For the Cleveland Browns to get back to the playoffs next season, the front office needs to think outside the box and entertain the idea of a few trades
After a season that left the Cleveland Browns out in the cold and missing the playoffs, the team has to start thinking outside of the box if they want to get back to the postseason next year.
There’s been a lot of chatter about the Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and his current status with the team — mainly whether or not he’s the long-term answer for the franchise? While the decision on Mayfield is very important to the game plan for the team, there are other players that have value now.
Do the Browns need to shake things up a bit to get back to winning more consistently? The last two years have been the polar opposite of one another. Several factors were at work in creating that problem for the team. At this point though, what was working two years ago seems impossible to get back. With that in mind, new strategies need to be tried in order to correct the issues.
With that as a starting point let’s look at several trades that may have you agitated at first but give them a second or two to digest and maybe you’ll agree in the end. Something needs to be changed up if this team wants to have more sustained success.
Cleveland Browns Trade No. 4: Kareem Hunt to the Miami Dolphins
Browns fans, before you start throwing things at your iPhone or computer screen, let’s just pause and hear out the idea behind this trade. Yes, Kareem Hunt is a hometown kid. He played football at the University of Toledo, just a hop, skip, and a jump up the shoreline of Lake Erie.
He’s also a very valuable asset that the team has and could dangle in front of a few other more desperate NFL franchises like the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins just fired their coach, Brian Flores, despite having a winning record and always seem to be reaching for the stars in hopes of turning around their franchise.
The Dolphins don’t have a running game that any of you could recite their backs names like we do here in Cleveland. As a team, Miami finished 30th in the league with only 1,568 yards in rushing yards. Their current backs include Myles Gaskin, who added 612 yards as the club’s leading rusher.
They also added Duke Johnson, yes that Duke Johnson who used to play for the Browns. Johnson came to Miami from the Houston Texans. He finished the season respectably with 330 yards.
As you can see Hunt would add a whole new elite running back to a team trying to make the playoffs. The Dolphins have a ton of cap space, upwards of $73 million, so taking Hunt in a trade could easily happen. Here is one proposal that could work out nicely for both teams:
Cleveland would trade:
Miami would trade:
3rd Round Pick in 2022 draft
4th round Pick in 2022 draft
2nd Round Pick 2023 draft
Hunt’s salary is $6 million this next season before he becomes a free agent in 2023. The Dolphins could easily take Hunt’s salary and the Browns could bring in more draft picks, including a second-round pick next year.
Cleveland has had a great tandem in Hunt and Nick Chubb over recent years. However, Hunt was injured for the majority of the season and when the two have played together on Sundays the Browns have struggled to find that right type of mix that gets the most out of each player.
Most games in the past have involved the two alternating possessions on offense. The team has tried working them on the field at the same time, but it has gelled yet.
You add in that you have another running back in D’Ernest Johnson, basically waiting in the wings to get his shot on this team and something needs to happen. Johnson is a restricted free agent, meaning he can look around the league for a new team, but the Browns can match the offers and have some say in what happens to him.
Johnson, by some accounts, could be looking at a contract that would pay him between $2 and $3 million a season. That would certainly be a better value than Hunt’s current deal.