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Bill Belichick leads puzzling press conference amid Josh Gordon trade

Patriots Wire logo Patriots Wire 9/19/2018 Henry McKenna
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Bill Belichick is refusing to talk about Josh Gordon, the former Cleveland Browns receiver but not-yet New England Patriots receiver.

Maybe. Not totally. Potentially. If … not when.

Confused?

Belichick brought a great deal of uncertainty to the Gordon trade during a press conference on Wednesday. The Patriots coach shut down questions about Gordon for the third straight day following reports that New England had acquired Gordon in a trade with the Browns on Monday. Since those reports, the Patriots and Browns have announced the trade. The move has appeared on NFL's official transaction wire.

By most measurements, it's official - but Belichick said the deal is not done. In fact, Belichick has said nothing about the receiver, other than insisting that the trade for Gordon is not yet final.

Before diving into the press conference, here's what may be giving Belichick pause about discussing Gordon.

Belichick opened the press conference by saying he's still managing some transactions, which should become official later in the day.

A reporter asked: so should we not ask questions about Josh Gordon?

"You can ask. I can't - we'll talk about it when it's done, if it's done, when it's done," Belichick said.

So that trade is not done, even though it was on the league's transaction wire yesterday?

"That's correct," Belichick said.

What is still pending in the process?

"The finish of the trade," Belichick said.

What's the last step that has to be made so that it's done?

"I guess it has to be finalized. I guess that would do it," he said.

Can you comment generally about Gordon's play?

"I'm not going to talk about players that are not actually, I would say, on our roster, totally," Belichick said. "So when that happens, it happens, if it happens."

Since the trade was on the wire, wasn't it finalized?

"There are terms that have to be met before the trade is finalized. And when those are completed, we'll have a completed trade. And until they're completed, I'm not going to get into it."

Did you have a chance to meet with Gordon?

"Any other questions?"

Questions followed about the Lions, then Belichick faced a question about Gordon in the context of a previous transaction when the Patriots reportedly agreed to terms with running back Jamal Anderson before that deal fell apart. Could that be the reason why Belchick doesn't want to discuss Gordon?

"If and when it happens, I'm ready to talk about it," Belichick said. "But it's not completed. So I don't understand how you don't understand that. When it's completed, it's completed. When it's not completed, it's not completed. So, next question."

He added: "I'm not saying it's not going to happen. I'm saying it's not completed. It's a process. We're not through the process."

Gordon comes with a great deal of baggage, as he missed all of the 2015 season due to a suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He has played 11 games in the last five seasons. However, in 2013, Gordon managed 87 receptions for 1,646 yard and nine yards.

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