Browns Reportedly in the Market for Key Trade Piece

The Cleveland Browns have popped up in trade rumors regarding a key position ahead of the deadline.
The Cleveland Browns have popped up in trade rumors regarding a key position ahead of the deadline. / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns likely spent part of the bye week identifying weaknesses to address for the long second half of the season. One problem area that's been apparent to everyone is the offensive line, which has underperformed and made things even more difficult in a post-Nick Chubb world.

The looming trade deadline presents an opportunity to bring in some help, and it looks like Cleveland is preparing to do just that.

Brad Stainbook of 247Sports reports the Browns are "expected to gauge the trade market for experienced offensive linemen" ahead of the deadline. This comes on the heels of left tackle Jedrick Wills' disastrous start to the 2023 campaign and Week 4 injuries to left guard Joel Bitonio and center Ethan Pocic.

Assuming the other two get right soon, Wills would be obvious candidate to be replaced via trade. He has been truly abysmal this season in arguably the most important spot on the offensive line, recording a poor 45.4 overall grade from ProFootballFocus. Even worse, Wills has hurt the team by recording three penalties and allowing two sacks over just the first four games, placing him among the league leaders at his position in both categories.

Having a true liability at LT has a severe impact on this offense. That's supposed to be your tone-setter in the trenches. Instead, Wills has looked downright embarrassing and brought down this entire unit with not just his play, but his effort, too.

Luckily for the Browns, there's a few trade candidates they could go after to bolster their O-line. Denver Broncos LT Garrett Boles makes a ton of sense with him pleading to get out of that dumpster fire.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings are also positioned to be big sellers at the deadline after their 1-4 start and just losting star Justin Jefferson. Ezra Cleveland presents a flexible offensive lineman who's played guard in Minnesota since being drafted but has a stated desire to return to his college position of left tackle. The veteran could provide depth at both spots down the stretch.

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