Kevin Zeitler started to have his name floated as a potential trade piece for the Cleveland Browns, but trading their star right guard would be a mistake
Ever since John Dorsey took over as the general manager for the Cleveland Browns, they’ve been a team willing to make moves. In Both free agency and through trades, Dorsey has been unafraid of going after what he wants.
In doing so, he has been willing to trade, or release, some big names on their roster. Players such as Danny Shelton, Jason McCourty, and Jamie Collins have all been sent away while he’s added stars like Jarvis Landry and Damarious Randall.
Now heading into his second offseason in charge, Dorsey looks to continue making big moves — and recently the rumors have been flying. Most are centered around them trying to land Odell Beckahm, Jr. from the New York Giants. However, another name was floated in those rumors as reports have suggested that Kevin Zeitler was offered as a trade piece.
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The thinking here is that 2018 second-round pick Austin Corbett could replace Zeitler, who is set to count $12.4 million against the cap. Even with his high salary, moving Zeitler would be a foolish move by the Browns.
Zeitler is one of the best guards in the NFL, as he was ranked No. 6 at his position by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) last year. With him, J.C. Tretter and Joel Bitonio in the lineup, they boast one of the best interior lines in the NFL. Moving from Zeitler to Corbett could impact their effectiveness as he’s not the same caliber player as the veteran right guard.
On top of that, there’s no financial reason to make the move. According to OverTheCap.com, the Browns would be hit with $10.7 million in dead money this season should they move on from their starting guard. They would then get just $1.7 million in savings which is a drop in the bucket when considering they have more than $81 million available to spend this offseason.
Dorsey has done a great job turning this roster over and building a winner. His work is also a huge reason so many are starting to look at Cleveland as a destination team. Moving on from players who can still help with no legitimate reason to do so won’t help them in that regard.
Should Corbett one day push Zeitler out of his job, this could be re-visited. As of now, there’s no mistaking that the better player is already starting which means there should be no move made.
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UPDATE: News hasn’t broken the Browns did in fact trade Zeitler to the Giants in exchange for edge rusher Olivier Vernon.