The NFL trade deadline has arrived. Teams have until 4 PM EST today to get deals reported to the NFL office if they want to add talent to their rosters. The Cleveland Browns have been reported to be in the market for a wide receiver to add to their offense as they continue to attempt to jumpstart that side of the football. Could names like Jerry Jeudy of the Denver Broncos or Marquise Brown of the Arizona Cardinals be targets?
Amari Cooper has been Amari Cooper, but other than that the wide receiver unit has been a disappointment for the Browns. Elijah Moore has only recently gotten out of a gadget role, Donovan Peoples-Jones is one of the worst separators in the NFL and has disappeared this season, and third round picks David Bell and Cedric Tillman see the field sparingly.
As the Browns sit at 4-3 and just average quarterback play away from a much better record, here are five wide receiver targets that could help to push them over the top.
Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos
The most common name connected to the Browns at the wide receiver position is Jerry Jeudy. He has been on the trade block since the summer in Denver, although their asking price has been a second round pick. Now that we sit at the deadline and Denver is no closer to competing, their selling price is likely lower on Jeudy now.
Racking up just 336 yards on 27 catches this season, the Broncos have never gotten the most out of Jeudy. And that is predominantly due to their quarterback play. The Browns can’t promise their quarterback play will be better just yet, but Jeudy would be the second-best wide receiver on the roster if a deal was made.
And it does not hurt that he has another year on his deal after 2023 (and potentially two if his fifth-year option is picked up).
Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals
The Browns have had difficulties stretching the field and creating yards after the catch. Marquise Brown could help with that. And while the report out of Arizona is that Brown is not on the block, a good deal to a bad team could sway their mind.
He has already hit 416 yards and four touchdowns this season with the Cardinals, which is quite astounding considering the quarterback he is playing with. A legit field stretcher, Brown’s average depth of target sits at 12 yards.
Brown is in the lat year of his deal though, so the desire to give up what would likely be pricey draft capital for a rental is less than ideal.
Could the former Ravens’ first rounder return to the AFC North?
Another player in the last year of his deal, but who would cost much less to acquire than Brown is Darnell Mooney. A one-time 1,000-yard receiver in 2021 with the Bears, Mooney’s production has plummeted under new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.
This means Mooney could likely be added for a late-Day 3 pick or even a pick swap. This season, Mooney sits with just 225 yards and a touchdown on 15 catches. The Bears have already offloaded Chase Claypool, and are now looking to trade cornerback Jaylon Johnson. Why not add another player to the list?
The Chicago Bears are set for a rebuild, everybody is going to get fired, and they are looking to stack draft capital. This means they could offload their assets on expiring deals. This makes Mooney a prime deadline target.
Mooney is a lethal route runner who can attack every level of the field. His hands and ability to play through contact are iffy, but Mooney is a playmaker with the football in his hands.
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos
The second Broncos’ receiver to land on this list, Courtland Sutton is a unique and special player when he is on the field. And even if the stats are not flashy (again, due to poor quarterback play), Sutton has still managed six touchdowns and 380 yards on 33 catches.
He is a big body with strong hands who has no problem finishing through contact. Aligning both in the slot and outside, the Browns would be able to find the best matchups for him, Cooper, and Moore if added. It also does not hurt that Sutton’s average depth of target is 11 yards.
Likely the most expensive option to trade for on the list, Sutton has two more years left on his contract, the Broncos would have to eat minimal dead money, and he has no guarantees left on his deal. This means the Browns could likely restructure his deal to work the books.
Not to mention, Sutton is getting paid like a mid-level receiver despite his play when he’s on the field.
The Vikings have their backs against the walls despite three wins in a row as quarterback Kirk Cousins will be sidelined for the rest of the season. Will general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah take the opportunity to reload?
If he does, wide receiver KJ Osborn is a trade target. He is in the last year of his contract, so the price will not be high. All Osborn does when he is on the field is make a play when his number is called. For a team that has two pass catchers at the wide receiver position who get steady targets, this is much needed in Cleveland.
He has racked up 360 yards on 30 catches for the Vikings this season. Osborn would immediately be the WR3 in Cleveland if added. The Browns and Vikings have been partners in trade talks before, can they do it again?