NFL

Robert Kraft’s Charitable Side Should Help Josh Gordon Get Out of a Bind

Josh Gordon crossed the line from famous to infamous several suspensions ago and is not a good bet to play in the NFL again any time soon. If he does manage to hook on with another team and take the field, then the smart play is to bet the “under” on the duration of his stay.

The receiver has cost himself millions in salary and potential endorsements, and the latest news about him seems to indicate he’s hurting for money. He won’t get another dollar from the New England Patriots, but owner Robert Kraft indirectly gave Gordon a hand while at the same time helping a charitable cause.

Josh Gordon and trouble are never far apart

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Josh Gordon was already hip-deep in trouble before finishing high school. The conditions of his probation stemming from a credit card theft required him to stay in Texas for college. He enrolled at Baylor, wore out his welcome as a sophomore due to failed drug tests, and was taken by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 supplemental draft.

The Browns got two productive seasons out of Gordon – he was first-team All-Pro in 2013 after leading the league in receiving yards despite missing two games – but it’s been all downhill since. The spiral began with a DWI arrest and a failed drug test in 2014 that cost him the first 10 games, and then the Browns suspended him for the season finale after he missed a walkthrough before the team plane departed.

Suspensions cost Gordon all of the 2015 and ’16 seasons, and he was reinstated near the end of 2017, appearing in five games with the Browns. Cleveland traded him to the New England Patriots one game into the 2018 season.

Gordon made an impact for Bill Belichick with 40 catches in 11 games, only to run afoul again. He announced on Dec. 20, 2018, that he was shutting down his season to focus on his mental health, but the NFL ruled that he had once again violated the league drug policy. The Patriots went on win Super Bowl 53 by defeating the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3.

He played half a dozen games for New England last fall, was waived by the Patriots in October, and caught on with the Seattle Seahawks – only to be suspended for the fifth time. He remains on indefinite suspension.

Josh Gordon is auctioning off his Super Bowl ring

The New England Patriots are believed to have presented about 150 Super Bowl 53 rings to players, coaches, and staff. | Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
The New England Patriots are believed to have presented about 150 Super Bowl 53 rings to players, coaches, and staff. | Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Although Josh Gordon missed the end of the 2018 regular season and the playoff run to the Super Bowl 53 title, the receiver still received a championship ring from the New England Patriots.

Likely signaling that his net worth is not in good shape, Gordon has placed that ring up for sale through Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

Heritage sold a Super Bowl 51 ring belonging to an unidentified Patriots player for $96,000 last year. The description for Gordon’s ring hypes the value by reminding us that he caught the 500th touchdown pass thrown by Tom Brady and it will be the last Super Bowl ring from the Brady era in New England.

Manufactured by Jostens, the estimated 150 Super Bowl 53 rings each carry gem weights of 9.85 carats – including 400 diamonds and 20 blue sapphires — mounted on modest 10-karat gold. Jostens bills it as the largest Super Bowl ring ever.

Super Bowl rings sell for big money

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The owner of the New England Patriots probably unknowingly helped Josh Gordon out recently by putting one of his own Super Bowl rings up for auction to benefit a COVID-19 relief fund.

The winner among 35 bids for Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl 51 ring commissioned after the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons was $1.025 million dollars. The initial asking price for the ring, with 283 diamonds and 5.1 carats in weight, was $75,000.

The winning bid included a trip to Gillette Stadium in the team’s private plane. Also, it was part of a highly publicized charity event, so the $1.025 million price tag has to be considered artificially high. By the same token. Heritage Auctions seems to be conservative in estimating the value of Gordon’s ring at “$100,000-plus.”

For perspective’s sake, the Super Bowl 20 ring earned by William “The Refrigerator” Perry in 1986 is known to have changed hands several times over the years, and it fetched $203,150 in an auction in 2015. Perry’s ring carries a premium because of his notoriety and because it had to be specially made to fit his hand.

But the number of the precious stones in the Super Bowl 53 ring, the fact that it was the Patriots’ sixth championship, and the outlandish price paid for Kraft’s Super Bowl 51 ring bode well for Gordon as he tries to cash in.