The trade deadline came in with a lot of inflated hype that never made sense and left with the same level of movement that typically comes with the trade deadline in the NFL. Despite speculation for the past few months and talk of fire sales, the Cleveland Browns made one trade all season and it was the Trent Richardson trade which seems to get smarter and smarter as time passes. The speculation about Josh Gordon, Greg Little and Jordan Cameron seemed to be just noise in the end. The only move that really made sense was Gordon and it remains to be seen if holding onto him was a smart play or not.
The NFL is not the NBA or Major League Baseball where trades are made to shape playoff races and potentially decide championships. There are some small deals that can have a big impact such as Aqib Talib did last year, but blockbuster deals are rare in the NFL and if they are going to happen, they happen in the offseason. Training camp, practice and just time are hugely important in the NFL, so huge deals are extremely difficult for the team playing the role of a buyer. Basketball and baseball are far easier to incorporate someone added during the season than football.
The larger point is that Cameron and Little are still here. Cameron should be and should be a fixture on this team going forward. Little brings little value to this or any other team at this point and while he has talent and potential, he really needs to put up or shut up. There was not much reason for a team to make a move for him.
Gordon is the key question. He is one failed drug test from a yearlong suspension from the NFL. By not moving him and putting an extremely high price on him, they are saying they believe he can avoid future problems. If not, the fans who are praising them for keeping now will be extremely critical if he pops another positive test in the offseason. Joe Banner, Rob Chudzinski and company need to take every step possible to make sure Gordon does not get suspended but also to make sure his talent can flourish on the field.
They have put their support behind Gordon and the rumors can die, along with the speculation about Gordon. He can now focus on just being a Brown and making plays for this team. Hopefully, he can go out and respond with a big second half of the season and make people continue to feel good about his future with the Browns and with the NFL. The Browns have a great pair of weapons in Cameron and Gordon, but need to keep adding to the group.