Why did the Chiefs sign Josh Gordon? Andy Reid explains signing oft-suspended former star

A different kind of “Flash” back.

Josh Gordon is looking to, once again, turn back the clock and become a game-changing wideout, this time with the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The wide receiver showcased dominance and a ton of potential earlier in his career, but the issue with that is, that was a lot earlier in his career: In 2013, Gordon had an absolutely monster year, but he has never been able to replicate his success on the field since then. Gordon has dealt with substance abuse issues for the better part of his career, leading to a few short stints with the Seahawks and Patriots in recent years.

Gordon is getting yet another bite at the NFL apple this Sunday night: After a short stint on the practice squad, the Chiefs recently signed Gordon to the active roster, again extending his NFL leash, 

Once again, another team is banking on Gordon’s potential — even at his “advanced” football age. Here’s why:

Why did the Chiefs sign Josh Gordon?

Andy Reid and the Chiefs offense are banking on a few different things for the Josh Gordon situation to work out. Talent and scheme fit the chief two.

There’s no denying that Gordon, who put together a 1,646 yard season in 2013 (in just 14 games), is an uber-talented receiver. His physical traits, when healthy and on the field, are second to none. That’s a big part of why Gordon is getting another shot in the league.

In a more football-centric aspect of the plan: The Chiefs need the help on the outside. With Tyreek Hill running deep and Travis Kelce occupying the middle of the field, Gordon can fit into the underneath and intermediate-route role left vacated by Sammy Watkins. Mecole Hardman, former second-round pick, has a different skillset — and very different physical traits — to what either Hill or Gordon offer, and hasn’t exactly taken that next step as a receiver just yet.

KC’s original plan was for the Chiefs to wait on Gordon to really get up to speed and in shape, which is why he hadn’t played vs. Philadelphia. Gordon’s game-shape and quick learning of the playbook, though, had him quickly elevated to the 53-man roster, with a chance to play this Sunday night vs. the Bills.

“He’s very smart and has picked things up quickly,” Reid said. “Now, he’s had a little flavor of the offense when he was in Cleveland, so he understands some of the language.”

“I’ve had a chance to talk to a bunch of people that have coached him, played with him, he’s a good kid. We all have our issues and he was working through those things. More power to him.”

Reid added that the NFL feels like Gordon has done a good job of keeping himself in good standing with the league and its policies over the last eight months, which should quell thoughts of another looming suspension.

With the Chiefs looking to continue stretching the field, Patrick Mahomes praised Gordon’s physical traits and capabilities following news of the signing.

“Like you said, he’s a big receiver — even when he’s covered he’s not covered,” Mahomes said recently. “You can kind of throw it up there, and he can make plays.”

Mahomes expounded:

“I mean how fast he is, how big he is, the way he’s able to get in and out of cuts. I’ve been able to throw to him a little bit here and now kind of off to the side a little bit and I think we’ll try to do whatever we can to bring him up to speed as quickly as possible and try to utilize his skill set.”

Should Gordon stay healthy, then the next evolution of the Chiefs offense could be its most powerful yet.

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