As Thursday Night Football came to a close and the clock was about to strike midnight, the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers agreed to a trade for RB Christian McCaffrey. In the deal, the Panthers acquired four draft picks including a second, third and fourth-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
With the NFL trade deadline less than two weeks away now, the McCaffrey move could open up a more active-than-normal trade season.
For the Cleveland Browns, the next two games against the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals could decide what direction they take at the deadline. If they lose both, players that aren’t a part of their future or on the last year of their contract could be on the move.
A few of those names include:
- Jadeveon Clowney
- John Johnson III
- Kareem Hunt
- Jack Conklin
- D’Ernest Johnson
- Greedy Williams
- Ronnie Harrison
The McCaffrey trade may have opened up the market for Hunt and Johnson in particular:
McCaffrey deal also makes me think, since the return was so large, that maybe there will be a better market than expected for teams trying to offload RBs at the deadline. Not that you’d get this much for like a Melvin Gordon, but maybe more than you might have expected.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) October 21, 2022
If Cleveland leaves Monday Night Football at 2-6, trading Hunt and/or Johnson for either a young player or draft picks would make a ton of sense. While Hunt has stated that he would like to stick around the team, it doesn’t look like the two sides will find a middle ground to make that happen.
GM Andrew Berry will have to calculate the value of having his full complement of running backs and the possibility of compensatory picks, along with fan backlash if Hunt is dealt, versus whatever value he can get back in a trade.
If Graziano is correct, that value may have just gone up with the McCaffrey trade.
If the Browns are 2-6, would you mind Hunt and/or Johnson being traded at that point?