Update: Since this posting the trade has been rescinded due to Moffitt failing his physical. He has since been traded to the Denver Broncos. The Browns continue their search for guard help.
The Cleveland Browns traded backup, and we mean way back, defensive end Brian Sanford for John Moffitt who was deep on the Seattle Seahawks depth chart. This was a classic player for player trade where each team dealt out of one deep position to fill a greater need somewhere else. Sanford is a better fit in a 4-3 defense and may find more playing time in Seattle as Pete Carroll seems to like to run a number of linemen in to keep them fresh. For the Browns the need was obvious after ankle injuries to right guards Shaun Lauvao and Jason Pinkston. Moffitt, a 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft should provide competition, and hopefully take the starting position, with rookie Garrett Gilkey the Browns 1st round pick of this year
The trade is similar to a trade that was made last year by the Browns, for another John. Under the old regime the Browns traded a conditional 7th pick for Greco who played under then coach Pat Shurmur in St. Louis. This was seen as a low level move with not much repercussions, a player brought in because the coach knew him and he was familiar with the system. Then Pinkston went down with his blood clot and Greco was forced into the starting lineup during the season. Greco was graded out highly last year following starting 12 games for the Browns. When the new regime came in it was unclear where a “Shurmur player” would fit, but the Browns rewarded Greco with a 5 year extension. Greco now looks to be a mainstay on the offensive line, someone the team expects to start for the next few seasons. Greco is going into his 5th season this year.
Moffitt, like Greco a 3rd round pick, is going into his 3rd season. He is being brought in at a low price, like Greco, to replace Pinkston like Greco. ESPN lists Moffitt at 6’4″, just like Greco, weighing 319 pounds, just 4 pounds heavier then the other John. So many similarities the hope is that Moffitt will be able to make a great impact on the team and provide depth when the 2 injured guards return. Instead of possibly rushing either back from ankle injuries, hopefully Moffitt will allow for proper healing for both. The depth the team would then have on the inside in case of a Greco injury, or even Center Alex Mack (with Greco moving to center), would be key to a long season.
The Browns ranked #1 in our Unit by Unit Rankings and the line will be key to giving newly minted starting QB Brandon Weeden time to throw and 2012 1st Round pick Trent Richardson running room. With Moffitt being a bridge till the injured players return, the Browns can feel comfortable with the units skill. With Moffitt’s known enjoyment of comedy and being a goof, another fun personality is welcome in the locker room. (See picture below for proof, another can be found searching John Moffitt Hooters Outfit)