Making Sense of the Cleveland Rumor Mill

Samuel IngroAnalyst IApril 24, 2009

I don't believe there has been a team in recent draft history with so much secrecy and trade buzz that's left so many of us hopelessly scrambling for answers.

For once in our history as a franchise, we seem to be holding all the cards necessary to build a successful team, but we can't do it without draft picks.

Thanks to Phil Savage, we only have five this year and a headache of rumors. So who's on the chopping block?

Braylon Edwards

To start out, let's look at the pros and cons.

-Pro Bowl caliber receiver (when on his game) last season I feel was a morale issue due to how badly the team was performing and his injuries.

-If we keep him, he will be playing in a contract year. Meaning he will do all he can to put up good numbers, because like it or not on the NFL level, it's all about the money.

-He won't re-sign with Cleveland at the end of the year, but we very well could franchise him if we feel he's worth it and possibly trade him for high draft picks.

Or, of course, there's a trade this year. How many possible trade deals can be discussed for one player? For Braylon Edwards, it seems to be infinite.

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With all the trade talk for an already disgruntled "star" receiver, it really makes you think what the impact will be on his ego if we end up not having a trade partner for him.

Let's look at the most probable rumors.

1. Second round, fifth round pick, and Hixon/Manningham from NYG. It's no secret about this rumor. It seems to be the popular one recently.

I have absolutely no problem with this trade. Hixon is a proven No. 2 receiver capable of putting up respectable numbers. The Giants second-round pick puts us in contention for Connor Barwin (DE, CIN), LeSean McCoy (RB, PITT), Phil Loadholt (OT, OU), and Patrick Chung (SS, Oregon) according to mock drafts.

2. There's been talk about a first round pick being on the table. From who? It hasn't really been made clear.

If I had to guess I would say the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 21, perhaps picking up Darius Heyward-Bey (WR, MD) who may not have all the physical skills of Edwards, but at least he doesn't drop 20+ balls per season.

Brady Quinn

The pros and cons of Cleveland's favorite hometown boy.

-Showed great command at Notre Dame, and put up average numbers in the two full games he played last season.

-Unproven, Quinn really hasn't had the chance to make a case for himself one way or the other. And that seems to be the biggest issue.

-Doesn't have the "big arm" associated with the NFL quarterback. And coming out of college, scouts pegged him with accuracy problems.

And the trade rumor...

1. Brady's been linked to Denver, Washington, Detroit, New York, and Tampa Bay. There's supposedly a first round draft pick on the table from one of these teams, and if we do indeed draft Mark Sanchez at No. 5 like the media portrays, look for Brady to get shipped out for a later pick in the first round.

Derek Anderson

The pros and cons of D.A.

-Has the big arm featured in a typical Mangini quarterback.

-2007 Pro Bowl quarterback, but lacked accuracy last season and was injury plagued  going down in preseason and again at the end of the year.

The market's down for Anderson after a disappointing 2008 season, but there is a handful of rumors floating around.

1. If the Lions can't come to a deal with Matt Stafford as the No. 1 overall pick, Aaron Curry could easily swoop in and be the top pick, leaving them with a huge void at quarterback. There's been some talk Anderson would go for a second round pick, but I think No. 33 is a bit high of a price for Detroit.

2. The Jets earlier in the year had expressed interest in Anderson. I don't think they have full belief in Kellen Clemens like they say, but D.A. has all the characteristics they're looking for in a passer.

These are just the most likely options for Cleveland on draft day. If you know anything of Kokinis and Mangini, you know they favor draft picks over anything, so don't be surprised to see any of these players dealt over the weekend.