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Monday, October 28, 2013
On the Josh Gordon trade rumors

By Pat McManamon

With the trade deadline fewer than 24 hours away, Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski repeated the team's oft-stated position that Josh Gordon is not being shopped.

“We have no plans of trading any of our guys, including Josh," Chudzinski said.

He added: "We're not shopping them."

He should be taken at his word. But the key word is "plans," because even though the Browns may not be "shopping" players per se, they are listening when people call.

This simply makes sense. Why would any team preclude itself from improvement by refusing to listen to a trade offer? Especially when the offer is for a guy who has a sword of suspension hanging over his head. A team never knows, for instance, if a first-round pick is available for a player. That is what led the Browns to trade Trent Richardson -- the Colts needed a back and called and offered a first-round pick. The Browns were not shopping Richardson; they simply listened and took an offer they thought was too good to pass up. The team is further empowered to listen because Gordon faces a one-year suspension if he violates the league's substance abuse policy again.

Gordon, though, is far and away the best player on the Browns offense. The team lacks a running game, and his abilities at receiver make him the offense's best weapon. If he's traded, the offense would have glaring needs in the short-term and into the future.

The Browns know this, which is why it will continue to take a major offer -- perhaps even a first-round pick -- to pry Gordon from the Browns.