Cleveland Browns: 5 Players on the Trading Block for 2011
The Cleveland Browns are in a state of rebuilding the franchise under Pat Shurmur. They have already made some significant strides towards becoming a more dynamic team in 2011. As is the case on many NFL teams, not every player from the former regime will have a place under the new system that Shurmur will implement next season.
The following players on this list are players that may be shipped away from the Browns either before the 2011 season begins or at some point during the year.
No. 5: Mike Bell, RB
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The Cleveland Browns traded for Mike Bell last season after the team went through some rough patches with Jerome Harrison. Bell came to Cleveland looking for a new beginning, but failed to impress despite playing in 11 games.
Peyton Hillis received the bulk of the carries when Cleveland acquired Bell from the Philadelphia Eagles, and the results were hard to argue with. Bell only received 31 carries over the course of the season with Cleveland and only gained 71 yards.
The Browns will likely test the market for Bell as hopes of Montario Hardesty's return and free agency should bring at least one more runner to the team. Bell should be re-signed by the Browns this summer as the team would be without an active second-string runner if he was released. If Hardesty or another player can put his best foot forward, Bell may be shipped to his fifth NFL team in six seasons.
No. 4: Seneca Wallace, QB
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The quarterback situation for the Browns will likely change before the beginning of the 2011-12 season. Seneca Wallace just signed a new three-year deal with the team, but has previously expressed his interest in becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL. Colt McCoy appears to have the starting role locked up for the 2011-12 season, which may result in an unhappy Wallace.
Much of Wallace's future with the team will likely hinge upon the actions that Cleveland takes with Jake Delhomme. If Delhomme is retained by the Browns, Wallace's trade possibility greatly increases, as the team will likely try to shed at least one large contract off of the quarterback position.
No. 3: D'Qwell Jackson, LB
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D'Qwell Jackson has simply not been on the field long enough in the last two seasons to warrant any type of new deal after the 2011-12 season. Cleveland was gracious to give Jackson one final chance to prove his worth to the team, but may decide to deal the injury-plagued veteran if given the opportunity.
Jackson put up some strong numbers with the Browns in 2008, but his injury concerns will eventually outweigh the positives if he struggles this season. The Browns could likely get a fourth or fifth-round selection in a trade for Jackson in addition to some special teams talent.
No. 2: Brian Robiskie and Chansi Stuckey
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The Browns receiving corps got significantly better during the 2011 NFL draft as Cleveland selected two weapons in Greg Little and Jordan Cameron. Little will likely become a top receiver on the depth chart early in his career, while Cameron gives the Browns more opportunities with tight end packages and even opens the door for Evan Moore to move to wide receiver.
The Browns have many receivers on the active roster, but will simply not have enough ball distribution to carry so many contracts. Brian Robiskie and Chansi Stuckey are likely the two players on the chopping block, as Robiskie has failed to impress since joining the NFL and Stuckey was a product of the Eric Mangini era.
Both players have a significant amount of upside, which may result in Cleveland offering one final season to showcase any improvements. That upside may also trigger some teams to make an offer if they are weak at the wideout position.
No.1: Eric Wright, CB
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Eric Wright played very poorly during the 2010-11 season and was quickly dropped down the depth chart behind Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown. Wright was burned on multiple occasions and in key situations, which led to some extreme heckling from the Browns faithful and a lack of concentration on the field.
Cleveland upgraded the secondary during the draft, but does not have any player that could step into the third corner position right away. Wright would have to be dealt for a player that could make an impact early and also be around for a long time.
If Wright continues to play poorly next season, the Browns will have to be careful that all of the attention surrounding him does not turn into a distraction for the franchise. Dick Jauron will likely have a tight leash on Wright early this season, and will not cut him loose until he feels that Wright can maintain a strong pace consistently.