Jeudy Traded to Cleveland

The Broncos and Browns finalized a trade today that will see Jerry Jeudy traded to the Browns for a 5th and 6th round draft selection. Jeudy was a former first round pick of the Broncos who was entering the final year of his rookie contract. The trade will be made official on the first day of free agency, though we will update the trade now.

The trade is one that works out well for all involved. The Broncos are in a season where they need to shed cap charges and salaries and it is doubtful that Jeudy, who had yet to post a 1,000 yard receiving season, was going to be featured in their future plans. His $12.987 million salary cap charge was a pretty big number for a team with limited cap room and all kinds of questions about their offense. There is no dead money associated with the trade so they will clear all of that cap space as soon as the trade is made official at the start of the league year.

The Browns have needs at wide receiver and their draft prospects are still very limited due to their trade for Deshaun Watson a few years ago. Their first selection this year will not be until late in the 2nd round so trades like this are the Browns best avenue to finding younger players with some upside at a potential discount. Their leading receiver, Amari Cooper, will be 30 this year and is entering the final year of his contract while their 2nd leading wide receiver, Elijah Moore, had less than 700 receiving yards.

Cleveland will take on the full $12.987 million of guaranteed salary and that number counts in full against the salary cap for the time being. I would expect the Browns to convert most of the salary to a bonus and add four void years to bring the salary cap charge down to about $3.5 million for the year. They will need to deal with the potential fall out with Moore, also entering a contract year, who may not be happy if he sees a reduced role in the offense.

Jeudy needed a fresh start if he wanted to go out and score a big contract as a free agent after this season. He seemed to hit a ceiling in Denver and when you look at that quarterback situation it makes things bleak for a receiver looking to produce big numbers in a contract year. He should get a big chance to earn more opportunities in Cleveland and the Browns lack of depth and young talent gives him a pretty good change to be rewarded by the Browns at some point either later this year or early next year.