The Seattle Seahawks claimed Josh Gordon off of waivers, and the Eagles didn’t put a claim on the wide receiver.
While the Eagles could have used another playmaker on the offensive side of the ball, there’s a reason why they passed upon bringing in Gordon.

In a bit of a shocking outcome, Gordon, who was waived off of IR on Thursday by the New England Patriots, fell all the way to Seattle on waivers, which was 28th on the priority list. The Eagles were 17th in waiver priority, meaning they didn’t even put a claim on Gordon.

There’s no denying Gordon’s talent — he’s among the leagues best receivers when he’s right. This situation was all sparked from a bizarre decision by the Patriots to place Gordon on injured reserve, despite him only having a minor knee injury. However, health isn’t the problem here regarding Gordon and the Eagles.

On Friday morning, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson took a dive into why the team didn’t want to make any splashy moves at the trade deadline, and the same reason can be used as for why they passed on claiming Gordon. Here’s what Pederson had to say:

“Through eight games, we’ve battled through injuries, as you guys know. We keep looking at the injury report and I keep getting those updates, and guys are slowly coming back. We had (Ronald) Darby full-time last week, Jalen Mills a couple weeks ago in the secondary. Timmy (Jernigan) has been out there working, DeSean (Jackson) is coming back. Guys like that, Avonte (Maddox) is working himself back. So when you look at it, where we are, and beginning to get healthy, the bye is next week. That plays a big part in it because we are confident in the guys we have. I just don’t think you go and make a change just to change, I think you got to continue to coach the players you have knowing you got guys coming back.”

Pederson emphasized a desire to coach the players currently on the team, especially with so many returning from injury, and bringing in a new player like Gordon obviously gets in the way of that.

The Eagles will be getting immense help at wide receiver when DeSean Jackson potentially makes his return as soon as Sunday. The Eagles have been without Jackson since week 2 due to an abdomen injury, and he’s listed as questionable after logging a full week of limited practices. There is legitimate hope, though, that his absence is over and he will be on the field to face the Bears.

Jackson’s impact in his lone game of the season can’t be overstated — the passing game looked at its best then, and it has faced struggles far more than expected while he’s been out. One can say bringing Gordon in would make the offense more dangerous, but the team would say the opposite — they feel they don’t need any extra bodies in the room.

As noted before, on the field, Gordon can be one of the league’s top talents at his position. Back in 2013, Gordon caught 87 passes for an incredible 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns. However, this season, Gordon’s production took a bit of a turn downward. Gordon logged 20 catches for 287 yards and just 1 touchdown in six games with the Patriots this season before going down with the knee injury.

Of course, there’s the off the field issues with Gordon as well. A number of suspensions have cost him dozens of games and even made him miss the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons. However, the Eagles don’t shy away from a player just because of troubles similar to ones Gordon has seen, and Gordon has done a fantastic job trying to overcome some of those problems.

Gordon was far from the only chance the Eagles had to add another piece to their team, and he would have cost them no assets. The Eagles passed on acquiring CBs Chris Harris Jr and Darius Slay, and WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Robby Anderson.

The last few weeks for the Eagles have been a rollercoaster, to say the least. However, sitting at 4-4, the team feels they’re where they need to be, and they have just the right players in the room for the long run.

Prior to the season, the Eagles were widely viewed as one of the favorites in the NFC, and while injuries have partially been a factor of the recent downfalls, the majority will be returning this week, or after the bye week.
Claiming Gordon could have helped, but the Eagles preferred to try making a run with what they currently have.

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