The odds are “better than 50-50” that the Browns will make a trade for a receiver at some point before the season, writes Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com. With Josh Gordon facing a lengthy suspension, Nate Burleson currently sidelined with a broken arm, and Greg Little having recently been cut, the team could use a little more depth at the position, even after signing veterans Miles Austin and Earl Bennett.
As Grossi notes, since 2008, no position has seen more trade action than wide receiver, where 27 players have switched teams. Grossi identifies Andre Johnson and Denarius Moore as two wideouts currently believed to be available on the trade market, though I’d be surprised if Houston decides to move Johnson this offseason. Moore is perhaps a more realistic target, after the Raiders signed James Jones in free agency and claimed Little off waivers from the Browns.
While there’s no guarantee that the Browns add a receiver of note in time for the season, general manager Ray Farmer certainly seems to be leaving the door open for that possibility. Earlier in May, Farmer downplayed the team’s need to pick a receiver in the draft, pointing to trades as one alternative route. And as Grossi points out, just last week the GM reiterated his willingness to explore all possible avenues for receiving upgrades: “We’re going to unearth every guy that’s available.”
Additionally, having picked up an extra first-rounder for 2015 in a trade with the Bills, the Browns could be more inclined to part with a later-round draft pick if it means acquiring a reliable veteran.