The NFL trade deadline is today at 4:00 PM ET. Unlike last year, where fans were nearly shaking at the thought of former Browns CEO Joe Banner trading WR Josh Gordon away for a second-round pick, there isn't much anticipation of Cleveland making a move this year. On Monday, head coach Mike Pettine was asked about the possibility of a trade, which he also indicated wasn't too likely:
"I know a lot of stuff gets kicked around. That’s more in (General Manager) Ray’s (Farmer) court, but I know a lot of stuff gets thrown around and rarely anything happens so I can’t say there’s nothing being kicked around, but the odds of it happening I don’t think are very high."
I'll admit that for a second last night, when QB Tony Romo was on his back for several minutes and former Browns QB Brandon Weeden entered the game for the Cowboys, I wondered if Jerry Jones would go nuts and offer the house for QB Johnny Manziel. That fairy tale ended when Romo returned to finish the game in a losing effort to...Colt McCoy.
The trade deadline could have implications on the Browns' Week 9 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With a very disappointing 1-6 record, the Buccaneers are the most rumored team looking to sell, and anything that further makes them devoid of talent would theoretically increase Cleveland's odds of winning:
A few days ago, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora floated the idea of the Browns acquiring WR Vincent Jackson from the Bucs, which would give Hoyer a tall, outside threat, and then a dynamic duo once WR Josh Gordon returns in Week 11. Some have said that the fact they are facing the Browns this week would prevent a trade, but I don't think that would play much of a factor: if Tampa Bay is selling, do they really care about one game? Note: I don't think the Browns are interested in Jackson.
If there is one area the Browns might be digging the bottom of the barrel for a trade, it would be for a center or a defensive lineman. On the defensive line, Cleveland has already suffered nearly season-ending injuries to Armonty Bryant and John Hughes. Three other defensive linemen are banged up. At center, Nick McDonald might be the solution once he gets more acclimated to his role, but perhaps there is a better player out there that a team is looking to unload.
In 2006, when the Browns lost C LeCharles Bentley on the first play of training camp, they made two conditional draft pick trades during the preseason to acquire players with experience at center: Ross Tucker and Lennie Friedman (and both of those moves were made after Bob Hallen just walked out and retired). Then, right before the season started, we released Tucker and acquired C Hank Fraley from the Philadelphia Eagles for a 6th round pick in 2008 (which Cleveland actually later got back and drafted WR Paul Hubbard, but they had to give the Eagles a 5th round pick in 2009).
If the Browns could somehow find someone who could be as stable of a force as Fraley was for the Browns that year, I would be ecstatic. I just don't know who in the world that person would be, so I'm expecting the Browns to stay put today with what they have.
What do you think, Browns fans? Are there any trades you would like to see Cleveland consider?