The Cleveland Browns are on the brink of falling too far behind in the AFC North with a big matchup in Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers. Even coming off of their bye week, the Browns may not have quarterback Deshaun Watson for this particular matchup, which would be problematic. Even boasting arguably the best defense in the league, the Browns have issues offensively that may need to be addressed at the NFL trade deadline.
And unfortunately, they might have to give up some assets to acquire players. One of the most rare position groups to get traded in the NFL, in general, is on the offensive line. Good offensive linemen are hard to come by, and you have to find just the right situation to get a team to come off of a guy and actually let him go. But just about every player has a price, right?
The Browns are looking into offensive line upgrades, specifically at the tackle position. There might be some trades available to them ahead of the deadline depending on what happens with other teams or certain players. Let's take a look at a few different options.
1. Ezra Cleveland, Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings will be an interesting team to watch at the NFL trade deadline just in general. They have a variety of players set to hit free agency in 2024 and 2025 who will need to be taken care of, or their replacements prioritized. Unfortunately, it requires them to reserve such a big section of the pie for players like Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins that offensive linemen like Ezra Cleveland may get left out of the mix.
The Vikings added free agent guard Dalton Risner during the season to fortify their interior offensive line depth, and there could be a seamless transition if they were to move on from Cleveland and get some value for him.
Plus, what better player to add to the Browns than a player named Cleveland? Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah previously worked with the Browns so there should be an open line of communication there. Yes, Ezra Cleveland is a starter at left guard, but he presents value at multiple positions. He was a left tackle coming out of college and most analysts projected he would stay there in the NFL.
I think he could help the Browns at left tackle or left guard if need be, while the Vikings could slide Dalton Risner right into his place.