RENTON — The Seahawks have added a big wide receiver in name and in stature, landing Josh Gordon off the NFL waiver wire on Friday.
Gordon played in six games for the New England Patriots this season, posting 20 catches for 287 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots released Gordon on Thursday. He hadn’t played since being knocked out of a game on Oct. 10 with a knee injury.
“He’s a unique talent,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday.
Gordon will not play in the Seahawks’ home game Sunday against Tampa Bay, and Carroll said he wasn’t certain about the status of the receiver’s knee.
The Patriots had placed Gordon on the injured reserve with a “minor injury designation.”
“I don’t know physically how he’s doing right now, other than he’s OK, is what we’ve heard,” Carroll said.
Carroll said he was surprised Gordon was available to the Seahawks, which meant 27 other teams who had a higher wavier priority passed on the chance to claim the embattled receiver. Teams with the worst records have the highest waiver claims, meaning 0-7 Miami and 0-8 Cincinnati have the No. 1 and No. 2 priority, respectively.
That Gordon fell so far down the list without being claimed speaks at least in part to his checkered past.
Gordon, 28, was suspended indefinitely last December for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement under the NFL’s drug policy. His suspension was lifted in August.
He was arrested in July 2014 for driving while impaired in North Carolina. He spent 2015 and 2016 out of the NFL while serving multiple suspensions for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Gordon began his college career at Baylor. While there, he was arrested in October 2010 for possession of marijuana. Baylor suspended him indefinitely after he had reportedly failed a drug test.
Gordon transferred to Utah but never played for the Utes. He was dismissed from the Utah program after failing another drug test.
The Cleveland Browns selected him in the second round of the NFL’s 2012 supplemental draft.
Listed at 6-feet-3 and 225 pounds, Gordon has more than 4,000 career receiving yards and 20 touchdowns over six years in the NFL, the first four-plus spent in Cleveland. Gordon was a first-team All-Pro in 2013, his second season, when he had 87 receptions for a league-best 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.
“He’s done a lot of good stuff and made a lot of good plays, so we’ll find out more next week,” Carroll said. “I’ve said it a million times to you guys that we’re always looking for guys who have something special about him. But we need to find out, so we’ll take a look next week and see what that means.”
That the Seahawks were willing to take a risk on Gordon speaks to his ability. And after a quiet trade deadline, Russell Wilson has another weapon to accompany Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
“Welcome Flash. Time to put in this work!” Wilson wrote on Twitter.
Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister and cornerback Jamar Taylor were teammates of Gordon’s at previous NFL stops, Hollister in New England and Taylor in Cleveland.
“From what I saw, he was an awesome guy — down to earth and works his butt off,” Hollister said Friday afternoon. “Obviously, a really talented guy, so we’re excited about that. … He brings a lot to the table. He’s a specimen. He’s a tall, athletic dude. And on the outside, he creates mismatches in a lot of ways.”
Added Taylor: “He was a good friend of mine (in Cleveland). … I think he’ll be good for our wide receiver room. He’ll learn some things from T-Lock, he’ll learn some things from JB and all those guys. And, again, it’s somebody that can help out DK. You’ve got a big guy like that, they’re both similar. He can teach him how he catches the ball and releases and all stuff like that. So I think he’ll bring up everybody’s game.”
The Seahawks have eight wide receivers on the 53-man roster: Gordon, Lockett, Metcalf, Jaron Brown, David Moore, Malik Turner, John Ursua and Gary Jennings.
It would seem unlikely they would carry eight receivers on the roster for long. Ursua, a rookie, has appeared in just one game this season, and was a healthy inactive in the other seven. Jennings, another rookie, has been inactive for every game this season.
To make room for Gordon, the Seahawks released linebacker Dekoda Watson, who was signed as a free agent earlier this week.
The Seahawks will pick up the remainder of Gordon’s one-year deal worth $2.05 million. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
- Safety Quandre Diggs, acquired in a trade with Detroit last week, is not expected to play Sunday against Tampa Bay, missing his second consecutive game with the Seahawks because of a hamstring injury. Carroll said the injury is worse than the Seahawks thought it was when they made the trade. “He had some blood drained from his hammy to give him more relief, which was a really good deal. He should be able to bounce back,” Carroll said.
- It is possible veteran tight end Ed Dickson could be activated from the injured reserve before Sunday’s game, but Carroll said that determination likely won’t be made until Saturday. Dickson had knee surgery in August and “did fine,” Carroll said, in his first full week of practice this week.
- Along with Diggs, defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson (oblique) and safety Lano Hill (elbow) are listed as doubtful for Sunday. No other players were listed on the Seahawks’ injury report Friday.
- Tampa Bay tight end O.J. Howard, the subject of trade rumors earlier this week, has been ruled out for Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.