The Cleveland Browns are rumored to be big sellers come trade deadline time, with reports that some big name players including Barkevious Mingo and Joe Thomas are on the block.
With less than 48 hours remaining until Tuesday’s trade deadline, sources close to the team indicate that the Browns are willing to part with some of their top players in order to accelerate the rebuilding process. A source told Cleveland that their 2013 first-round pick, Barkevious Mingo, is among those likely to be considered in a trade.
— NFL (@NFL) November 1, 2015
There are likely others on the trade block. NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported that Pro Bowl linemen Joe Thomas and Alex Mack are on the block as well, and that the Cleveland Browns are already in discussions regarding both of them. ESPN’s Adam Schefter added that linebacker Paul Kruger is more potential trade bait.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 1, 2015
The rumors indicate that the Cleveland Browns could be headed for some much bigger changes. Sources told Cleveland that the team could make some big shifts in the personnel department and coaching staff, and may be trying to load up on draft picks to give a new coach more latitude — and to make the likely coaching vacancy more attractive to candidates.
The Cleveland Browns didn’t address the rumors.
“This fictitious trading block, to me, you get near the trade deadline and reports start coming out,” said coach Mike Pettine (via Cleveland). “I’m aware of what’s out there, but I have no comment.”
It’s not clear how much the Browns would be able to deal at the deadline. The team would need to find willing partners, likely teams that have been bit by the injury bug and are looking to fill holes, and would also need to get a good enough return to make the trades worth it. With draft picks at a premium, it’s not clear just how much the Browns would get in return.
While the action at the trade deadline is still up in the air, the immediate future for the Cleveland Browns is unclear as well. Quarterback Josh McCown was banged up in Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and with a game coming up on Thursday, the team could turn to Johnny Manziel.
At one point in Sunday’s game it appeared that Manziel might come in after McCown was drilled by Frostee Rucker on two consecutive plays, but McCown stayed in the game.
“You try to let him know as soon as you can, what’s going on,” said McCown. “Like I said, I just want to be out there fighting with my guys. I just want to play, I want to be out there with my guys. I didn’t feel like I was hurting enough that it was going to keep me from doing my job so I’m going to stay out there.”
There have been rumors that the Browns have long-term plans for Manziel to be the starter, but his struggles this season and his continued problems off the field make that date uncertain.
It seems a logical time for the Cleveland Browns to start looking at the future. The team stands at 2-6 and is virtually out of the race for the AFC North already and in a deep, deep hole when looking at the wild card with room for no more losses. With road games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers still ahead for the Browns, this could be the perfect time to deal some pieces.
[Picture by Andrew Weber/Getty Images]