Seahawks claim receiver Josh Gordon off waivers

RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks claimed former New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon off waivers Friday, adding what coach Pete Carroll calls a “unique talent” to their offense.

For Gordon, it’s a fresh start in a place he wants to be after he was released off injured reserve by New England on Thursday.

For first-half MVP candidate Russell Wilson, it’s another weapon to go along with Tyler Lockett and rookie DK Metcalf.

And for Carroll, it’s another chance on a talented player with a checkered past.

“I’ve said it a million times to you guys; we’re always looking for guys that have something special about him,” Carroll said. “We need to find out, so we’ll take a look next week and see what that means.”

Gordon won’t play for the Seahawks (6-2) on Sunday when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5) at CenturyLink Field. He’ll have an extra day to get acclimated ahead of the Seahawks’ Monday night game against the unbeaten San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Week 10, though Carroll made no assurances about Gordon beyond repeated mentions that the team will take “a look” at him next week.

“He’s done a lot of good stuff, made a lot of good plays and all that, so we’ll find out more next week,” Carroll said. “He won’t have anything to do with this game.”

Gordon, 28, had been playing through a left knee injury and was knocked out of the Patriots’ Oct. 10 win over the New York Giants when he injured the knee while attempting to make a tackle after a Patriots fumble.

The Patriots used the minor designation for his placement on injured reserve, signifying a lesser injury. That meant the team had to release him upon his return to health.

“I don’t know physically how he’s doing right now other than that he’s OK, is what we’ve heard,” Carroll said.

Gordon was subject to waivers upon his release Thursday, as is the case with all players released following the NFL’s trade deadline. A source told ESPN that Gordon considered the Seahawks a desired landing spot after his release. The Seahawks were 28th in waiver priority. Carroll said he was surprised that another team didn’t claim Gordon ahead of Seattle, and Wilson welcomed his new offensive threat on Twitter.

Gordon wrote on Instagram: “Looove This!” with a “gohawks” hashtag.

Gordon, who had 20 catches for 287 yards and a touchdown in six games with the Patriots this season, joins a crowded receiver group in Seattle, which was already carrying seven wide receivers on its active roster.

“He’s a big-play guy,” Carroll said. “He’s been able to really stretch the field, and those I know that have worked with him and coached him, they rave about his talent and playmaking ability.”

Seahawks players were just learning of the news about Gordon as they returned to the locker room following practice Friday. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks and nickelback Jamar Taylor, who know Gordon from their time together with the Cleveland Browns, spoke highly of him as a player and a person.

“He was a good friend of mine … good teammate,” Taylor said. “I never had a problem with him. Competed like crazy at practice with him. He’s big, fast, strong, can high-point the ball. He’s everything you want in a wide receiver. I think he’ll be good for our wide receiver room. He’ll learn some things from [Lockett], he’ll learn some things from [Jaron Brown] and all those guys, and again, it’s somebody that can help out [Metcalf]. You’ve got a big guy like that, they’re both similar. He can teach him how he catches the ball and releases and all stuff like that. So I think he’ll bring up everybody’s game.”

Said Kendricks: “He’s hella cool. I think he’ll do just fine here. He was cool, man. The kid is a good dude. I chopped it up with him a couple times while I was there. He just seemed like a super cool individual. Even when he was with the Patriots, I was happy for him because I know how much of a tremendous athlete he is and what he can do for a team. So the fact that we got him, it’s lit. It’s real lit.”

Gordon was suspended indefinitely last December for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement under the NFL’s drug policy. His suspension was lifted in August by commissioner Roger Goodell.

Gordon has been suspended several times by the NFL for violations of its drug policy since the Browns chose him in the 2012 supplemental draft. He was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season but still caught 87 passes for nine touchdowns and a league-leading 1,646 yards and was named to the All-Pro team. He missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons.

The Seahawks will inherit the remainder of Gordon’s $2.025 million salary as a restricted free agent, which is not guaranteed. He will become an unrestricted free agent after this season and could net Seattle a future compensatory pick if he signs elsewhere.

To make room for Gordon on the roster, the Seahawks released linebacker Dekoda Watson, whom they signed earlier this week.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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