Oh, how things may have changed directly as a result of the Cleveland Browns defeating the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. The timing was unique for the team as the NFL’s trade deadline came less than a day later.
The talk leading up to the deadline were rumors surrounding RB Kareem Hunt. Hunt had requested a trade during training camp and seemed close to getting his request met. A loss Monday night may have sealed the deal.
Instead, Cleveland now sits at 3-5 with the hope of salvaging their season in advance of Deshaun Watson returning the field soon. With that hope in mind, the Browns were not sellers at the deadline.
With a losing record and limited draft picks due to the Watson trade, GM Andrew Berry wasn’t a buyer either. The Browns stood pat with their biggest in-season move being trading for LB Deion Jones.
The hope now is that the bye week helps the team get healthy. TE David Njoku, CB Denzel Ward, OL Wyatt Teller and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah all missed Monday’s game and have an extra week to get healthy.
Cleveland’s next opponent, the Miami Dolphins, didn’t sit still. Not only did they add DE Bradley Chubb but they also added another running back by trading for Jeff Wilson.
It is possible that losing teams could release players over the course of the season that could interest the Browns but, for now, the roster they have is the one they will have to rely on.
One player who might be looking for a release but is unlikely to get one is Watson’s former teammate Brandin Cooks:
Don’t take a man’s kindness for granted. Covered for the lies for too long those days are done. Crossed the line with playing with my career— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks) November 1, 2022
Watson, whose tweets are protected, amplified Cooks’ tweet with his quote tweet:
November 1, 2022
The Houston Texans extended Cooks’ contract this offseason but looked to deal the talented receiver today. It is unknown if the Browns were involved in those talks but the Dallas Cowboys reportedly were.
Watson’s issues with the Texans organization stretch back to the 2021 offseason when he requested a trade after feeling deceived by the organization. Echoing his former teammate's frustrations with that same organization brings Watson back into the spotlight a few weeks prior to his return to the field.
Given his contract and talent, it is unlikely that Cooks will be a trade target for Watson’s new team anytime soon.
Are you surprised Hunt is still in Cleveland? Surprised the Browns didn’t make any deals?