Browns head of football operations Sashi Brown said Thursday the franchise isn't looking to trade former All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon, but he also conceded Gordon has a price tag like virtually every player in the NFL.
Well, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported the Browns' price for Gordon when other teams inquired about him recently was a second-round draft pick and then some.
"I don't think they're going to wind up dealing Gordon. I don't. They're not shopping him," Garafolo said Friday on the network. "But they did have conversations with teams, and I was told that their price for Gordon was a second-round pick and then some."
If true, the price would be the same as it was three years ago. And it would almost certainly be too steep for any team to pay at this point, given Gordon's off-field history.
In 2013, former Browns CEO Joe Banner received a trade offer from the San Francisco 49ers of a second-round selection and a player. But the Browns never executed the deal after former coach Rob Chudzinski vehemently protested it and owner Jimmy Haslam ultimately vetoed Banner.
Gordon is immensely talented, as evidenced by his NFL-leading 1,646 receiving yards in 2013. But he also has been suspended for 27 of the past 32 games because of recurring violations of the league's substance-abuse policy, and he'll begin the upcoming regular season by serving another four-game ban.
Still, Brown insisted Gordon is doing well off the field, he’s considered a dynamic piece of the offense and the organization isn’t interested in trading him.
ESPN reported earlier this week multiple teams inquired about the availability of Gordon.
“Listening [to trade offers] is probably a mischaracterization," Brown said Thursday. "We’ve said all we needed to say about it. We’re not looking to trade Josh."
Gordon, meanwhile, is expected to make his 2016 preseason debut when the Browns face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third preseason game beginning at 8 p.m. Friday at Raymond James Stadium.