The Cleveland Browns can't afford to sit on their hands as the Oct. 31 NFL trade deadline looms. The AFC playoff picture is as tight as can be and the 3-2 Browns currently occupy the final spot with five 3-3 clubs breathing down their neck.
With several teams around the league looking to sell, general manager Andrew Berry won't see any shortages of trade options. At the same time, he must put thought into any potential. The last thing Cleveland needs is to overpay or mortgage the future for a player who won't improve the team's playoff odds.
As it stands, DraftKings Sportsbook is favoring the Over (-140) on the Browns' 9.5-win total, which likely puts them in a playoff spot if they achieve that goal.
Nevertheless, for every good trade target, there's a bad one. Here are three players the Browns must avoid trading for ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline.
1. Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook is a popular trade target for running back-needy teams this season. The veteran rusher joined the new-look New York Jets over the offseason, but his role has virtually disappeared now that Breece Hall has proven he's more than capable of handling lead back duties.
Cook's potential availability has led to experts linking him to the Browns due to Nick Chubb being sidelined for the year.
While I can understand the appeal based on Cook's name alone, he's no longer what he once was. Yes, the Jets' offense hasn't impressed since Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles, but there's no excuse for Cook to only average a career-low 2.8 yards per carry.
His decline is made even more evident by his personal worsts when it comes to both yards after contact per rush (1.5) and yards after catch per reception (7.6).
The current version of Cook would do next to nothing to help Cleveland's backfield. Are Kareem Hunt and Jerome Ford as productive as Chubb? No, but they looked confident in Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers and should be able to hold down the fort for the remainder of the campaign.
Let Cook be someone else's problem.