Per Schefter: Browns Prepared to Move More Players

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According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Browns are fielding offers for WR Josh Gordon and WR Greg Little

This has been a big week for the Cleveland Browns who, after an 0-2 start, are looking to move a number of pieces to prepare for the 2014 season and beyond. This news comes on the heels of trading away Trent Richardson, the number 3 pick in the 2012 NFL draft, and effectively benching QB Brandon Weeden, the number 22 pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

In many ways this speaks volumes about the way the new Browns staff feels that former Browns President Mike Holmgren built this football team.  The team moved up in the draft to select Richardson and cost the Browns a 4th, 5th, and 7th round pick. The Browns have now received an unknown 1st round selection in return.

Holmgren had drafted two QB’s since taking over the team in 2010, Colt McCoy and Weeden. The Browns traded LB Kamerion Wimbley in return for a 3rd round draft pick  to select McCoy. The Browns traded McCoy in April while they would likely like to trade Weeden if possible. Weeden was acquired with a pick that was received from the Falcons as part of a trade in 2011 in which the Browns moved out of the 6th spot, a pick  that turned into WR Julio Jones.

Gordon was a supplemental draft selection in 2012 which required the Browns to forfeit a 2nd round draft selection in 2013. Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season and would carry a dead money charge of $1,542,418 in 2014 if traded this season. In terms of cap space it would actually cost less to keep him on the team than to trade him.  Little was a second round pick in 2011. Little’s dead money in 2014 if cut or traded would be just $230,000.

A look back on the Holmgren run for the Browns really looks very poor. Of the eight selections made in 2010 only 4 remain with the team in 2013, one of whom, RB Montario Hardesty, is on injured reserve and never developed into a contributor. The Browns released two of eight selections from the 2011 draft and are prepared to trade a third.

Holmgren drafted 11 players in 2012 plus used the supplemental pick on Gordon, making this a 12 person draft for the Browns. Of those 12 the new regime has traded Richardson (1st rounder), released LB James-Michael Johnson (4th rounder), traded WR Emmanuel Acho (5th rounder), released G Ryan Miller (5th rounder), released CB Trevin Wade (7th rounder), and released TE Brad Smelley (7th rounder). So the Browns have already seen fit to replace 50% of the entire draft and with a trade of Gordon looming and a move on Weeden seeming inevitable the Browns will have replaced 2/3 of an entire draft class within one season.

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Questions about this article? Reach Jason Fitzgerald on Twitter at @jason_otc