3 Trade targets in 2021 offseason with ties to Cleveland Browns staff

Cleveland Browns trade target, Adam Thielen. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns trade target, Adam Thielen. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
Cleveland Browns trade targets
Cleveland Browns trade targets, Adam Thielen. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Adam Thielen, Wide Receiver

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was with the Minnesota Vikings organization from 2006 through 2019. He served in a multitude of roles to include quarterback’s coach, running back’s coach, and offensive coordinator.

From 2014 through 2019, he was able to see up close and personal just how good of a wide receiver Adam Thielen was. In fact, Thielen had his two best campaigns in 2017 when Stefanski was working as the quarterback coach and in 2018 when he was serving in that same role and eventually moved to interim offensive coordinator.

2017 was when current Cleveland reserve quarterback Case Keenum had his breakout campaign and Thielen did the same. He hauled in 91 receptions for 1,276 yards with four touchdowns. Stefanski knew his quarterback could count on Thielen and then when the coach’s role changed the following season, Thielen only got better.

The veteran wideout had his best campaign in 2018 with 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns on 113 receptions. Unfortunately, he struggled with injuries during the 2019 campaign and had only 30 catches so we didn’t see him in full force for an entire season with Stefanski calling plays. We did, however, see that he had six touchdowns that year in limited time which proved he can get it done under Stefanski.

Still an effective pass-catcher despite being over 30, Thielen had 14 touchdowns in 2020 but could still be moved since Minnesota is in need of salary cap space once again. In fact, Ian Wharton of Complex.com thinks they might have moved on from him in 2020 had they not started to win a few games after their 1-5 start. He says they could still elect to do so, and already showed they can replace a veteran wideout after trading Stefon Diggs last season.

"“Minnesota showed they can replace a veteran quickly by drafting Justin Jefferson after trading Stefon Diggs. It’s unlikely they could do so well twice in a row, but Thielen’s value will never be higher than this offseason. Getting a Day 2 and Day 3 pick for him would allow the front office to maneuver with some cap space and extra picks.” — Wharton, Complex.com"

If Cleveland could convince Minnesota to give him up for a day three pick, that would be an absolute no-brainer.

dark. Next. 3 cap casualty veterans Cleveland should consider

Thielen would give them another outside target who can beat defenses deep, which is something this offense desperately needs.