We just finished posting a tribute to Joe Haden, who fans were sentimental about seeing let go Wednesday morning. You won’t find the same tribute for Cameron Erving.
Wednesday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns announced that they have traded the much-maligned center to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2018. Browns fans will certainly take it, as he has been one of the biggest first-round busts in franchise history.
Erving’s Time With the Browns
The 19th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, Erving was drafted because Pro Bowl center Alex Mack was able to opt out of his contract in 2016, and the front office did not feel he would stay in Cleveland. Erving did make four starts in 2015 at offensive guard, but he was a major liability.
In 2016, Mack opted out and joined the Atlanta Falcons, allowing Erving to shift over to center. Unfortunately, he didn’t fare much better there. He played in 13 games due to injuries, and in the games he didn’t play, replacements like Austin Reiter and Anthony Fabiano, who were practice squad-type players, were instant upgrades.
This offseason, the team signed J.C. Tretter to be their starting center. Last year’s fourth round pick, Shon Coleman, entered a competition with Erving for the starting right tackle role. It’s a role that Coleman was the favorite in from the get-go, and Erving never became a serious threat to challenge him for the role. Erving then tried to be the backup left tackle while veteran Joe Thomas rested most of camp and the preseason, but that didn’t work out either.
What Chiefs Fans Can Look Forward To
Erving has one redeemable quality: he tries. No one questions that he attempts to give effort. But his actual gameplay has been pretty abysmal, where he's a constant liability. The oddest thing is how poor Erving is in open space. He'll either just fall flat on his face out of no where, or will completely miss the guy he's supposed to block. He commits penalties. He doesn't pass block or run block well due to technique issues or being confused about what defenses are doing.
He's played offensive guard, center, and offensive tackle in his first three years. If I were to make an excuse for him, that would be it -- he's been asked to change positions too often. But the magnitude of his struggles had Browns fans wishing he was off the team, and to be able to get a fifth-round draft pick for him instead of cutting him, we’re thrilled.
Erving in His Finest Form
Los Browns arrastramos con Cameron Erving #74...como un solo hombre puede joder una gran línea pic.twitter.com/PDrRyuEZTh— Los Cachorros NCAAF (@CachorrosNCAAF) August 13, 2017
Cameron Erving folks. Apparently this is worth a 5th round pick. Sorry, Chiefs fans. pic.twitter.com/6EHXyHWnnY— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) August 30, 2017
Cameron Erving checks under his bed for Chris Canty every night https://t.co/2NgNj9iNlJ— Kyle Morgan (@NoHuddleScouts) May 19, 2016