Josh Gordon is just 30 years old, but it has been almost a decade since his breakout 2013 season, for which he was named a First-Team All-Pro. He led the NFL in receiving yards that season for the Cleveland Browns, catching 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.
He’s struggled to keep himself on the field and eligible to play in the nine seasons since. He missed three of those year completely, and has just 33 games in the six other seasons under his belt. He topped out at 12 with the Browns and New England Patriots in 2018.
Gordon was once again out of football in 2020, after finishing 2019 with the Seattle Seahawks. Even with all of his personal struggles and general unavailability, Gordon has the deep respect of many of the NFL’s best players. One of them: his new Kansas City Chiefs teammate Tyrann Mathieu.
The Honey Badger plays a hybrid role for the Chiefs, as he did with the Arizona Cardinals years ago. He’s gone up against just about every type of player that you can imagine, so when he says that Josh Gordon reminds him of Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson, that carries some serious weight.
After practicing against him for 1 day, Tyrann Mathieu had an interesting comparison for WR Josh Gordon. "He kind of reminds me of Calvin Johnson, just the way he's built . . . From what I've seen, he's a helluva football player.''
— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) September 30, 2021
Gordon is the same kind of freakishly athletic, physically dominant wide receiver that Megatron was. The newest Chief is listed at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds. Johnson is 6-foot-5, 237.
Johnson, of course, missed just nine NFL games during his career, before his abrupt retirement. Availability was never his issue. Gordon has a long way to prove that he can finish his career strong and be a week-in, week-out factor for a team.
Right now, he has to play his way off the Chiefs practice squad. Andy Reid has said that he expects that to take a few weeks. If he does, though, and looks something like the Josh Gordon that remember, a scary Kansas City offense could get even scarier.