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Potential Lions trade target: Browns CB Greg Newsome II

The Cleveland Browns have a strange surplus of starting cornerbacks. Their abundance could be a potential solution for the Detroit Lions and their stark lack of overall talent and depth at outside corner.

The Browns could be looking to move one of their trio of starting-caliber cornerbacks. Writing for The Washington Post, Jason La Canfora noted:

“Multiple GMs said the Cleveland Browns made it clear they are open to dealing one of their top cornerbacks as they try to balance salaries after years of heavy spending.”

The Browns have three premium CBs: Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson and Greg Newsome II. All three are outside cornerbacks by nature. The one to focus on for potential Lions trade purposes is Newsome, who is entering his fourth season and due a new contract after the year if the Browns choose not to exercise his fifth-year option.

This was a popular discussion point at the NFL Scouting Combine, with Newsome the most likely candidate to bring back anything worthwhile in return for Cleveland. The 2021 first-rounder from Northwestern has been forced to play inside in the slot and has struggled compared to how well he performed earlier in his career while aligning outside. He’s not exactly endeared himself to the Browns fan base either.

If the Lions are interested, it goes beyond simply trading a draft pick or two to the Browns to acquire the 23-year-old Newsome. Detroit would also need to sign him to a new contract. Those salary negotiations would figure to begin at the fifth-year option value of $13.37 million as a base price per year.

Hypothetical deal

The Lions send No. 73 overall in the 2024 NFL draft and a 2025 fourth-round pick to the Browns for Newsome.

Detroit signs Newsome to a three-year, $41.5 million contract with $22.5 million guaranteed. That figure is above what Over The Cap currently projects as Newsome’s value but is commensurate with the rate for a starting outside cornerback in free agency.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire