The Cleveland Browns apparently don’t plan on letting the NFL trade deadline pass without making a significant offensive line acquisition for quarterback Baker Mayfield. The only question is whether general manager John Dorsey can reel in the perennial Pro Bowler he has been pursuing for nearly two months, or settle for something less.
Multiple league sources have told Yahoo Sports that Dorsey has spent weeks reaching out to a swath of teams about acquiring offensive line help before the deadline — including three from the NFC East: the Washington Redskins, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. The sources said Dorsey is concentrating his efforts on starting-caliber offensive tackles while lining up backup options if the Redskins ultimately refuse to part ways with seven-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams.
With the trade deadline set at 4 p.m. ET on Oct. 29, it appears Dorsey’s preferred target is still Williams, although league sources said the Redskins have given no indication they’re trading him in spite of his refusal to report to the team.
What is stopping a deal for Redskins’ Trent Williams?
“Dorsey has been trying to get Williams for basically six weeks,” one league source said. “But [Redskins president] Bruce Allen just refuses to trade him. It’s all Bruce. He won’t do it.”
Another source said the Redskins haven’t had a meaningful dialogue with Williams’ representatives in “more than a month” — adding: “It’s to the point of being a personal thing now between Trent and Bruce. I don’t think Bruce is going to back down from it now. It might just have to play itself out because it’s not like Dan [Snyder] is going to intervene the way Shad Khan did with the [Jalen] Ramsey deal. Bruce is more likely to tell Dan what to do in this situation than the other way around.”
One thing that appears certain is that Williams would be the priciest tackle on the trade market, likely requiring a first-round pick despite being 31 and seeking a top-end contract extension wherever he lands. The Browns have draft capital to offer and the salary cap space to get an extension in place. Not to mention the need, with the line in front of Mayfield badly requiring a top-caliber anchor, which Williams would certainly be.
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Other options include Giants, Eagles
If Allen’s “no trade” stance doesn’t change for the Redskins, Dorsey could end up making a push for Nate Solder from the New York Giants as his second option. Dorsey and Giants general manager Dave Gettleman have the working relationship to get a deal done quickly and Solder might benefit from a fresh start in Cleveland after not living up to the lucrative deal he signed in New York. Solder would also come at a cheaper price, too.
If that doesn’t come together? Option No. 3 for Dorsey would be more of a bargain move for depth and flexibility — targeting one of the Eagles’ offensive tackles. Specifically backup Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who has starting experience at tackle and also the flexibility to play guard if needed. Vaitai is in the last year of his rookie deal and has been the odd man out in an offensive tackle quartet that includes top-end starters Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, as well as rookie Andre Dillard.
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