The Browns are going to remake their defense in 2021 but trading for Saints CB Marshon Lattimore may prove more costly than he’s worth.
The Browns are, hopefully, on their way to rebuilding their defense after a 2020 season was ended prematurely due to poor pieces. The team needs help at all levels of the team and while talks have been had with J.J. Watt, there are still so many more spots that need improving. Save for Myles Garrett and maybe Denzel Ward, every other position could be upgraded. For Ward, it’s about health. He isn’t healthy and if he wants too much money while only playing 10 or 11 games a year, will the Browns be willing to make that deal? Who knows, but even with Ward, they need a second corner to start. Enter Marshon Lattimore.
The corner from New Orleans is young, he’ll be 25 to start the season and has a lot of upside, but he’s been inconsistent. While he has made three Pro Bowls, his play has declined. He’s also in the final year of his contract, which will pay him $10+ million, and there’s no guarantee he’ll want to re-sign or that the Browns would even re-sign him should he not play up to expectations.
As Mary Kay Cabot points out, he’s falling out of many people’s top lists, including PFF.
Not only that, but the Saints don’t want to move him, but they’re going to be $66 million over the cap in 2021 and need to make some hard cuts. While draft picks are a bit overrated (20% success rate), they’re still too valuable to just give up willy-nilly. They’re the cheapest option you have for maintaining team success.
So what would it cost to go get Lattimore? Would he be worth it? That’s the question. If Lattimore comes in under his $16-18 million average and plays exceptionally, then you can rationalize giving up a second-rounder for the guy. After all, a second-round pick will more than likely never develop into a player as good as Lattimore.
Yet, if he continues to decline and you give up a first-round pick for him? Then you look pretty foolish, especially with him then leaving after one year. It may be enticing but there are too many “what ifs” to jump in on the Lattimore hype train.
Honestly, if he wasn’t from Cleveland, I doubt fans would be pushing so hard for him.