore a brace on his left knee, and Groves worked out on the side with a trainer. Winn sounded as if he’ll try to practice this week. “Everything’s coming along great,” Winn said. “I’m just really eager to get out there.” … The Browns re-signed wide receiver Josh Cooper to the practice squad and released linebacker Justin Staples. Cooper practiced Monday.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at

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