The Browns are cutting bait on their 2016 first-round pick, and the Bills will take a chance on a young wide receiver with two years remaining on his contract.
Cleveland agreed to trade Corey Coleman to Buffalo in exchange for a draft pick, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Browns will receive a late-round pick for Coleman, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). The Browns announced the trade.
Coleman’s shown intermittent promise with the Browns, but for the most part, his first two NFL seasons have not gone well. The Baylor product’s struggled with injuries — most notably, two hand breaks — and saw the GM who drafted him ousted last year. And this offseason, Coleman’s been mentioned as either a trade candidate or a player who needed a strong training camp to have a key role with the Browns this season. He’ll now have to learn a new offense to make an impact in Year 3.
This also continues a Browns/Bills trade pipeline. The sides most notably agreed on a deal that sent the Browns Tyrod Taylor in exchange for a third-round pick, and John Dorsey dealt with the Bills during the 2017 draft as well (albeit with former GM Doug Whaley) in a trade that routed Patrick Mahomes to Kansas City.
This is also interesting because Coleman appears as a starter on the Browns’ first 2018 depth chart. Josh Gordon is away from the team, and Coleman’s name is listed with the first-stringers alongside Jarvis Landry. With the 2016 No. 15 overall pick now Buffalo-bound, players like Rashard Higgins and Antonio Callaway will have clearer paths to playing time. Dorsey also expects Gordon to return to the Browns at some point, and it’s believed the former All-Pro pass-catcher is getting closer to rejoining his team.
Just 24, Coleman is signed through the 2019 season and could be under Bills control through 2020 via the fifth-year option. That decision is due in May, making Coleman’s 2018 season pivotal.
The first wideout chosen in the 2016 draft, Coleman played well early in his career — posting a 104-yard, two-touchdown day in his second NFL game — before breaking his hand in September 2016. He has yet to record another 100-yard game and was not much of a factor for an abysmal Browns passing offense last season.
For his career, Coleman has 56 catches for 718 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll join a Bills receiving corps fronted by Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones. Beyond those two, and Benjamin is only signed through 2018, there isn’t much clarity. The Bills’ activated Jones off their NFI list earlier Sunday.
This trade also comes on the same day the Eagles extended the power structure responsible for trading up to draft Carson Wentz. The Browns traded down out of that No. 2 spot and ended up at No. 15, selecting Coleman. None of Cleveland’s eight first-round picks from 2012-16 is still with the franchise.
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