Cleveland Browns: 3 trade targets in the event of a Minnesota Vikings fire sale

Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Cleveland Browns
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EDGE Danielle Hunter

Danielle Hunter will not play this season due to a neck injury, to the joy of quarterbacks everywhere. Over his first five NFL seasons, Hunter was legendarily productive, totaling 60 sacks and an astounding 321 pressures. He’s on a Hall of Fame trajectory, and is under contract through the 2023 campaign.

If the Vikings intend on going into rebuild mode, Hunter would fetch a high price. His cap hit peaks in 2021 at $17.5 million (which is very team-friendly given his age (26 in a week) and production, but the hit for his new team would actually be closer to $14.5 million yearly, as the Vikings would have to cover his signing bonus.

The Browns really need a long-term complement to Myles Garrett on the defensive line, and they were reportedly willing to pay Jadeveon Clowney quite a bit of cash to get it. In the event that the team signed Clowney, they would have cut Olivier Vernon. Instead, Vernon’s salary was guaranteed for this season, in exchange for his cap hit being reduced. He’ll be off the books next year, so from a financial perspective, replacing Vernon with Hunter would hardly make a difference.

On the field, a pass-rushing duo of Hunter and Garrett would be all but unstoppable. It’s difficult to overstate how devastating of a pairing that would be. Is it realistic? Who knows. Stranger things have happened.