By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We have quite a game of what if on our hands with this one. According to an ESPN report, there was a trade on the table prior to the 2013 season that would have sent Nick Foles to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for wide receiver Josh Gordon.
The report states that the Eagles turned down the deal because despite choosing Michael Vick as the starting quarterback, they were still high on the potential of Foles.
Gordon, was forced to sit out the first two games of that season due to a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Despite the two games off, Gordon had an impressive year in 2013 posting 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.
Those numbers sent Gordon to a Pro Bowl.
The Eagles level of interest in Gordon more than likely was not incredibly high considering the fact that they did not pull the trigger, but it makes sense that they entertained it considering the fact that Jeremy Maclin had suffered an injury that sidelined him for the entire season.
Foles obviously got his chance eventually after Vick relinquished his starting spot due to an injury. Foles took over the reins and never let go.
He also earned a trip to the Pro Bowl that season.
It seems like the Eagles made the right call in this scenario. The passing game was not an issue in 2013. DeSean Jackson had himself a solid season and Riley Cooper exceeded expectations and earned himself a new deal with the team.
It also worked out nicely having Foles behind Vick as Foles wound up leading the Eagles to a playoff appearance. Hard to say that Matt Barkley would have been able to do the same thing.
Since that time, Gordon has not spent a lot of time making headlines on the football field. Most of the talk surrounding him occurs off the field and judging from the Eagles culture first philosophy, Gordon may not have been a good fit.
Gordon was suspended for the entire 2014 season after being arrested for driving while impaired. He had that suspension reduced and played in five games in 2014.
More news popped up this January as Gordon tested positive for alcohol, a violation of the terms of his return. Gordon is facing a suspension for the entire 2015 season.
The interesting question is, would playing in Philadelphia have altered the course of events for Gordon. The Eagles often compliment their own culture and what speaks to a team’s culture better than taking in a player and molding him into a team-first guy?
They say hindsight is 20/20. On the surface, it seems like the Eagles made the right call in hindsight, but it’s always fun to play what if.