It's a tale as old as time ... or at least it feels like it.
Not long ago, the Raiders were expected to have one of the better offensive arsenals in the NFL. Antonio Brown was going to be the dynamic receiver that would bring the best out of quarterback Derek Carr, while Tyrell Williams feasted as opponents were occupied with his superstar teammate.
That, of course, went out the window when Brown had a meltdown prior to Week 1, demanding the Raiders release him after an offseason filled with so many shenanigans that even network TV would refuse to greenlight the pilot.
The Raiders' receiving corps never recovered, as head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have spent the last seven weeks trying to put together a receiving unit that resembles something that should be feared. Trevor Davis and Zay Jones have been brought in, but neither has the star talent to fill the hole left by Brown.
Another opportunity for the Raiders to boost that beleaguered unit might have come Wednesday when the New England Patriots placed wideout Josh Gordon on injured reserve with the intent to waive him when he becomes healthy in a week or two.
If the bone bruises in his knee are cleared up, the Raiders should pounce on Gordon the second he hits the open market. There's no reason not to.
Gordon, 29, has battled substance-abuse issues during his NFL career, but he has worked to better himself since coming over to the Patriots last season. By all accounts, he was as all-in as one could be in New England. He re-aggravated the knee injury while chasing down a defender who was in the process of returning a fumble for a touchdown. If that doesn't scream Patriot Way then what does?
He always gave his all in New England and is committed to keeping his life on track.
The Baylor product would give the Raiders another credible weapon opposite Williams and tight end Darren Waller. The addition of a healthy Gordon would take the Raiders from a team that trotted out Davis, Keelan Doss, Hunter Renfrow and Marcell Ateman against the Packers, to one that features Williams, Gordon and Waller, three players with big-play capability. The ability to force the defenses to respect the deep threat of their receivers also would make life easier on rookie running back Josh Jacobs, who has had the offense tailored around him since Brown's exit.
Raiders offensive lineman Trent Brown, who played with Gordon in New England, already is on the recruiting trail.
This season with the Patriots, Gordon caught 20 passes for 287 yards and one score while battling knee and thumb issues. The Patriots' decision to move on from Gordon is all about his inability to be healthy now and how that has affected his conditioning, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
But it looks like he should be ready soon.
Source says Patriots WR Josh Gordon expects to be medically cleared soon, and that his knee injury is "minor". I was told he ran 22 MPH on the treadmill during a rehab session today.
Once he's cleared, he hopes to be released off of IR and sign with a new team.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 23, 2019
When healthy, Gordon remains one of the league's most dynamic threats and could help a Raiders team in the thick of the AFC playoff race right away.
There's no reason not to bring him in. They should even overpay in order to get him in the building if they have to.