On Wednesday morning, Patriots coach Bill Belichick refused to acknowledge the completion of the Josh Gordon trade, even though it had already been announced by both teams and published on the NFL’s transactions wire. As it turns out, the two sides were still haggling over the exact terms of the trade.
Initially, the Patriots agreed to send a fifth-round pick to the Browns in exchange for Gordon and a conditional seventh-round pick, with the condition being that the seventh-rounder would be conveyed only if Gordon was not active for ten games. Thanks to some last minute tinkering, the Patriots will receive the seventh-round pick regardless of how many games the wide receiver dresses for, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).
Reading between the lines, it sounds as though the Browns buckled under the threat that the Patriots would back out of the trade if the conditions of the seventh-round pick weren’t 86’d. That may be an indicator that no other club was willing to best New England’s revised offer.
Now that the trade is officially official, the Patriots will have Gordon available for Sunday’s game against the Lions. They’ll also have an extra seventh-round pick in their arsenal, one that either belongs to the Jaguars or Steelers. It won’t be the Browns’ original seventh-round choice, because that was shipped out to Miami in the Jarvis Landry trade.