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Breaking Down The Eagles-Browns Trade: The Browns Perspective

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It has been reported by numerous outlets that the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns have agreed upon a deal to send Cleveland’s No. 2 overall pick in next week’s draft along with a conditional fourth round pick in 2017 to Philadelphia for the Eagles 2016 first round pick (No. 8 overall), the team’s third- and fourth-round picks this year as well as Philly’s first- and second-round picks in 2017.

It’s usually easier to side with the team that’s trading down in the draft, due mostly to the haul of picks that they will receive.  Cleveland now has 12 picks in next weekend’s NFL Draft (the most of anyone) and six in the Top 100.

That’s a great way to rebuild one of, if not the worst roster in the NFL.

What does this deal actually mean for the Browns? 

The first observation is that the Cleveland front office didn’t think all that highly of Carson Wentz and/or Jared Goff.  With a franchise that is as quarterback starved as the Browns are, there’s no way you pass on a potential face of the franchise unless you believe that neither guy is that.

We should have certainly saw this coming as the Browns signed Robert Griffin, III in free agency, and his dominating presence would make things difficult for any rookie.

As far as their feelings about Goff, Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson made that pretty clear when he was asked about his hand size.

“It matters because we play in a division where all of a sudden there’s rain, there’s snow, and it’s different,” Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson said about Goff’s hand size. “I think guys that have big hands can grip the ball better in those environmental situations, and so we’ll look for a guy that fits what we’re looking for in a quarterback, and, is hand size important? Yes, it is.”

Cleveland now gets a great haul of picks and if they like Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, they can likely select him with the eighth-overall pick, or jockey back and forth and take him later.

They can also take a less risky route and select a developmental quarterback a little later in the draft, possibly Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook in the second round, or hometown favorite Cardale Jones later on.

The Browns appear to now be at least somewhat committed to RG3, as he will enter the season as the likely starting quarterback.  Getting most of the first-team snaps and working with Hue Jackson will give him the best chance to revive his career, assuming that he team can get him some weapons.

Obviously all of the picks will give the Browns an opportunity to draft wide receiver help, as it’s possible that they will have their pick of any pass catcher in the draft.

Cleveland has been one of the teams most aggressive in trading down, and it usually hasn’t worked out well for them.  It’s tough to put too much stock into it because they’re the Browns, and seemingly everything they do blows up in their face.

They traded down in 2008 and let the New York Jets come up for Mark Sanchez; In 2011 they let the Falcons come up for Julio Jones; In 2014, they let the Bills come up for Sammy Watkins.

Although Sanchez is anything but a world-beater, he did help the Jets to a pair of AFC title game appearances. Needless to say, the Browns would be a much better team with Jones and/or Watkins.

When the Browns traded up in the first round, they did so for Trent Richardson.  Enough said.

Nobody can be awful forever, right?

It’s obvious that Cleveland will never be a free agency destination and the draft is by and large the only way this franchise is going to be able to get players.  It certainly makes sense that the Browns have a lot of draft picks to get those players.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.