Cleveland Browns were almost part of a sign-and-trade for Jadeveon Clowney

Cleveland Browns
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The Cleveland Browns were rumored to almost be involved in a sign-and-trade situation involving Jadeveon Clowney with the New Orleans Saints.

Tom Pelissero & Ian Rapoport are reporting that the Cleveland Browns might have been chasing after Jadeveon Clowney to sign….and trade him. Pelissero and Rapoport claim that the New Orleans Saints were so gung ho in signing the former Seattle Seahawk and Houston Texan defensive end that they were willing to get creative to acquire the former No. 1 overall pick.

Enter the Cleveland Browns. While the report doesn’t officially claim it was the Browns, they make strong overtures to indicate that Cleveland was the second team in this deal.

According to Pelissero and Rapoport, the Browns would’ve signed Clowney to a deal, and then traded him to the Saints. The Browns would eat $5 million in a signing bonus and then would receive a second-round draft pick, and a player in return for Clowney, who would pick up the rest of the $10 million, one-year contract.

The duo also suggests that the Browns have had a history of making unusual moves in the past, namely the 2016 Brock Osweiler trade.

"According to sources informed of the talks, the Saints didn’t feel they could compete financially with the Titans’ offer – $12 million, plus $3 million in incentives – given budgetary reasons. So, they approached another team to find a workaround. (Sources didn’t confirm the other team, which hereafter is referred to as “Team X”, but it is believed to be the Cleveland Browns, who have ample cap space and a front office known for having a propensity for creativity, most memorably on display in their 2016 trade for quarterback Brock Osweiler.)The sides discussed parameters of a deal in which Team X would’ve signed Clowney to a one-year, $15 million contract and paid him a $5 million signing bonus. Then, Team X would’ve immediately traded Clowney to the Saints, who would’ve sent Team X a second-round draft pick, as well as a player to take additional salary off New Orleans’ books. The Saints would’ve paid Clowney’s remaining $10 million salary."

The deal was seemingly all but a done deal until word got back to them that the NFL would not be likely to approve the deal. While sign-and-trades are not uncommon in other sports, the problem here lies with two teams who Clowney never played for, attempting to find a loophole in the sign-and-trade formula, which usually involves a player signing with his previous team in a deal to go to a new team.

The Browns have been involved in some hair brain ideas in the past, but signing a guy they’ve been pursuing all offseason, only to then trade him away, is like agreeing to walk your one-true-love down to alter so she could marry some other guy. How the New Orleans Saints got the Browns to, allegedly, agree to this is beyond me.

It’s also baffling to think about who the player to come back would’ve been? The most obvious choice would be Demario Davis. He’s a linebacker, so the Browns would love to have some depth there. He’s got a $7.5 million in a base salary for the year, close enough to balance out Clowney’s $10 million that he’d get paid by the Saints, plus he’s a bit older which makes him expendable.

There’s no proof to say Davis was the guy, it’s merely a theory.

Would Davis, and a second-round pick be enough for eating $5 million dollars and Clowney in your opinion?

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