The Patriots have acquired an All-Pro receiving target to play alongside tight end Rob Gronkowski and catch passes from Tom Brady by trading with the Browns for wide receiver Josh Gordon, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.
As Rapoport revealed, the deal is for a conditional fifth-round pick, which can mean a few different things.
A source told Schefter Gordon is "healthy enough from his strained hamstring to play Sunday vs. the Lions". Earlier in the day, the Browns announced Gordon was ruled out for the game because of a hamstring injury.
Josh Gordon could be a great asset for the Patriots | Source Ken Blaze-USA Today Sports
The Patriots emerged as both the betting favorites and real-world favorites for the 6-foot-3 Gordon early Monday, and struck a deal after the Browns announced they were done with the ultra-talented wideout - be it by trade or release - on Saturday.
The Browns got a glimpse of what a healthy and focused Gordon could do over the last five games of the 2017 season after his return from his latest NFL-mandated suspension, which lasted almost three full seasons.
If Gordon lands in New England and can stay on the field - and that's a big "if" - he could be an instant threat for the Patriots. Since then, Gordon's career has been plagued by suspensions and concerns over drug use as he missed the entire 2015 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
After initially saying they would release him, the Browns shifted to exploring trade options for Gordon. Reinstated after two seasons away from football late last season, Gordon finished the 2017 season with 18 catches for 335 yards and a touchdown. Gordon earned Pro Bowl honors in 2013 and was named first-team All-Pro after finishing with 87 receptions and an NFL-leading 1,646 yards with nine touchdowns.