The Browns are in need of help at left tackle, and the club will keep its eye on two veteran options as the trade and free agent markets come into focus over the next two weeks. Cleveland will “consider” both Redskins offensive lineman Trent Williams and pending free agent Jason Peters as it aims to solidify Baker Mayfield‘s blindside.
Williams, who was earlier today granted permission to seek a trade by Washington, was a target of ex-Browns general manager John Dorsey in 2019. Cleveland was arguably Williams’ most serious suitor ahead of last year’s trade deadline, but the Redskins held firm on their asking price of a first-round pick.
The Browns declined to meet that ask, but they might have another shot at landing Williams, especially now that Washington’s personnel decisions are being made by head coach Ron Rivera and VP of player personnel Kyle Smith (at least, until after the draft). Williams, who has one year and $12.5MM in base salary remaining on his contract, wants to become the highest-paid tackle in the NFL, meaning he’ll need an extension upon being traded.
A cancer scare and a resulting spat with Redskins management sidelined Williams for the entirety of the 2019 campaign, and other health question marks have caused Williams to miss at least one game in every season since 2013. But the 31-year-old has been excellent when on the field, earning Pro Bowl nods in every season from 2012-18.
Peters, meanwhile, will test free agency instead of re-signing with the Eagles in advance of the market’s opening. Although he’s now 38 years old, Peters remains a high-quality left tackle. Pro Football Focus graded the nine-time Pro Bowler as the league’s sixth-best tackle among 81 qualifiers in 2019.
Cleveland is in dire straits at left tackle after Greg Robinson, who played the majority of the Browns’ snaps on the left side last season, was arrested on a felony marijuana charge last month. Justin McCray, who also saw time on the blindside, hasn’t proven to be anything more than a replacement level player on more than 1,300 career snaps.