Before the Browns could develop their passing attack of Brady Quinn, Braylon Edwards, and Kellen Winslow, Cleveland traded their high-profile tight end to the Bucs for undisclosed draft picks.
As dedicated fantasy football owners set their draft lists up this summer, this trade could have a bigger impact than the initial ramifications.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Back in the state of Florida, Winslow should thrive for a team who hasn't had a dominant tight end since, well, ever.
The Bucs have franchised receiver Antonio Bryant, giving them a big playmaker on the outside, and their stable of running backs should be very effective this season, especially if Cadillac Williams is healthy.
All of this means the middle of the field should be open for Winslow to evade line backers, getting open on short and intermediate routes that he can stretch into big plays. Tampa is known for pounding the ball on the ground, which will open the play action passing game.
Although Winslow has had some individual issues in his career, I am confident he will be able to thrive with the Bucs and stay on the field.
The biggest question regarding Winslow's fantasy success in 2009 is, who will be throwing him the ball? Right now the list includes Brian Griese, Luke McCown, Josh Johnson, and Josh Freeman.
If Griese or McCown is the starter, Winslow will see a minimum of 65 catches, 700 yards, and three touchdowns and a maximum of 85 catches, 1000 yards, and eight touchdowns.
Winslow will be replaced by Steve Heiden, Martin Rucker, and potentially a free agent or draft pick.
The group that replaces Winslow will have limited fantasy value. Rucker was very good in college but hasn’t had a chance to produce in the pros, while Heiden is more of a blocking back.
The Browns could go after Robert Royal in free agency or draft one of the pass-catching tight ends, possibly reuniting Rucker with his college teammate Chase Coffman.
This trade will also hurt Brady Quinn's sleeper value. In his brief time last season, he counted on Winslow to be his release valve.
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