After a two-day flurry of trade agreements Friday and Saturday, the Cleveland Browns took Sunday to pause. Which doesn’t mean GM John Dorsey is finished improving a winless team.
More trades -- they become official on Wednesday at 4 p.m. -- are always possible, and free agency is a blink away.
What’s next for the Browns?
There could be more trade agreements. Dorsey already has brought in quarterback Tyrod Taylor, receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Damarious Randall. He has traded quarterback DeShone Kizer and defensive tackle Danny Shelton. Though nothing has been confirmed, there is a fair amount of chatter that receiver Corey Coleman could be next to be dealt. Coleman has been a disappointment since he was picked first in the 2016 draft. Any trade that involves him would have to mean the Browns are targeting a receiver in free agency. One other name being bandied about as a possible trade candidate is cornerback Jamar Taylor, who played well in 2016 after being acquired in a final-day-of-draft trade with Miami but who may be expendable after the Browns added Randall.
Sit out the primary quarterback market. With Taylor on the roster, there will be no pursuit of Kirk Cousins or AJ McCarron. The Browns weren’t expected to be part of the lucrative bidding for Cousins given they will draft a quarterback first or fourth in April, but McCarron was a possibility. Taylor’s $16 million deal takes the Browns out of that market.
Perhaps add a less expensive veteran quarterback. The Browns would probably like the idea of adding a less expensive, experienced backup to go with Taylor, the drafted quarterback and Cody Kessler in training camp. Sam Bradford may not cost a great deal, and coach Hue Jackson would always welcome Josh McCown back. There are others who may cost even less. The key would be for players to accept the role they would be given. Whatever happens with this group does not figure to happen immediately.
Be active in the receiver and cornerback market. Adding Landry and Randall is just a start. Expect the Browns to pursue another receiver, and perhaps go all-in for a player like Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson, who had 201 receptions and 22 touchdowns his first three seasons but tore his ACL in the first week of the 2017 season. Terrelle Pryor and Kansas City’s Albert Wilson are other options. At cornerback, Randall’s arrival removes Trumaine Johnson from consideration, but the Browns could look at a player like Bashaud Breeland of Washington or Rashaan Melvin of the Colts.
Don’t discount the pursuit of a safety. The team believes that Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick -- a legitimate candidate for the fourth overall pick -- can play corner or safety. If the Browns can find a safety to pair with Jabrill Peppers, they could draft Fitzpatrick and put him at corner with Randall. Solidifying the secondary would stabilize the entire defense, which was very good against the run last season.
The Browns also have to address the future at left tackle no matter what Joe Thomas decides to do. If he returns, it will likely be for only one season, so a successor is needed. They also will lose Isaiah Crowell to free agency, so a running back to pair with Duke Johnson is needed. The team seems committed, though, to looking to its bevy of draft picks -- five in the first two rounds -- to fill those needs.
Dorsey has generated a lot of buzz with his trade agreements the past two days but there is no reason to believe he is finished. The Browns still have a projected $80-some million in salary cap room, so they have the ability to be selectively aggressive.