Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports was a guest on 92.3 The Fan’s Baskin and Phelps and offered a cryptic, vague suggestion the Cleveland Browns will make a move ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Without being specific, Robinson was coy with the hosts, saying “The draft isn’t here yet. There’s still other things that can happen with the Cleveland Browns.”
He added later, “I want to underscore I think this team is going to get better between now and the NFL Draft.”
The obvious answer would be Jadeveon Clowney, but there isn’t much reason to be coy about that. He’s a free agent. They can sign him, presuming his surgically repaired knee is ready to be cleared, so it’s unnecessary to play around with it.
So it sounds like maybe Clowney is an option, it may not be the only one. There could be another free agent like Melvin Ingram or someone else. It may be suggesting the possibility of a trade as well.
On this front, two names jump out. corner Marshon Lattimore of the New Orleans Saints and defensive end Danielle Hunter of the Minnesota Vikings.
The battle the Saints are waging with their salary cap continues. Lattimore’s recent arrest in Cleveland where he’s being charged with receiving stolen properly could certainly complicate the issue. Depending on what happened and how quickly the teams can get to the bottom of the issue, it may not prohibit them from making a trade.
Lattimore fits what the Browns seem to want to do in terms of their secondary, getting a player with more size opposite Denzel Ward with incredible physical talent and potential long term viability, entering the prime of his career.
Danielle Hunter of the Minnesota Vikings is the much sexier potential move and one that’s quietly been mentioned occasionally throughout this offseason. It started with Hunter letting it be known he was unhappy with his contract with the Vikings.
He missed all of last season with a neck injury and that would have to be vetted, though Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has said the Vikings have been receiving videos of his workouts that are impressive.
The two seasons before the injury, Hunter recorded 29 sacks and 74 pressures. He is one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL and pairing him with Myles Garrett is easily the best pair of pass rushers in the NFL.
Assuming the Browns can provide an offer that would satisfy the Vikings, they would have to figure out the contract that would satisfy Hunter. Currently, he’s scheduled to make basically $12 million over the next three years. Maybe he’s fine with making that much in 2021, but he will want more overall.
The Browns can make it work if they wish. Their defense would be upgraded significantly and they might instantly become a top contender for the Super Bowl.
As most are waiting for the draft and perhaps a Clowney signing, Robinson has lobbed a grenade in there that will make fans curious what the Browns could do to upgrade their team in pursuit of a Super Bowl title.