With the offseason departure of Sammy Watkins, the Kansas Chiefs entered the season with questions about who would emerge as the team's No. 2 wide receiver behind Tyreek Hill.
A familiar NFL name could end up being a surprise candidate. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Monday that Josh Gordon is signing with the Chiefs after being reinstated by the NFL from his latest substance-abuse suspension. Gordon later confirmed Schefter's report on Twitter.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Gordon will initially join the Chiefs practice squad to work up to game speed after not playing in an NFL game since the 2019 season.
The NFL suspended Gordon in January after he reportedly broke the terms of a conditional reinstatement from a previous suspension for violating the league's substance abuse and PED policy. He had previously been suspended by either the NFL or his team eight times during his football career.
Can Gordon produce in Kansas City?
Gordon last played for the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks in 2019 before the NFL banned him in December of that season. The Seahawks were interested in re-signing Gordon upon his reinstatement, but he'll end up in Kansas City instead.
At his best, Gordon was one of the NFL's most explosive weapons. In his second NFL season in 2013, Gordon tallied a league-best 95 catches for 1,646 yards along with nine touchdowns for the Cleveland Browns. But substance-abuse struggles tamped his availability and production. Gordon's missed several stints since 2014 while serving his suspensions including the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons. He's not approached his 2013 production since.
He played 11 games during the 2019 season with the Patriots and Seahawks, tallying 27 catches for 426 yards and a touchdown in six games with New England and five with Seattle. The Seahawks signed Gordon that season after a midseason waiver by the Patriots.
With Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson failing to establish themselves as clear-cut No. 2 options on the wide receiver depth chart, Gordon, 30, will find opportunity in the Patrick Mahomes-led offense. But his history since breaking out with the Browns repeatedly suggests that expectations around his performance should be curbed.