Gordon Offered a Tender from Pats
The Josh Gordon era in New England might not be over.
A restricted free agent, Gordon has been given an original-round tender by the Patriots, according to multiple reports.
The Boston Globe first reported the news.
Gordon will receive a one-year contract worth $2.025 million upon his reinstatement from suspension. Because Gordon is a restricted free agent, any team that signs him would need to send a second-round pick (the round in which Gordon was drafted) to New England as compensation.
Additionally, the Patriots placed a second-round tender on cornerback Jonathan Jones, a source confirmed.
Gordon, who in December was suspended indefinitely for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the league’s substance abuse policy, wrote “Thank You, Patriots” on his Instagram account.
Prior to the suspension, Gordon excelled in New England’s offense. He consistently turned eight-yard slant routes into 18-yard gains with his prolific run-after-catch ability. Gordon compiled 40 catches for 720 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games with the Patriots. He was the first Patriots receiver to average 18 yards per reception since David Patten in 2004.
Talented as Gordon was, the Patriots adjusted without him and found a groove offensively in the playoffs. Gordon watched from afar as the Pats captured their sixth Super Bowl.
“He’s a really good person,” Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett said in the week leading up Super Bowl LIII. “We got real close ... I mean, it’s hard to not be close to the player. We see these guys every day. We see these guys more than we see our wives sometimes. It’s hard not to be close to another player. He sat next to me. I tried to help him with the transition because I was in his shoes last year coming to a new team and not knowing anything. Not knowing the playbook having to learn it on the fly, and he learned it. He learned it, and he really did a good job with it.”
The NFL has not yet announced the specifics of Gordon’s suspension. He remains sidelined indefinitely, but could be reinstated at some point before or during the 2019 season. His salary for 2019 is not guaranteed.
On the second-round tender, Jones will make $3.095 million in the 2019 season. He’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2020.
If another team wants to sign Jones this offseason, they’ll need to give the Patriots a second-round pick as compensation.
An undrafted free agent out of Auburn in 2016, Jones fended off other talented young cornerbacks for a spot on the roster. His special teams ability helped him get on the field early in his career.
Jones began assuming slot cornerback duties during the 2017 season. Due to his 4.33 speed, Jones was trusted to cover Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill in the AFC Championship Game.
He then played safety as part of Bill Belichick’s gameplan in Super Bowl LIII.
The Pats are in solid shape at cornerback next season. Stephon Gilmore is coming off a first-team All-Pro season, and J.C. Jackson emerged as a starter late in the year. Jones is a solid No. 3. Duke Dawson and Keion Crossen will look to make progress in their second seasons.
Jason McCourty and Eric Rowe are unrestricted free agents.