On Friday, the Browns completed three times as many trades (three) in about 2.5 hours as they had wins over the past two seasons (one). Now, Browns fans probably aren’t happy with this intro but with these three trades, the future is looking a little brighter for the Cleveland fan base. The net result of all the trades landed the Browns Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor and Damarious Randall. While it’s rare to mention winning with the Browns, they got a big win on Friday.
Dolphins trade wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
Browns trade a 2018 fourth round pick (#123), 2019 seventh round pick.
We all knew the Dolphins were going to trade Jarvis Landry, it was only a matter of when. The Dolphins are in salary cap hell and simply couldn’t afford to keep him on the franchise tag worth nearly $16 million. They knew this when they placed the franchise tag on him but didn’t want to lose him for nothing in free agency.
The Dolphins were probably hoping to get more for Landry and if they couldn’t, they would pull the offer and hope for a 2019 third round compensatory pick. However, when Landry signed the franchise tag the Dolphins couldn’t pull it anymore. This move forced the Dolphins’ hand and they simply had to get him off their books. Needless to say, the Dolphins screwed this up.
– Jarvis Landry had more touchdowns and almost as many receptions as all Browns wide receivers combined in 2017
– Browns WRs (2017): 134 receptions, 7 receiving TD
– Jarvis Landry (2017): 112 receptions, 9 receiving TD pic.twitter.com/RzzhvxstQ7
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 9, 2018
For the Browns this was a steal. They landed themselves a receiver who has averaged 100 catches for 1009 yards and 5.5 touchdowns per season for the cost of two day three picks. Now, the Browns still have to come to a long-term deal with Landry, as he is only currently signed for the 2018 season, but the early reports suggest that a deal will get done.
However, let’s say Landry and the Browns can’t come to a long-term deal and he leaves as a free agent a year from now. The Browns would likely get a 2020 third round compensatory pick for Landry, giving them a better return than what they traded to get him. So, worst case scenario the Browns turn a fourth and seventh round picks into a year of Landry and a third round pick.
Bills trade quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Browns trade a 2018 third round pick (#65).
If you had read my seven NFL trades that should happen article, then you know I expected Tyrod Taylor to get traded before the start of the new league year on March 14th. The Bills were never fully committed to Taylor, and reportedly want to make a major trade to get into the top five of the draft to select UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. Now with five picks in the top 65 of the draft, the Bills have plenty of draft currency to trade up.
Also expect to hear left tackle Cordy Glenn’s name mentioned in these trade rumors, as both the Giants and Colts would welcome bringing him in with any potential trade with the Bills. The Bills are happy with last year’s second round pick, Dion Dawkins, at left tackle and with a $14.5 million cap number, they would be happy to trade Glenn in a deal to move up in the draft.
Heard a rumor that Bills are trying to work out blockbuster trade with Giants for #2 pick to select Josh Rosen
— Hogs Haven (@HogsHaven) February 17, 2018
The first reaction on twitter was “now the Browns can take Saquon Barkley first overall”. Everyone slow down, take a moment, and relax. This trade won’t change how the Browns address the first overall pick in the draft. The Browns could take Barkley first overall but they are still more likely to take a quarterback. Taylor is the perfect “bridge gap” option for the Browns. He takes care of the ball — only had 16 interceptions in three seasons as the Bills’ quarterback — and isn’t the kind of quarterback who will lose games for the Browns.
If the Bills were ready to trade Taylor that easily, Browns fans shouldn’t consider him the savior of the franchise. The only reason the Browns brought him in is only to give whatever rookie they select a chance to sit and develop instead of being thrown into the fire week one. Taylor knows he is a “bridge gap” quarterback and won’t cause trouble if a rookie takes over for him at some point during the season.
Packers trade cornerback Damarious Randall.
Browns trade quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Teams will also swap their picks in the fourth and fifth round.
I’m not sure why the Packers wanted to move on from Damarious Randall, as he is only 25 years old and counts for only $1.5 million against the cap. However, the team did hire Brian Gutekunst as their new general manager while moving Ted Thompson into another position in the organization, and hired Mike Pettine as their new defensive coordinator. Between Gutekunst and Pettine, the Packers may have decided they weren’t going to keep Randall long-term and wanted to trade him now and get some value in return.
Getting DeShone Kizer back in the deal is key for the Packers. With Aaron Rodgers missing nine games this past season, the Packers got to see Brett Hundley and clearly couldn’t be happy with the results. Kizer was a second round pick just last year and it is way too soon to call him a bust. Kizer clearly wasn’t ready to play last year as a rookie, so the Packer situation is perfect for him. He will have plenty of time to sit behind Rodgers and develop. The pick swap gives the Packers the first pick in the fourth and fifth rounds, while the Browns move down in both rounds.
— NFL (@NFL) March 10, 2018
There was about 42 minutes between the when the Taylor trade and the Kizer trade dropped. For those 42 minutes the “Barkley first overall” Twitter buzz was crazy. Then John Dorsey traded away Kizer and re-cemented the thought that the Browns would take a quarterback with the first pick. Randall will give the Browns a young cornerback with upside to compete for the starting spot opposite of Jason McCourty.
While the Browns could have potentially gotten more for Kizer later in the offseason or even after the draft, the team wants to be fair to Kizer and provide clarity to their quarterbacks room. Since Dorsey wasn’t the one to draft Kizer — and we know Hue Jackson isn’t a huge fan of Kizer’s — it only made sense to trade him away and go get “his guy”.
The Browns are finally using all these draft picks they acquired over the past few years. Unlike under former general manager Sashi Brown, who would continue to trade their picks for more picks in the future, Dorsey is adding proven players to an already young roster. Getting Landry for two day three picks was clearly a steal. Taylor provides the Browns with the perfect “bridge gap” option at quarterback. While Randall seems like the least important, he was a first round pick just three years ago and still has upside. Rarely do the Browns win, but they won big on Friday with these three trades. Despite the trades, the Browns still have five selections in the top 64 picks of the draft and a boat load of salary cap space to be aggressive in free agency with. Better days are coming for Browns fans.