With Tuesday's trade deadline closing in, the Josh Gordon whispers hover in the ether like a bad fart.
It's time to clear the air and close this topic down: The Cleveland Browns would be nuts to part with their ultra-talented wide receiver.
Gordon -- once again -- was Cleveland's best player on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, hauling in five catches for 132 yards and a long touchdown. With 32 receptions for 582 yards over six games, Gordon is on pace for 74 catches and 1,358 yards this season -- in just 14 appearances.
All eight of his NFL touchdowns have come from 20-plus yards out, bringing an explosive element to the passing game that Cleveland hasn't seen since Webster Slaughter roamed old Municipal.
"I feel like I'm where I want to be," Gordon said Sunday, per The Plain Dealer. "I'm not saying I'm playing at a superb level. I still don't feel I've reached my full potential and I'm always going to feel like that until I'm done playing the game."
In a league flush with players who would rather live in San Diego or New York than along the lip of gray Lake Erie, Gordon -- who's heard all the gossip -- said: "I do want to stay in Cleveland. Cleveland is my first home, the team I got drafted to. It's a great place to be. I love the fans in Cleveland and everything about it. But business is business."
So much of that business for the Browns has been in shambles since their return to the league in 1999. The franchise hasn't seen a quarterback play all 16 games as the starter since Tim Couch suffered through the task in 2001. For the second year in a row, no less than three passers have led the Browns into battle, but Gordon's numbers remain consistent.
It's clear that CEO Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi initially struggled with the red flags draped around Gordon, who's one positive drug test away from a one-year suspension from the league. He's not an ideal building block in that sense, but Gordon's off-field status will prevent the Browns from getting proper trade value for a player of this caliber.
Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson -- with the patience of Job -- has toiled through countless losing seasons in Cleveland and hopes Gordon won't be shipped away.
"Absolutely, I want him here," Jackson said. "He's a playmaker."
Jackson knows how rare that is in Cleveland. Let's hope this front office does, too.