Cleveland Browns: Cameron Erving trade bittersweet

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

After years of poor play, the Cleveland Browns sent Cameron Erving to the Kansas City Chiefs for a fifth-round pick. Can Erving resurrect his career there?

Cameron Erving played his way out of Cleveland. That is not a good thing.

The Cleveland Browns sent Cameron Erving to the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday in exchange for a 2018 fifth-round selection. The trade marks the end of a tumultuous tenure for Erving who never seemed to get comfortable or settle into a position.

Erving was drafted by a previous front office because he fit the zone based offense the Browns were running at the time. The goal was to install Erving into the center position given the impending departure of then center, Alex Mack.

At the time, Erving was a great fit for the offense. He came out of college as the top-rated center. Some teams were even evaluating him to play tackle in the NFL. The Browns picked Erving due to his high level of athleticism he displayed in college and through measurables at the combine. His versatility and athleticism made him seem like a perfect fit for the Browns.

Of course, former head coach Mike Pettine and former GM Ray Farmer are now gone. With the changing of the guard came a new offensive scheme under new head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson’s offense relied less on athletic linemen and more on bigger mauling-type linemen. Erving no longer fit the offense.

However, under Jackson, Erving was given a chance to prove himself at center. Unfortunately, Erving only proved that he could not play center in the NFL.

His athleticism and mean streak were evident at times, but he failed to grasp the basic skill set necessary succeed at center. At the end of last season, Erving played an excellent game at right tackle against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, old bad habits and a failure to master the basic skills left Erving out of the tackle position battle before it started.

As for Erving’s future, he finds himself in Andy Reid’s West Coast offense. The offense will be a great fit for Erving. It is an offense based on a quick passing game and zone based runs. His athleticism will be his greatest asset in Kansas City. Can the Chiefs revive his career? They are gambling a fifth-round pick on it.

For Browns fans, this move puts an end to two years of watching poor offensive line play. The replays of Erving playing offensive line like a member of the Three Stooges can finally be put to rest.

Personally, I have believed in Erving for two years now. His size and athleticism is an offensive line coach’s dream come true. Unfortunately, Erving has failed to capitalize on his Pro-Bowl level talent.

He was a first-round pick for a reason. But to succeed in the NFL, one had to take their natural talent and maximize it through coaching, film study and hard work. Erving has failed to maximize his talent. It is sad to see his tenure in Cleveland end on this note.

Erving’s end in Cleveland is bittersweet. He has all the natural talent in the world, but he has failed miserably to take advantage it. Just to prove it was not all bad. Here are two good blocks by Cam Erving to remember him by.

Next: Top 5 QBs Browns will face in 2017

Good luck in Kansas City!