No one ever knows what the Cleveland Browns have up their sleeve. They are certainly not the first name that comes to mind when thinking of potential DeAndre Hopkins' suitors, but an aggressive front office who has already made a historic investment in their quarterback cannot be taken lightly, either.
Presently, though, the Browns are reportedly not in the initial mix of landing spots for the new free agent wide receiver.
“I don’t think the Browns will be on DeAndre Hopkins at anytime in the near future,” Zac Jackson of The Athletic tweeted. “But I also didn’t think they’d make a trade two Friday nights ago, so you never know where desperation and opportunity might intersect. For now, I think they’re OK with their prior moves at WR.”
That aforementioned trade was for defensive end Za'Darius Smith. Cleveland sent two fifth-round draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings and got back a sixth and seventh. On paper, Browns general manager Andrew Berry came away with a steal while solidifying one of the stronger defensive units in the NFL. The team has made it clear anything less than a postseason trip is unacceptable.
Surviving the AFC is no easy task, however. Reuniting Deshaun Watson with DeAndre Hopkins instantly puts Cleveland in the same conversation as the upper echelon of the AFC. The connection worked well with the Houston Texans, but with a more talented roster surrounding them, there is no telling what the ceiling would be.
The Browns have a little over $ 7 million in cap space and could probably move some money around to add Hopkins if both sides were really on board. But based on the presumed mindsets of each party, it seems the Browns have already made their big offseason splash and are content with their current roster.
This is a desperate franchise, though, and one can never underestimate the lengths desperate teams will go.