The Cleveland Browns are having a fire sale—or are trying to anyway. The Pittsburgh Steelers should not be buying.
Reportedly, the AFC North rivals have three high-profile players available on the trading block, including a cornerback that has had many in the fan base salivating for perhaps reasons that they should reconsider. But let’s take these trading-block pieces one by one.
QB Brock Osweiler: The Browns have basically been trying to trade him since before they even acquired him via trade as an afterthought. While he was allegedly part of a legitimate training camp battle to win the starting job, he didn’t show the coaches enough to earn their trust.
Without him as a starter, they would like to try to dump some of his enormous salary onto another team via trade, or at least recoup something for him, because that sort of salary is only conscionable if he is going to be playing. DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler, and Kevin Hogan is a fair group for them that they are more than happy with.
Whether or not he was ever in legitimate consideration for the job is up for debate, but either way, it gave the Browns the opportunity to showcase their merchandise. It wasn’t really enough to get anybody jumping, and it will be surprising, barring a significant injury, if they were able to move him at this point.
OL Cameron Erving: Drafted as a center in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Erving started and struggled at guard for a couple of games as a rookie. Then he started and struggled and got injured as a center last season, and finished the year starting and struggling as a right tackle.
The Browns’ acquisition of two interior linemen in free agency was an indictment of his abilities, as they don’t even value him as depth. John Greco, a former starter, is now their top reserve. Erving was in a de facto ‘battle’ for the starting right tackle job, but he got injured.
Given his inability to showcase much of anything of quality through two seasons, it would be hard to imagine that the Browns will be able to move him while getting much of anything of value in return. His pedigree may be able to afford them the luxury of a late-round draft pick.
Editor Note: Marczi wrote this Tuesday night and Erving has since been traded to the Chiefs
CB Joe Haden: Another former first-round draft pick, this one much older, this is the one that some Steelers fans have perked up in response to, if only because they so lament their own team’s current cornerback position.
But consider the fact that the Browns are making him available for trade in the first place. If they liked him as a starting cornerback, why would they do this? Obviously they feel they can get along just fine without him/
Haden may have been very good in the first half of his career, but he has not been the same player in recent years, and injuries have had a lot to do with that. It would be best to stay away from him, and I’m not sure there will be much of a market for him and his salary at all.
Editor Note: Marczi wrote this Tuesday night and Haden has since been released.