UPDATE: The trade deadline has come and gone, and LT Joe Thomas nearly got traded at the last minute, literally.
The NFL trade deadline is today at 4:00 PM ET. Before this past Sunday's game, the Cleveland Browns were heavily rumored to be involved in trades discussions for several of their top players. In all of the scenarios, the Browns were projected to be sellers, seeking to acquire draft picks in return.
We can't assume that the Browns were placing players on the trade block, and I don't believe that the team was going out of their way to solicit offers. However, general manager Ray Farmer has always had the opinion that they are willing to listen to any inquiry. My assumption would be that the Browns would ask for above and beyond what the other team is willing to give up. That way, they aren't necessarily selling so much as they are seeing if team's are desperate enough to give up incredible value, alas the Indianapolis Colts for RB Trent Richardson a couple years ago.
Here are the trade rumors regarding Browns players that have been floated out there so far:
The veteran left tackle has never missed a snap in his career, and the Denver Broncos appear to be his biggest suitor. Thomas insists that he wants to stay with the Browns and be a part of the team's glory days when things turn around. Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland reported the following this morning:
According to a source, the Browns had talks with the Denver Broncos early in the season after Denver lost left tackle Ryan Clady to injury in the preseason. The Broncos were willing to part with their first-round pick in 2016, but the Browns also asked for second-year linebacker Shaq Barrett, and that apparently killed the deal.
If you recall, Barrett had several big-time defensive plays against the Browns three weeks ago and would arguably be the team's best outside linebacker if he were in Cleveland. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says that he's hearing the Browns want "more than a first rounder" for Thomas.
Monday night, the Browns' starting center, who has an opt-out clause in his contract, released the following statement:
"I have a 'no trade' clause in my contract. It was included for good reason: I'm not leaving my teammates, coaches and Browns fans while there is work this season to be finished."
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says that the Browns wanted a third-round pick for Mack. Many have felt that Mack will opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but that might not be the case, if you read a lot into what former Browns OG Jason Pinkston tweeted today:
If the Browns trade JT Mack won't be be a Brown next year & that's a fact— Jason Pinkston (@JasonPinkstonOL) November 3, 2015
@RuiterWrongFAN he won't bail on Joe.. Trust ME— Jason Pinkston (@JasonPinkstonOL) November 3, 2015
Mack might be tight enough with Thomas to where he won't really desire to go to another city for what would end up being the same amount of money anyway.
Even though Mingo is hardly being used this year, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says that Cleveland is also asking for a third-round pick for him. Mingo is still under contract through 2016, which is likely driving up his price. We've heard rumors that Michael Lombardi of the New England Patriots made a push to get Mingo, much like he did Jabaal Sheard this offseason, but it sounds like Cleveland's asking price is too much, especially for a Patriots team that is undefeated and rolling right now.
Although Kruger doesn't carry much guaranteed money over the remainder of his contract, his cap hits in 2016 and 2017 are $7.7 and $8.2 million, respectively. That means that unless Cleveland is willing to let him go for free, Kruger is staying put and remains in the team's plans for the future.
Would You Trade Any of Them?
Rival clubs see message Browns are sending as "We're open for business, make us an offer." To this point, asking prices have been too high.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 3, 2015
Vote in the poll below and discuss in the comments whether you would make any of the rumored trades if you were the Browns.