2019 Cleveland Browns: 5 trades to make this offseason, OBJ-less edition

Cleveland Browns Anthony Brown (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Anthony Brown (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Browns receive: OLB Justin Houston

Chiefs receive: 2019 fourth-round pick

Justin Houston is an obvious trade candidate because he works for the same team that once employed John Dorsey in the Kansas City Chiefs.

Houston, 30, is coming off a nine-sack season, but with Kanas City expected to place a franchise tag on Dee Ford, the veteran looks expendable.

It had been reported the Chiefs would cut Houston, but NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that the Chiefs were still actively discussing trades for the pass rusher.

Prior to the combine, the Kansas City Star reported the Chiefs began exploring trade avenues for Houston. The Browns shouldn’t have to give up much in a deal because of Houston’s age–he’s 30–as well as his past injury history.

The Browns could wait for the Chiefs to cut him, but then, there’s no guarantee he’d come to Cleveland. They may get him a lot cheaper, though, as he has a base salary of $14.725 million this season, and $15 million in 2020.

Houston is an exciting talent, but his fit in Cleveland isn’t guaranteed to work. He played outside linebacker in the Chiefs 3-4 scheme. However, Kansas City’s with to a 4-3, which is what the Browns play, is part of the reason he’s become expendable.

Whomever employs Houston in 2019, one thing is clear: They’re going to want him to rush the passer. Some think he could also work as an outside linebacker in the 4-3. Some don’t. Putting him on the line opposite of Garrett would be the logical fit, though.

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Either way, adding Houston would afford the Browns the ability to go after help at defensive tackle or in the secondary with the 17th overall pick in the draft.