The Cleveland Browns are getting Antonio Callaway back at a good time, but should they consider trading him to the receiver-needy L.A. Chargers?
After struggling during the first three games of the season, the Cleveland Browns offense finally found its legs against the Baltimore Ravens. And they will be receiving a boost before their Week 5 game with the return of Antonio Callaway.
Callaway was suspended the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. It was another incident for Callaway, who has had his fair share of off-field issues over the past several years.
His return comes at a great time for the Browns offense. The unit has been lacking at receiver, as Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are the only two Browns receivers with more than 125 receiving yards this season.
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However, even with the lack of production from the team’s current receivers behind Beckham and Landry, the Browns should consider the idea of trading Callaway to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers are not getting production from their receivers because they cannot keep their receivers healthy.
On Wednesday, the Chargers placed Dontrelle Inman on injured reserve. With Inman on IR, the Chargers only have three healthy receivers, as Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin are both currently hampered with injuries. Both Williams and Benjamin missed L.A.’s Week 4 game.
Callaway would be an intriguing trade candidate because he is still a young receiver who has shown the potential of being a solid No. 2 receiver. He has speed that most defenders cannot keep up with, while also using good route running to create space.
But the biggest issue with Callaway is the off-field questions. Since being drafted by the Browns in 2018, Callaway has already had two incidents: His substance-abuse violation this offseason and he was cited in 2018 for possession of marijuana, but the charges were dropped.
The Browns were willing to deal with Callaway’s off-field issues when they drafted him, but the hope was he would have learned his lesson in college and stay clean in the NFL. That has not happened, making it possible Callaway is on his last chance with the Browns.
Callaway’s talent is evident and he will be helpful for the Browns offense. But with Beckham and Landry ahead of him on the depth chart and Rashard Higgins on his way back from injury, Callaway will not be on the field as often as he was last season. And the Browns clearly like Damion Ratley, who could fit well as the Browns No. 4 receiver. So the need for Callaway on the Browns roster is not huge.
Trading Callaway could net the Browns a solid mid-round draft pick, or potentially a player they feel could help them immediately. He is still a young receiver that teams would likely be willing to take a chance on, especially the Chargers, who are in desperate need of help at receiver. The Chargers are still hoping to reach the playoffs, so they could be willing to make an aggressive move to fill a big need.
Callaway is a good player who has a bright future if he can stay clean off the field. But with the Browns having options at receiver, they should definitely consider the idea of potentially moving Callaway to the Chargers if L.A. can match Cleveland’s asking price.