National Football League notebook: Browns shake things up, make 3 trades

Aubrey Yates
March 13, 2018

Thomas, 33, was selected by Cleveland with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

So far, the Browns have traded for Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry-one of the top 10 WR in the game-and QB Tyrod Taylor. That's how Friday's flurry of action kicked off. The Browns are still expected to take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft. We also tend to overvalue draft picks, getting caught up in the hypothetical of what it might become.

The team made a handful of high-profile trades that set the football world ablaze and kickstart what is sure to be a fascinating franchise rebuild to monitor. The Browns used more than $30 million in cap space in making those deals. After all, the Browns came close to trading second- and third-round picks to Cincinnati for McCarron in October. Taylor finished with 2,799 passing yards on a 62.6 percent completion rate with 14 touchdowns to four interceptions while recording 427 rushing yards with four touchdowns in 15 games played.

Landry clashed at times with controlling coach Adam Gase and was ripped by Gase after being ejected in the fourth quarter of the season finale against the Buffalo Bills. Taylor has started at least 14 games each of the last three seasons and threw for 2,799 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions past year.

The main reason the Browns got worse instead of better is because Haslam did not follow his own plan. Dorsey appears to realize that it won't matter who the quarterback is if there is no one for them to throw the ball to.

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Dorsey understands that since the Browns can't point to anything tangible on the field from the last two years, they needed to generate buzz and create some momentum before the free agency period begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

When a team holding the number one pick the draft doesn't have a franchise quarterback, popular opinion among draft experts has them taking a quarterback at that number one spot.

The addition of Randall, a former first-round pick, as a safety could have an interesting effect on the rest of the Browns' defense. The move makes it more likely that Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is the No. 1 selection of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Barkley would also benefit from playing behind a pretty solid offensive line in Cleveland. GM John Dorsey and HC Hue Jackson are looking to make an immediate impact on the 2018 season. But he's 22 and has plenty of time to develop and there's not many better guys to develop behind than Aaron Rodgers.

Shelton's departure may give more playing time to Larry Ogunjobi, a third-round pick past year who made one start and finished with 32 tackles and a sack in 14 games.

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