Dark Horse Landing Spots for Josh Gordon Following Potential Release From Patriots

Max Staley
New England Patriots v Detroit Lions
New England Patriots v Detroit Lions / Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The New England Patriots sent Josh Gordon to IR on Wednesday afternoon. The move came as a surprise to many, as there was little indication that Gordon's knee injury could jeopardize his season.

In fact, Gordon was reportedly hoping to return in the coming weeks, which makes the decision all the more puzzling.

However, if and when Gordon is released, he will be eligible to sign with a new team as a free agent, if he clears waivers. With that in mind, here are four dark horse teams that Gordon could end up with.

1. San Francisco 49ers

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

If Gordon is looking to make a statement in free agency, there's no better team to join than the San Francisco 49ers. Along with the Patriots, they're the only other undefeated team in the NFL and just happen to be quarterbacked by Tom Brady's former backup, Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers are also a WR-needy team, as evidenced by their recent acquisition of Emmanuel Sanders. San Francisco has more than enough cap space to make this work, and Gordon could provide depth and field-stretching ability to a team that sorely needs it.

2. Baltimore Ravens

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Lamar Jackson has been everything the Baltimore Ravens could've asked for, and more, this season. He's on pace to pass for more than 3,750 yards and rush for 1,317, which would shatter the NFL's single-season rushing record by a QB (1,039 yards), set by Michael Vick in 2006. While Jackson has been fantastic, he doesn't have many established pass-catchers outside of TE Mark Andrews and rookie Marquise Brown (who hasn't produced much since his Week 1 explosion). Gordon was also college teammates with Baltimore's backup QB, Robert Griffin III, at Baylor, and could add another dynamic weapon to Baltimore's arsenal.

3. Houston Texans

The Houston Texans are clearly all in, having traded three of their first four picks in the 2020 NFL Draft for upgrades this season. Signing Gordon wouldn't require losing a draft pick, likely a welcome change for Houston, and he'd be a great insurance policy for Will Fuller, who has historically battled injuries and is currently dealing with a hamstring ailment. Gordon is still an effective downfield threat, and he'd likely be a dangerous pairing alongside DeAndre Hopkins for QB Deshaun Watson.

4. Dallas Cowboys

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Another Texas-based team (Gordon is from Houston) that could be in need of a WR is the Dallas Cowboys. Michael Gallup has already missed two games this season, and Amari Cooper has been a mainstay on the team's injury report. This would be a bit of a homecoming for Gordon, and he'd be a significant upgrade over Randall Cobb and Devin Smith. Plus, we've seen the Cowboys sign players with off-field issues in the past.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.