Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Mar 2018

Browns Trade for Everyone (UPDATE: Shelton Gone)

The busiest offseason in recent memory continues!

Jarvis Landry is now a Cleveland Brown. The Browns sent the Dolphins two draft picks -- one this year, and one in 2019, though the exact specifics of those picks have yet to be confirmed, though they are not first or second-round selections.

Landry has 400 receptions over the last four seasons, the third-most in the NFL behind only Antonio Brown and Julio Jones. His 4,038 yards are less impressive, but still has him 12th most in the league since 2014.

The Dolphins clear Landry's $16 million cap hit off the books and get back under the cap, at least temporarily.

The Dolphins actually scored more points the less they got Landry the ball, as we wrote about multiple times last offseason. It will be up to Hue Jackson and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley to get more out of Landry's skill set than the Dolphins ever managed.

UPDATE: Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Brown shipped a 2018 fourth-rounder and 2019 seventh-rounder to Miami in exchange for Landry.

UPDATE: Good lord the Browns are busy today. After making a deal for Landry:

  • They agreed to trade a third-round pick (65 overall) to the Bills for quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
  • They agreed to trade for Green Bay cornerback Damarious Randall, sending DeShone Kizer back in return. They're also swapping picks in the 4th and 5th rounds.

SATURDAY UPDATE: The Browns have agreed to trade defensive tackle Danny Shelton and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick to the New England Patriots, in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

This is the most questionable move Cleveland has made so far. Shelton only played about half of the Browns' defensive snaps, but the 340-pounder was a big part of the one thing the team did well last year: run defense, where they ranked fourth in DVOA last season. Shelton is entering the final year of his rookie contract, but this trade does nothing to make Cleveland better in 2018, and won't do much to make them better in 2019.

Posted by: Bryan Knowles on 10 Mar 2018

52 comments, Last at 12 Mar 2018, 12:28pm by mehllageman56


by Mike B. In Va :: Fri, 03/09/2018 - 6:14pm

Well, he does have a lot of catches. Does this mean another 1st rounder on a QB?

by Noah Arkadia :: Fri, 03/09/2018 - 6:24pm

This is bad for the Dolphins, but they worked themselves into a lose-lose situation after inflating Landry's production so much with bubble screens and what have you that he felt he deserved to get paid like the big boys. At least they didn't trade him to the Pats, like Welker.

by PatsFan :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 12:40am

Well, it's not like MIA had a choice in the Welker trade. Welker was a RFA and NE was ready to poison pill him before the teams decided to have NE throw in a 7th and do it as a trade.

Blame them for only offering a 2nd round tender if you want, though.

by GwillyGecko :: Fri, 03/09/2018 - 7:25pm

and now tyrod taylor is a brown too!

happy that my bills got a good pick (first pick of round 3-65 ovr) for a qb everyone knew they wanted to rid themselves of!!

by Bryan Knowles :: Fri, 03/09/2018 - 7:45pm

If the Browns could slow down for, like, five minutes, that'd be great.

by Vincent Verhei :: Fri, 03/09/2018 - 7:48pm

I love that there are two of us apparently working full-time on this right now and we still can't keep up.

by theslothook :: Fri, 03/09/2018 - 7:49pm

The Tyrod trade is mind boggling. Why trade for a redundant player???

If I was a potential qb the browns were looking at, I would refuse to go there.

by Mike B. In Va :: Fri, 03/09/2018 - 7:55pm

Not to mention giving up a 3rd for a player that could have been cut next week. My mind is boggled.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 5:20pm

Even if he's released, do you really think he'll voluntarily sign with CLEVELAND? No, this makes plenty of sense IMO.

by Steve in WI :: Fri, 03/09/2018 - 8:02pm

This trade only makes sense if the Browns think Taylor either might be the long-term answer, or they are so unimpressed with this year's draft class that they're not going to draft one with the 1st or 4th pick.

I mean, it still doesn't make sense that they gave up a 3rd for a guy who was about to be cut...I can see giving a 6th or a 7th to ensure that you get him, but who else was bidding for him that they had to give up a 3rd?

by Theo :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 11:44am

Since they don't have Kizer anymore, they will need someone to lose games for them when the rookie they are going to draft 1st overall gets injured.

by herewegobrownie... :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 1:00am

Do we know for sure that he was going to be released?

There are reports that Den and Arizona were putting in trade bids just under #65, which by the way the Browns still have *four* picks ahead of.

Browns were not going to be able to sign one of the FA QBs who was good enough to justify bringing in as a "bridge" but also knew his replacement was going to be drafted, let alone sign Cousins.

Funny thing is that Tyrod is on the top "tier" of Browns QBs since the return, which puts him all the way up with....the better versions of Tim Couch, Derek Anderson, and Brian Hoyer.

Hard to get too upset given the excess of draft capital they had available, when they can't feasibly take on too many more rookies, and what types of players they've squandered high-3rd type picks on in the past, although John Dorsey is now at the helm instead.

If he ends up being strictly a one-year bridge, the real value given up is the 3rd rounder minus a compensatory.

by bravehoptoad :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 11:31am

Browns were not going to be able to sign one of the FA QBs who was good enough to justify bringing in as a "bridge" but also knew his replacement was going to be drafted, let alone sign Cousins.

Ding ding. If they waited for the Bills to cut Taylor, the Browns might be the last place the guy would end up.

by theslothook :: Sun, 03/11/2018 - 9:15pm

How many other destinations is Tyrod a realistic starting option? DEN, ARI...maybe Baltimore? I think Cleveland had a realistic shot to sign him as an unrestricted free agent.

by bobrulz :: Sun, 03/11/2018 - 11:43pm

But that's also assuming that he would rather be the Browns' starter than a backup.

Given how bad the Browns organization is perceived to be at the moment, that's not even a guarantee.

by theslothook :: Fri, 03/09/2018 - 7:58pm

I know this involves the Browns but it's also a good example of why you don't draft a quarterback with a second round pick. Because unless that person shines almost immediately, it's not a large enough investment to justify giving him multiple chances. And since most rookie QBs stink, it always seems like a wasted pick.

by Dan_L :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 1:09am

Isn't it more "Don't draft a quarterback in any round without a development plan"? The Browns came in with a "1. We'll try him whenever he's better than our other options. 2. If he's immediately great, we're set. 3. If not ????. 4. Profit. " Or maybe Sashi had one plan and Hue had another. Either way, it is functionally no plan. It's not so much a function of where you draft someone, but whether you have a realistic plan to train -> play them.

by jtr :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 10:27am

It was unbelievable how badly Hue jerked Kizer around. It was quite clear that he had never decided whether his top priority was to maximize his chance to win each game, to let the rookie take his lumps and learn from experience, or to try to protect Kizer as much as possible. He seemed to switch back and forth between the three multiple times per week. This kind of inability to form any sort of plan just doesn't happen with other orgs.

Also, Kizer was toast the moment Sashi Brown got fired. A new GM never takes on the old GM's project QB.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 5:25pm

"A new GM never takes on the old GM's project QB."

While historically true, this is becoming less and less of a rule in the last few years.

by herewegobrownie... :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 5:53pm

Also, two-thirds of the "Moneyball/Harvard Brain Trust" trio, namely DePodesta and Andrew Berry, remain intact with the team, and that will mean other "projects" of the last 2 drafts will largely stay.

Kizer was that much of a need of the team making a hard reset, much like the Cavs had the hard reset at their trade deadline.

by jackiel :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 10:46pm

Agreed. Hue definitely didn't do Kizer any favors with his horrible game planning. I may be crazy but he still may be a starting QB in the league. Hopefully he can learn under #12 for a few years and then move to a team that will give him a chance to compete for a starting job. Ironically, he shouldn't want to get on the field in GB at all this season. Without Rodgers' improvisational magic, that offense sucks - poor blocking, lack of impact players at the skill positions.

by theslothook :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 10:54pm

Are they poor at blocking? I've always felt like the offense has had competent pass blocking most of the time, sometimes even great blocking. I think Rodger is one of the few quarterbacks that doesn't do his line many favors, probably the one big weakness left in his game

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 03/11/2018 - 7:33am

Where is the idea of "learning under Aaron Rogers" coming from? I don't think great QBs like him actually help develop their backups. Did Hundley learn much from #12? I hope not.

It's like in Denver, a whole segment of the fanbase had some notion like "they should keep Tebow so he can learn under Manning for a few years." As if anybody asked Peyton how he feels about wasting his time doing things that are clearly not his job for people he may or may not even like.

When is the last time a still-in-his-prime HoF QB mentored his backup to greatness or even competency? Has it EVER actually happened? Mentoring a younger teammate is something good but not great veterans have to do as they get older to continue justifying their contracts, not something you can expect from Rogers or Brees or Rivers or Roethlisberger or even Eli Manning for some reason.

Every potential example I've thought of is from a TEAM that places value on QB development, and I don't think the starting QB had much to do with it. Does anybody really credit Brady for teaching Garappolo? I'm pretty sure Favre didn't go out of his way to help Rogers much, I've read about Rogers being a world class asshole from day 1 there (so maybe you don't even WANT him "teaching"). I don't know much about the Montana to Young transition, but again, does anybody credit Montana for teaching Young?

by Noah Arkadia :: Sun, 03/11/2018 - 9:19pm

Do you mean Favre being a world class asshole from day 1? Because that's what I read, I wasn't aware it applied to Rodgers, too. I'd like to think Rodgers isn't like that at all.

by MC2 :: Mon, 03/12/2018 - 6:44am

Actually, I've always thought part of the reason Favre and Rodgers never got along was because their personalities are so similar. They both seem like the epitome of the stereotypical, cocky-bordering-on-arrogant, "alpha male" personality.

Of course, there's no doubt a bit of that mindset in almost all successful NFL QBs, but Favre and Rodgers both seem to have more than their fair share of it.

by jackiel :: Mon, 03/12/2018 - 2:45am

I don't necessarily mean that Rodgers has to actively take a mentorship approach to his relationship to Kizer, although of course that would be preferable. I believe that any young player can learn from a veteran in terms of film study, practice habits, how they deal with the coaching staff and the media, team leadership, etc. That alone can provide platform for success.

by jtr :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 11:54am

edit: double post

by justanothersteve :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 1:45am

I understand the Packers POV. New Packers GM gets a QB cheaply that the staff think they can develop. Hundley's gone after 2018 and didn't show enough for the Packers to keep as a backup. Kizer and Hundley are probably fighting for a roster spot. They give up a three year CB who's been wildly erratic and has missed games every year for injury. If Kizer doesn't make the team, they didn't give up much.

Some history. New Packers GM Ron Wolf traded a first round pick for Brett Favre, a second round pick with a disappointing rookie season. This is trading a former first round pick for a second round pick with a disappointing rookie season. I seriously doubt similar results. But this will be the media narrative if Kizer makes the team.

by herewegobrownie... :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 4:53pm

Only out-of-the-box QB comparison that makes sense for Kizer is Jimmy Clausen, another bottom-tier, 2nd-round Notre Dame QB who lasted one year as a starter.

by almon :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 3:35am

i like what the Browns did if they draft Barkley and QB in 1st round. they'll be a run-first team with Tyrod dink-n-dunk to Landry on 3rd-n-short, and Gordon will prevent other teams from playing 8 in the box, and don't forget Coleman, TE, Barkley and new QB will all be on cheap contracts for at least 2 more years

they can spend some free agent $ on defense, and the rest of the draft on defense and OL. hell, i'm going to vegas and betting the house on over...

by jtr :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 10:32am

Congratulations to the Bills for achieving their long term goal of dumping a perfectly serviceable quarterback for no reason. It took years, but they did it. They pick 21st and 22nd in the draft, which means that unless they trade up, they will find all the quarterbacks gone by the time their turn comes up.

by bravehoptoad :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 11:34am

Seriously, I'm thrilled for Mr. Taylor that he got the heck out of there...but here's to hoping Hue Jackson manages his QBs a tad bit better than last year.

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 11:46am

Quest completed. Next quest: find QB.

by MarkV :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 12:02pm

My thought upon reading this is that they have a trade up deal in place. Looking at the trade value charts, I suspect it's with either den or the Jets, which would mean that team has a tentative deal in place with their qb of the future.

Though I guess it's hypothetically possible they are trading with Giants including a future first pick.

by Lebo :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 3:05pm

Yeah, I reckon they must have a deal in place. How else can they justify giving up their starting QB?

I'm (selfishly) hoping it's with the Colts.

by MarkV :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 9:33pm

The calculator would suggest that Bills for colts:
#3 overall and #104 overall from colts would approximately equal
#21 overall, #22 overall, #53 overall, and #56 overall.

Geezum that seems like a kings ransom for the bills to pay for their #3 player.

Denver would be something like:
#21, #22, #65, #96
for #5, #71, #142
Two firsts, two thirds for #5, a 3rd, and a 5th also seems pretty bad to me, but I dunno. I sort of get the logic, as the difference between #3 and #5 is a lot of compensation, and probably wouldn't be a QB unless they are the ones trading for it (as colts have lots of needs - I guess the browns could trade #4 to someone).

The draft chart logic for trading to the Giants gets really weird. Teams don't really trade up to #2 from the 20s, but it would probably be something like, both #1s, all 3 #2s, and a 1 next year. I cannot even remotely see that one going "by the book" or anything close to it.

Jets I think could also make sense, but would be pretty weird to have a trade agreed to for the #6 pick this far out, as so much can happen.

IMO I think its probably a deal with the Colts, but maybe a deal with the Broncos.

by mehllageman56 :: Sun, 03/11/2018 - 11:41am

I can't see the Jets helping a division rival get their franchise quarterback unless they make the Bills pay through the nose. If Denver doesn't get Cousins, they probably won't move down. I could see the Jets moving down, but only if 3 to 4 quarterbacks are already taken. It wouldn't surprise me to see somebody trade up for Minkah Fitzpatrick. But the key is the Colts pick; it's up for sale.

Personally, I'm not sure teams should be trading up for quarterbacks in this draft, when there might be 7 guys in the draft who will be starters 2 years from now. Rosen, Darnold, Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Mason Rudolph, Mike White and Kyle Lauletta should all be starters out of this draft. Then there's guys like Kurt Benkert (cannon for an arm, inconsistent accuracy but still better than Josh Allen) and Luke Falk (accurate, but a noodle for an arm) who could surprise me.

by bobrulz :: Sun, 03/11/2018 - 11:49pm

There will not be 7 starting QBs from this draft. When has ANY draft produced 7 starting QBs?

by herewegobrownie... :: Mon, 03/12/2018 - 1:10am

2012 had 6 QBs who have had viable starter-level careers - Luck, RG3, Tanny, Wilson, Cousins, Foles.

It also had Osweiler and Weeden as players who are not viable long-term starters, but have started/played more than the average backup, and whatever you can say of them now in hindsight, were pretty much universally considered to have starting-caliber potential going into the draft.

by Jerry :: Mon, 03/12/2018 - 7:08am

So, 4 or 5 of the 8, depending on how you want to count Foles, are actually starters in 2018. If a team actually likes somebody, trading up still makes sense. They might get unlucky in the Griffin sense, or in the Weeden sense, but there's no guarantee that waiting for someone to fall to them will work out.

by mehllageman56 :: Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:28pm

Ok, 7 is a stretch, but 4 to 5 working out is a possibility in this year's draft. It wasn't last year, and teams like the Chiefs and Texans moved up to get their guy. But the Texans gave up the fourth pick in this draft for Watson (who looked good but got hurt), and the Chiefs gave up the 23rd pick for a guy they barely played this year. While it looks like Watson is really good, it will take time to figure out if he's better than the guys available at number 4 in this year's draft. If Mahommes works out, the decision to trade up and give up their picks this year will look good.
The main thing for GMs to consider is not whether they like somebody, it's how much they like him over the next guy. There is a lot of quarterback depth in this draft, much like 2012. Wilson and Foles went in the third, and Cousins went in the fourth. If Darnold, Rosen and Allen are gone, is it worth that much for Buffalo to trade up for Mayfield, or should they just wait for Lamar Jackson?

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 5:31pm

I still think it's insane that the Peterman fiasco didn't cost the Bills that playoff spot. They really, really shouldn't have been rewarded for that.

by MC2 :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 10:55pm

That was a crazy move, but I wouldn't say it was ever going to cost them a playoff spot, as they would have been a significant road underdog against the Chargers, even with Taylor as the starter.

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 03/11/2018 - 12:37am

Better to be an underdog with a chance than to play an unprepared rookie QB to remove all doubt

by Chuckc :: Mon, 03/12/2018 - 7:51am

I don't see how they were rewarded for that move. They lost the game and got no benefit out of it.

by justanothersteve :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 1:14pm

Browns are not taking the weekend off. They just traded Danny Shelton to the Pats for an undisclosed draft pick.


by Yu Narukami :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 1:32pm

2018 Browns 5th to the Pats
2019 Pats 3rd to the Browns

by Dave Bernreuther :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 2:16pm

Now they just need to trade their coach and things will be looking pretty damn good for the 2018 Browns.

by Sixknots :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 11:35pm

Yes, but how much would the Browns have to give to have another team take Hue off their hands?

by theslothook :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 2:49pm

With Cam Irving looking terrible and Shelton being traded, that's yet another draft class for the browns that we can officially label as squandered. My god it hurts.

by herewegobrownie... :: Sat, 03/10/2018 - 4:10pm

Erving was horrific, glad they were able to wash their hands of him and at least salvage a 5th.

Shelton was not great as a rookie but would likely have made the pro bowl last year if not for the team as a whole going 0-16 - the team's one top metric in run DVOA speaks for itself. The current regime wanted to wash their hands of Farmer/Pettine in full, and getting a 3rd back which might not be late if Brady declines is about what they could expect.

I guess the question is, would you want these guys, or Sammy Watkins, who was the original traded pick?

That draft and the previous left a lot to be desired, but Nate Orchard and Xavier Cooper were adequate for where they were picked, and Duke Johnson has been reliable.

by jtr :: Sun, 03/11/2018 - 2:25pm

Shelton was the only defender that stood out to me when I watched the Browns the last few years. Ditching him for a 2019 mid round pick is change for change's sake, and it's exactly the trap that the Browns fall into OVER AND OVER AGAIN that keeps them from ever gaining any traction.