Josh Gordon could have gone back to Kansas City as a member of the Chiefs practice squad. But when the Tennessee Titans reached out to the veteran receiver, he felt like it was the right opportunity.
“Me and my agent had to get together and circle around and see who was interested at first,” Gordon said. “We knew the Chiefs wanted me to re-sign, but there was more opportunity I believe here in Tennessee. Coach (Mike) Vrabel expressed that they would extend an opportunity, so I took advantage of it.”
Gordon, 31, has had a checkered NFL career, having battled substance abuse issues in the past that cost him two full seasons in 2015-16. He has been in the NFL since 2012 and has bounced from Cleveland to New England, then Seattle and spent last year with the Chiefs after being out the Covid year of 2020.
Still, Gordon believes he can come in and help a Titans receiving corps that is filled with plenty of new faces. Add to that that deep threat Racey McMath went on injured reserve last week with a hip injury, and the chance is there for the veteran to contribute. While sitting at his locker, Gordon was busy on an iPad studying his Titans plays.
“If I do my job right and do what the coaches ask me to do, I hope by the end of it, I’ll get the opportunity to be out there and show the Titans fans what I can do and this team, show them what I can do and contribute,” Gordon said.
Vrabel said he is excited to add Gordon to the mix.
“I’ve had some great interactions with him so far, and with his professionalism. He seems like he’s excited to be here, and we’ll see where he is as we make it to the end of the week,” Vrabel said.
Gordon already had one friend in the Titans locker room prior to his arrival. He trained some this off-season with Derrick Henry in Dallas and is looking forward to having the star running back as his teammate.
“I did some off-season training down in Dallas with (Derrick) Henry, and obviously, everybody knows he’s a grinder. He was motivating me, and he didn’t even know it when I was in Kansas City. I know the work ethic guys like him put in,” Gordon said.
The move to Tennessee came swiftly for Gordon, but once he got to Nashville, Henry greeted him in the Titans locker room.
“It happened so fast, I didn’t even have a chance to notify my own mom and my own family. It was a whirlwind, and happened pretty quick, but luckily it did,” he said. “Since I’ve gotten here, he reached out to me, shook my hand and gave me a hug and said it was good to have me here. I’m excited to be honest, to be able to work with a running back like that to help open up the passing game.”
Gordon also knows guard Jamarco Jones from their days together with Seattle. He is getting acclimated to the Titans locker room as he finds his way around.
“It seems like a good group of guys and I look forward to working with them,” he said.
By signing Gordon to the practice squad first, he represents a low-risk, possible high reward for the Titans, who don’t have to guarantee his season salary, if he is a practice squad addition in week one. As for his past demons, Gordon says he is in a good place right now..
“Life is going well right now. I can’t complain. I’m blessed to have these opportunities I’ve been given to stay in the league as long as I have and to stay active, stay in shape, stay healthy. I’ve been blessed and fortunate, and I look forward to each time out there with my head held high,” he said.