In Sunday’s 49ers victory over the Detroit Lions, San Francisco’s wide receivers had trouble getting open deep downfield.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 18 passes, but only six were to wideouts. Pierre Garcon (four catches for 57 yards), Dante Pettis (one for 35) and Kendrick Bourne (one for 4 yards and a touchdown) had the only receptions. Running backs, tight ends and fullback Kyle Jusczyk pulled in the other dozen throws.
So it’s not a surprise that a day after beating the Lions 30-27, the 1-1 49ers reportedly are considering trying to acquire former Browns wideout Josh Gordon.
Gordon, a gifted player, no longer fits into Cleveland’s plans, and that team announced it planned to release Gordon Monday if it could not find any trade partners for him.
Niners general manager John Lynch told reporters before Sunday’s game that he and head coach Kyle Shanahan always are open to finding ways to making the team better, and he and his staff are doing “due diligence” in studying Gordon. Lynch said he had made a call to the Browns to inquire about Gordon.
Gordon, 27, came into the NFL in 2012 as a second-round pick. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder has had extreme highs and lows in the league. In 2013 he was first-team All-Pro after leading the NFL with 1,646 yards on 87 catches. In 2015 he was suspended the entire season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He came back in 2017 but caught just 18 passes over 12 games. This season, he played in the season opener and caught one pass for 17 yards and a touchdown.
With Marquise Goodwin still sidelined by an injury in Game 1, Gordon would add a big dose of talent and experience to the 49ers wide receiving corps and give Garoppolo a talented, big target.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has reported the Browns are expected to make a deal for Gordon Monday for “legit” compensation. A team would be able to lock up Gordon if it can get him before he’s released. If he’s released he becomes an unrestricted free agent and fair game for any team. Josina Anderson of ESPN reported eight to 10 teams have talked to the Browns about a trade for Gordon.
The Browns apparently have decided to move on from Gordon after Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported he showed up to the team’s facility Saturday “not himself.”
Cabot wrote that Gordon reported an injury to one of his hamstrings, but she wrote: “Team doctors examined him and in addition to the tweaked hamstring, there was concern that perhaps he was struggling again with his sobriety or on the verge of relapsing, sources said.”
After beating Detroit, the 49ers will try to get win No. 2 this Sunday against the Chiefs in Kansas City. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m.