For fans who think the Cleveland Browns must add a wide receiver to their group, and vehemently denied it when I said it was not a need but a want, it seems that the team agrees with you. At least to some extent.
The team’s pursuit of Denver Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy has been known since the NFL combine. The problem has been and continues to be that the Browns do not have a first-round pick to send to the Broncos who seem to believe that is the value.
From my time at the combine, and since, I’ve heard that Denver has no desire to sell low with Jeudy but is willing to deal from a position of strength to help strengthen another part of the roster. With Cleveland not having a first-round pick, the price I’ve heard a number of times has been CB Greg Newsome II and the team’s second-rounder at pick #42.
While the two sides have not come to an agreement, Browns GM Andrew Berry hasn’t stopped trying:
Dallas traded for Brandin Cooks, but Cleveland continues to pursue possible trade for Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy per source.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 21, 2023
New England has also looked into Jeudy but thus far has not been willing to pay requested price tag.
Allbright, in a response to questions, noted a similar price as I’ve noted above (Newsome and a high pick) and downplayed the idea that OL Wyatt Teller could be in the trade.
A trade for Jeudy would raise the ceiling for the team in 2023 but could lead to long-term changes starting in 2024. Either Amari Cooper or Donovan Peoples-Jones would not be a part of the team at that point to allow Berry to extend Jeudy’s contract.
During his time in the league, Jeudy has played with some bad quarterbacks including the version of Russell Wilson that was terrible last year. Despite that, he’s averaged 14.6 yards per reception and had nine touchdowns. While he’s never crossed 1,000 yards receiving or 67 receptions, many believe that he has shown more than enough talent on the field to be a top-level receiver if given a decent quarterback.
In the end, Cleveland would still be pursuing Jeudy if they didn’t think they could come to some kind of agreement on a deal. That doesn’t mean one will get done as Berry has been steadfast about not meeting Denver’s price, so far. The question the Browns have to ask themselves is simple: Does trading for Jeudy, while giving up a player and at least one high pick, raise their chances significantly enough to risk losing Cooper or DPJ next year while having to pay Jeudy a substantial contract?
If they believe Jeudy does just that, a deal will get done at some point. If they do not, they will continue to negotiate with the Broncos until the price comes down or Denver stops answering their calls.