Seahawks coach Pete Carroll insisted Thursday afternoon the team has no idea if or when receiver Josh Gordon will be reinstated by the NFL.
His re-signing by the Seahawks earlier in the day, Carroll said, simply marked a good time to get the receiver officially back on the roster.
“We don’t know exactly how this is going to roll out,” Carroll said after the team officially announced the signing. “But we thought this was the best time to do it and we’ll see what happens. We are all just kind of keeping our fingers crossed he’s going to be able to play soon.”
Gordon’s signing led to optimism that the Seahawks will soon get clarity on Gordon’s situation, and that he will be able to play for the Seahawks this season.
The signing of Gordon, first revealed Thursday morning in a tweet from Gordon’s agent, David Canter, had long been anticipated as the Seahawks said when he was indefinitely suspended last December that they’d bring him back if there was a chance he could play.
Gordon was suspended on Dec. 16 for violating the league’s policies on substances of abuse and performance-enhancing drugs.
The NFL Network reported Gordon signed a one-year deal that could top the $1 million mark “upon reinstatement.”
A report from Jay Glazer last December stated Gordon is likely to be suspended for at least two more games to fulfill an expected six-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He could be further suspended for the other violation, but that obviously is just conjecture until the league rules.
“Right now we don’t have any indication,” Carroll said. “We don’t have word on that.”
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported there could be good news soon for Gordon tweeting: “I’m told his reinstatement process is going very well.” Because of that, Fowler reported “Seattle got cranking on this” Wednesday night and the sides were able to get the contract done Thursday morning.
Gordon was placed on the team’s 80-man roster Thursday, and the Seahawks will obviously love to get clarity before they have to make cuts to get down to 53 by Saturday at 1 p.m. If Gordon is suspended for a few games, he will not count against the 53-man roster until he is able to play.
If Gordon is immediately eligible he will join a suddenly crowded race for the team’s third receiver role after Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
Phillip Dorsett II signed in March as the presumptive favorite for that spot but has been slowed by a sore foot the last few weeks of camp, though he returned to practice on Tuesday.
The Seahawks signed Paul Richardson this week to compete for that role, but he has had just three practices and did not do any team drills until Thursday with Carroll frankly saying that “it’s been tough for Paul. He just hadn’t had a chance yet. … Just wasn’t much of a ramp up for him to show where he is.”
David Moore has filled the third receiver role with Dorsett out and Carroll praised his play this summer on Thursday, saying “he’s had a strong camp. He was very solid throughout.”
Moore has a one-year nonguaranteed contract worth $2.13 million, a salary-cap number that is the highest of any receiver other than Lockett, which has led to speculation about his future and whether the team could look to reduce that salary.
The suspension last year was Gordon’s seventh by the league and eighth overall, according to the official list of his transactions provided by the Seahawks last year, which led to vast speculation that Gordon’s career could be over.
But he stayed in Seattle for much of the offseason and worked out with Seahawks players and hinted several times on social media he hoped to return to the team.
Carroll said he kept in contact with Gordon throughout the offseason.
“I’ve seen nothing but a guy who really wants to make a life of this NFL experience,” Carroll said. “… He’s just done everything that he could have done. There’s been no issues, no problems. Nothing.
“… He’s had issues (in the past), but he has been a terrific young man in all of our exchanges, and so I’m really pleased to have a chance to give him an opportunity again.”
Gordon played in five games for the Seahawks last year with seven catches for 139 yards after he was claimed when the Patriots waived him.
He was suspended following a game at Carolina in which his 58-yard reception helped fuel a 30-24 win.
ESPN has reported that Gordon’s relapse came in the wake of his brother’s death last fall.
Gordon, who turned 29 in April, was a first team All-Pro pick in 2013 when he led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards on 87 receptions.
But his career was hamstrung by a variety of suspensions, including missing all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
He had 27 receptions for 426 yards in 11 games combined last season with the Seahawks and Patriots.
Gordon became a free agent following the season as the Seahawks had claimed the remainder of his one-year deal with the Patriots.
Gordon’s suspension came a few days after he had told a group of reporters that he hoped to re-sign with the Seahawks saying he was “fortunate” to have landed in an organization as supportive as the Seahawks.
“Absolutely,” he said then of hoping he could stay in Seattle. “I mean, that’s my hope, thinking optimistically. I think that’s anybody’s goal, any player’s goal, to try to find a place you can call home in all aspects.”
Damontre Moore signs to add DL depth
The Seahawks also signed free-agent defensive end Damontre Moore.
To make room for Gordon and Moore on the roster the Seahawks waived receiver Seth Dawkins and end Pita Taumoepenu.
Moore had a workout with the Seahawks earlier this week and will help fill in the depth at defensive end where they have lost Branden Jackson, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this week due to concerns over a spinal issue that could endanger his career.
The Seahawks are still waiting for rookie second-round pick Darrell Taylor to come off the non-football injury list. He’s recovering from surgery last January to insert a rod in his leg to repair a stress fracture.
Carroll said there is no specific timeline for when Taylor will return and said that “it’s a real possibility” he will start the year on the NFI list, which would require missing at least at least the first six games.
Moore, 27, played four games for the Seahawks in 2016 after entering the league as a third-round pick of the Giants in 2013. He has since played for the Cowboys, Raiders and 49ers, seeing two games with San Francisco last season before suffering a forearm injury that ended his season.
“He really has a chance to help us right now,” Carroll said. “Without Darrell Taylor for a little bit longer we needed another guy in the rotation, and Damontre has always impressed me as with his effort in chase of the football. He’s got a great motor.”
The Seahawks hosted former offensive lineman Justin Britt for a tryout this week, but it remains unclear if he will sign.