Josh Gordon's tenure in Cleveland ends with trade to Patriots

The Cleveland Browns have traded talented but troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots.

In return, the Browns will get a 2019 fifth-round pick, while the Pats will get a 2019 seventh-round pick from the Browns if Gordon is not active for 10 games, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

At least eight to 10 teams called the Browns inquiring about potentially trading for Gordon, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson reporting, after the Browns announced Saturday that they intended to release Gordon on Monday.

The Patriots will pay Gordon the remaining $697,058 on his 2018 contract. Gordon will be a restricted free agent after the season, and New England can tender him.

To make room for Gordon on the roster, the Patriots released wide receiver Corey Coleman. The Patriots have now made 28 transactions involving a wide receiver since the start of the new league year in March, tied with the Denver Broncos for the most in the NFL in that span.

Cleveland's preference had been to trade Gordon to an NFC team, a source told Schefter on Sunday.

"I think (general manager) John (Dorsey) got the best deal that he could get," Cleveland coach Hue Jackson said Monday in announcing the trade. "(Gordon's) gone now, and we're gonna move on and coach the team that's here and get our team ready to play Thursday night."

The Browns on Saturday provided no details behind their decision to part ways with Gordon, but a source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Saturday that Gordon broke the team's "trust" when he reported to the facility Saturday with a hamstring issue after being a full participant in practice all week. The source said there were other "mitigating factors" inclusive of current and past incidents.

"There were things that we do not want to have happen here," Jackson said. "And we made a decision that this is best for our football team moving forward."

Despite his hamstring issue, Gordon is considered healthy enough to play Sunday for the Patriots against the Detroit Lions, a source told Schefter.

"Huge s/o to the city of Cleveland," Gordon wrote in an Instagram story posted Saturday. "This place will always feel like home to me.. I'm extremely honored and blessed to have been able to grow up and start a life amongst such a passionate and motivated group of individuals.. It's been a hell of a journey with you guys. I wish all of you nothing but the best.. Thanks to the @ClevelandBrowns organization for having me, I'll never forget my time here.

"Same book, next chapter.."

He ended the post by writing, "P.S. Anybody need a deep threat WR??"

Gordon's immense talent has been overshadowed by substance abuse that has derailed a promising career. He has been suspended by the NFL for most of the past four seasons because of multiple drug violations, and the Browns have been supportive of him for years as he has tried to turn things around.

Gordon, 27, missed three weeks of training camp this summer to undergo counseling and treatment, and he recently said he was in a good place mentally and physically.

"Fundamentally, we wouldn't want to bring a player onto our team that wouldn't be able to help our team," Patriots coach Bill Belichick told WEEI late Monday afternoon when asked about the team's history of taking chances on players. "Obviously, they don't all work out, but that's the intent."

Though he didn't want to say much before Gordon arrived in the locker room, Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett raved about Gordon's talent.

"I think it's obviously known that he's a freakish athlete," Dorsett said. "We see what he does when he's on the field, so I guess I'll leave it at that for now."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also weighed in on one of the game's most talented players in his weekly Westwood One interview on "Monday Night Football."

"I hate to make projections and expectations," Brady said of Gordon's off-field issues. "That's not fair. I've never met Josh personally, just like I hadn't met some of the guys that have come in the last couple of weeks. We'll see how it goes this week. Hopefully, he can work hard and put the team first and end up helping us in any role that he can find for himself on the team."

The Browns declared Gordon out for Week 2 because of a hamstring injury and left him in Cleveland before the team departed for New Orleans for Sunday's loss to the Saints. Gordon had not been on the injury report all week.

A source told Schefter that Gordon hurt the hamstring at a promotional shoot, not at practice. The event was not sponsored by the team but was for a line of products, possibly clothing, that the wide receiver was endorsing, the source said.

Week 1's tie against Pittsburgh, in which he caught a game-tying, 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, was Gordon's first appearance in a Week 1 game since his rookie season in 2012.

Gordon has not played in a game that his team has won since Nov. 23, 2014, when the Browns beat the Falcons 26-24.

Gordon emerged as one of pro football's most dynamic players in 2013, when he led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns. Gordon missed the 2015 season because of a drug suspension and opted to spend 2016 in rehab.

Veteran Patriots safety Duron Harmon recalled facing Gordon in the 2013 season, when Gordon had seven catches for 151 yards and one touchdown for the Browns in a 27-26 loss to New England.

"He had a breakaway slant against [Aqib] Talib that showed the speed and athleticism, [and] a lot of good catches with Talib all on him," Harmon said. "We all know what type of player he is. Hopefully, he will come here and does a lot of those plays for us."

Gordon sat out the first 11 games last year before returning for Cleveland's final five games.

The Browns selected Gordon in the 2012 supplemental draft despite his background of drug use at Baylor.