If you’ve been paying attention to the Cleveland Browns season then you know that the group of wide receivers that we all gloated and drooled over has been dismantled. Corey Coleman was cut and rightfully so after numerous disappointing performances. Josh Gordon was traded away to New England and Rashard Higgins, who looked so promising, got injured. That leaves us with Jarvis Landry who has struggled at times, two rookies in Antonio Callaway and Damion Ratley, and a recently signed Breshad Perriman.
Some fans having been wanting to improve this group all season. So with the current wide receivers on the market should the Cleveland Browns make a trade for one?
There is DeVante Parker. The Miami Dolphins claim that they are not actively shopping him, but will listen to offers and gave him a third round pick price tag. He has been dealing with a quad injury and has only appeared in two games. Parker seems to have fallen out of favor with a team that believes his injury isn’t fully healed yet. The wide receiver was a full participant all week at practice and appeared to be a healthy scratch Week 7.
Whatever the case may be, if Cleveland trades for him he will have to take a physical and then we can see if he is healthy or not. If healthy, Parker brings size and athleticism to Cleveland. He set a career-high in receptions last year and posted a 57/670/1 stat line. The 25-year-old set highs the year prior with 744 yards and four touchdowns. A change of scenery could do the receiver some good. Also, Parker is under contract for next season for $9.4 million which isn’t terrible. I’m just not sure about giving up a third round pick for him.
Another possibility could be Demaryius Thomas from Denver. The Broncos made it clear that they are listening to offers for Thomas, but NOT Emmanuel Sanders. The longest tenured Bronco wants to stay in Denver, but knows his time might be up. The nine year vet is on the tail end of his prime and turns 31 in December. Thomas has had an illustrious career with five straight seasons exceeding 1,000 yards and scoring 46 touchdowns in that span. Not to mention he was 51 yards shy of topping 1,000 for the sixth consecutive year. I believe Thomas still has the talent. He is just losing targets to Sanders and the rookie Courtland Sutton.
What would a player with Thomas’ track record cost?
I don’t know what Denver is asking for in return, but I’m sure it will be overpriced. It will be to move his contract, though. He has $5 million remaining on his deal for 2018, but owed $17.5 million next season. I love me some Demaryius. I just don’t know if I love him that much.
In my opinion, Cleveland should stay put. I wouldn’t risk giving up any of our future to go into “win-now” mode when that was never part of the plan this year. Landry is still under contract, Higgins will hopefully return in a couple weeks and we still have Callaway and Ratley to develop and evaluate.
I would much rather sign a free agent than trade for a receiver if the Browns are to add one. Dez Bryant is still available and I wouldn’t mind paying him for the rest of the year, but we would have to ask ourselves if he is worth the headache for a season with low expectations. Although Cleveland recently acquired Perriman, if they were to look in the free agent pool again, names like Jeremy Curly and Markus Wheaton may pop up. At this point in the season, it is more understandable to add a serviceable pass catcher to add depth in case of further injury rather than a game changing receiver with a more expensive price tag and the loss of a draft pick.
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