Oct 4, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Paul Kruger (99) looks on before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Browns didn’t make any moves before the NFL trade deadline, and that’s because the franchise was asking too much for players such as Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo, according to anonymous front-office sources.
Fourth-rounders for Barkevious Mingo and Paul Kruger? That’s what the Cleveland Browns wanted for their outside linebackers, but rival NFL teams though the asking price was too high, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.
La Canfora wrote that anonymous front-office executives thought the asking price was too high for two players they don’t believe will be with the Browns in 2016.
"“Of particular surprise to rival execs was the fact that Kruger — who almost surely will be cut by 2016 given his high salary, decreased role and lack of interest in restructuring his deal to stay in Cleveland — wasn’t moved. The Browns would have eaten a good chunk of the roughly $4 million left on his deal, sources said, but wanted a fourth-round pick for him. They were looking for similar compensation for Mingo, a former first-round pick who will also likely be gone by next year as well.”"
Kruger had 11 sacks a year ago, but his role has changed in 2015 because of the Browns’ lack of talent in the linebacking corps. With no one to set the edge against the rush, Cleveland defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil asked Kruger to help out…and it’s made little difference, as the Browns are one of the worst teams in the NFL when it comes to stopping the run.
Kruger’s best at rushing the quarterback, and the Browns don’t put him in position to do it.
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Mingo, on the other hand, is a busted first-round pick from the all-around disappointing 2013 NFL Draft. Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi picked him because he was supposed to eat up quarterbacks. Instead, Mingo ate up Browns’ fans disappointments of another waisted first-round pick.
It’s unbelievable how big a bust Mingo has been. When he’s in the game, the LSU product mostly drops back into pass coverage.
La Canfora also published an intriguing quote that doesn’t pinpoint the Browns, but just thinking of how poorly the Browns’ front office is ran, one can’t think the words of a rival-executive are a little too “Brownsie.”
"“It could be a little frustrating because you got the sense some of these teams were more interested in being associated with being active than they really were with making trades,” said one executive.Another GM said: “These teams were telling you they wanted to move salary and they wanted to listen to anything, but then when it came down to it they were looking to hit a home run and not just move a guy for a late-round pick, which is why I thought we were talking in the first place.”"
Should the Browns have asked for less for Kruger and Mingo. Arguments could be made for and against.
However, when it comes to trading for draft picks, Browns fans have to remember that it’s one thing to acquire the selections, it’s another to cash them in on draft day, and that’s something this organization has failed to do time and time again.