The Cleveland Browns have made several moves this offseason that hint at a desire to make the playoffs and make some noise once they get there. Their roster has already been improved, but one piece of the puzzle could be an offensive lineman to protect quarterback Baker Mayfield’s blindside. It just so happens that one such player is reportedly on the market. The Washington Redskins are said to be trying to trade Trent Williams, who is among the best in the business at his position.
The two teams have reportedly talked before. So far, the problem was the asking price from the ‘Skins. Williams is still someone Cleveland wants if the price can be reduced.
Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report says the Browns are still going after Williams. On the other hand, the writer points out the team is still looking at the possibility of shoring up the left side of its line through the draft. There are options there.
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com once again laid out just what has to happen if the two teams are to come to a deal.
“The Browns explored trading for Williams after the Redskins gave him permission to seek a deal two weeks ago. He is still a possibility if the Redskins lower their asking price and/or if Williams is willing to accept less in an extension. If the Browns surrender a higher pick, they’d likely want a longer-term deal, which would effectively take them out of the strong left tackle market in the draft.”
John Keim of ESPN.com reports that, for now, the asking price is still too high for many suitors. Washington is reportedly asking for a second-round pick. Considering the rest of the league knows Williams wants out of town, they are willing to wait until he is cut and becomes a free agent.
There is also the fact, as Tansey points out, that Williams isn’t going to be cheap even if a deal gets done. He’s currently carrying a contract worth $12.5 million this year and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
A second-round pick and that much money against the cap for a one-year rental is indeed a steep price. The Browns have already spent upwards of $40 million on the offensive line this offseason. They could be reluctant to add onto that number without a guarantee they could bring Williams back for another season. If they don’t swing a trade, they will have the 10th pick in the draft.