The Cleveland Browns are in full roster rebuild mode with the promotion of Ray Farmer and the hiring of Mike Pettine. The Browns have made a number of moves all off-season trying to find the perfect balance for their team. One NFL rumor, that doesn’t come as a surprise, is that they are gauging teams’ interest in their defensive line depth, according to Jason La Canfora:
The Lions are making calls around the league looking to bolster their secondary. The Browns are gauging interest in their DL
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 26, 2014
The Browns have rotating starters Armonty Bryant and Desmond Bryant, Atybah Rubin, Billy Winn, Phil Taylor, Jon Hughes and Ishmaa’ily Kitchen according to ESPN’s depth chart. Those 7 players will often be joined on the line, with their hand in the dirt, by outside linebackers Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo and Paul Kruger. The Browns also still have Calvin Barnett and Jacobbi McDaniel on their defensive line.
Which such talent, and Pettine’s penchant for using linebackers in down positions, the Browns can afford to move a player to either bolster another unit or to add to their draft selections. With young rookies like Barnett, who may saw flashes of talent during OTAs, and McDaniel, who we covered as a Man of Mystery and Mingo seems to think highly of, the Browns could still have a great deal of talent on the line if they make a deal.
Teams, like the Green Bay Packers, who have been hit by injury on their defensive line could come calling to the Browns. Since many of the players were not drafted by the Farmer/Pettine regime, it is possible that a bigger name then expected gets moved. Sheard, in his last year of his contract and currently behind Kruger on the depth chart, is one name to watch. Sheard has a ton of talent, and was the Browns best OLB last year, but his contract status could worry the new regime.
It is far more likely that Kitchen or one of Billy Winn or Jon Hughes is moved before Sheard. While all of those players have shown talent, the depth the Browns have their could facilitate a trade that benefits another area on the field. Could the Browns pull in a receiver from the Packers young stable? Does another draft pick help build the stock up for more moves next year?
Based on the current rumor, anything is possible when it comes to the Browns line. They may be in a situation that they either have to trade one of their linemen or cut another. If they can get good value, expect them to make the deal. As Farmer showed during the draft, he is not afraid to make a move.
Who could you see traded? What do you want the Browns to get in return?