3 potential trade candidates for the Browns entering 2021 training camp
The Cleveland Browns finally seem to be putting it all together. They won their first playoff game since the 1994 playoffs last season, and they followed it up with one of the best offseasons in the NFL. Cleveland has created a fantastic roster heading into the 2021 season, but there are still a couple of moves that could help the Browns solidify their squad.
There aren’t many areas of concern for the Browns, but there are plenty of positions that could use some depth. Defensive tackle stands out as one, as both starters from last season are no longer with Cleveland. There are multiple candidates here, with both offering significant improvement to the Browns’ front seven. Safety is another position that could use some help, as the Browns were shredded by injuries at the position last season.
Brockers has already been traded once this offseason, as the Los Angeles Rams shipped him off to the Detroit Lions in a salary dump move. He remains a perfectly capable defender, being traded after notching 49 tackles and five sacks. The former Ram would instantly be Cleveland’s best interior defensive lineman, as the only clear starting defensive tackle currently on the Browns is Malik Jackson. Brockers’ presence would instantly make this D-line even more menacing for every single team on Cleveland’s schedule.
This trade also makes sense for the Detroit Lions. They just drafted two defensive tackles in the top three rounds, making Brockers expendable. Brockers was never a fit for a rebuilding Lions team anyway, so Detroit should be willing to give him up for cheap. A late-round pick should be able to push this deal through.
This trade target isn’t quite as glamorous as Brockers, but he’d still make a big impact in Cleveland. Hargrave is an absolute tank whose pure strength makes him a problem for opposing run games. The former Pittsburgh Steeler is nearly impossible to move, and last year he flashed some improved pass-rush skills. Hargrave notched 4.5 sacks to go along with 38 tackles in a rotational role for the Philadelphia Eagles. He would be a full-time starter for the Browns, helping shore up a defensive line that only returns one starter from the 2020 season.
Hargrave also shouldn’t be too hard to trade for. He could even be a cut candidate for an Eagles team that drafted two defensive tackles in this past draft. Philadelphia is in the early stages of a rebuild, so giving valuable snaps to their two rookies will take priority over giving playing time to the better player. Hargrave no longer has a role with the Eagles, so the Browns should make their move now. This is another deal that could be completed with a sixth- or seventh-round pick.
This is another trade that won’t exactly get Browns fans excited. But Phillips has proven himself to be a reliable NFL safety throughout his career, which is exactly what Cleveland needs. He’s coming off a career-best year with the New England Patriots in which he notched 109 tackles to go along with two interceptions and a sack. Phillips is past his athletic prime, but he would be an extremely high-value leader and backup for a Browns secondary that is one of the youngest position groups in the NFL.
The Patriots have a surplus of defensive backs, so wrenching away Phillips shouldn’t be too difficult. New England would probably demand a mid-round selection, but that’s not a terrible price for a Browns team that is adding pieces to contend now instead of stockpiling picks for the future.