The Cleveland Browns thought they had it all figured out this offseason. They got their quarterback of the future with the first-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft in Baker Mayfield. They added Odell Beckham this offseason to Jarvis Landry, and had Nick Chubb and David Njoku at running back and tight end.
The offensive line, while patchwork, really came together as the 2018 season progressed, and offered solid pass protection through most of the second half of the season, blocking for a successful rookie campaign from Chubb as well.
They brought back almost the same offensive line this year, minus Kevin Zeitler at right guard, but the results haven’t been the same. They thought Greg Robinson might be growing into that left tackle role after being a former first-round ‘bust’. He hasn’t been. And reportedly, they have been trying to get Trent Williams from Washington to make up for it, but they keep being denied.
General manager John Dorsey himself acknowledged that he had had multiple conversations with Washington’s president, adding, “it takes two to tango”. While the Browns traded lineman Austin Corbett, the general manager said they are looking to improve their offensive line before the trade deadline.
“It’s a hard position to acquire, especially at this time of year”, he acknowledged. “We’ll make a million phone calls. We’ll constantly work the phones. If nothing happens, we’ll move onto the next project. If we think we can improve the position, we’ll make a move if it’s right for this organization”.
Mike Garafolo reported for the NFL Network that Dorsey has actually been bugging Washington literally every single week throughout the season so far to inquire about trading for Williams, but the team has remained resolute that he will not be traded this year.
Of course, there are plenty of instances in which a team has made a similar stance only to turn around and make a trade when the right offer came along. The Pittsburgh Steelers are among basically the 32 teams who have done it, such as in 2018 when they traded Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders. When the offer went up to a third-round pick, they pulled the trigger.
So it is just a matter of getting the right price for Williams? And what is the right price? He is 31 years old and in his 10th season, so this isn’t a Laremy Tunsil situation, even if he has become a perennial Pro Bowler.