The Seahawks didn't necessarily see receiver as a position of need—they've carried seven receivers all season because of how much they like their depth there—but when an opportunity to add an impact player presented itself, they couldn't pass it up, claiming former first-team All-Pro and Pro-Bowl receiver Josh Gordon off of waivers on Friday.
Gordon, who was waived by the New England Patriots Thursday, won't play this weekend when Seattle hosts Tampa Bay, but the Seahawks will start seeing what he can bring to the team when they resume practice next week.
"He's a unique talent, and next week we'll take a look and see what he looks like," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Gordon. "He's done a lot of good stuff and made a lot of good plays, so we'll find out more next week… He's just a unique player. I've said it a million times to you guys that we're always looking for guys who have something special about him. But we need to find out, so we'll take a look next week and see what that means."
Gordon, who was a second-round pick in the 2012 supplemental draft, had 805 receiving yards as a rookie with the Cleveland Browns, then caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013, earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. Gordon was suspended multiple times for violations of the league's substance abuse policy, causing him to miss all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, but he enjoyed a strong comeback season with New England last year, catching 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games.
"He's a big-play guy," said Carroll, who acknowledged he was surprised the Seahawks were able to get Gordon given how far down Seattle is on the waiver claim priority order. "He has been able to really stretch the field. Those who have worked with him and coached him, they rave about his talent and his playmaking ability."
Gordon appeared in six games with the Patriots this season, catching 20 passes for 287 yards and one touchdown. Gordon was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury on Oct. 23, then waived from IR on Thursday.
Asked about Gordon's health, Carroll said, "I don't know physically how he's doing right now other than that he's OK is what we heard."
Defensive end Dekoda Watson was waived to make room on the 53-man roster. Watson, a 10-year veteran who most recently played with the 49ers, signed with Seattle earlier this week.