Browns Trade Offensive Weapon for Pennies at the Deadline

The Cleveland Browns were rumored to be shopping an offensive playmaker at the trade deadline, but the return they got in the actual deal leaves a lot to be desired.
The Cleveland Browns traded away Donovan Peoples-Jones at the deadline on Tuesday.
The Cleveland Browns traded away Donovan Peoples-Jones at the deadline on Tuesday. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns have been connected to some surprising potential moves ahead of the trade deadline, but one piece that everyone seemed to agree on moving was Donovan Peoples-Jones.

That ended up happening just ahead of Tuesday's deadline, as the Browns pulled off a trade with the Detroit Lions. The return the Browns received in the trade was shockingly small, however.

Browns Trade News: Donovan Peoples-Jones Sent to Lions

DPJ Trade

The Cleveland Browns received only a 2025 6th-round pick in exchange for Donovan Peoples-Jones — matching his original draft round of the sixth in 2020. This is a surprise considering how DPJ has exceeded what you expect to see from someone drafted so late.

Peoples-Jones has had a disappointing start to the 2023 season, with just 97 yards on 8 receptions, but he’s still been nearly an every-down down player. And it’s not like this Cleveland passing attack has made it easy for wide receivers to put up impressive numbers or anything. This is still a guy who racked up 839 yards on 61 receptions last season, and who has a career average of 9.6 yards per target.

On the other hand, it’s easy to see why Detroit (or any other suitor) wouldn’t want to pay much. His poor stats from this year obviously drive down the asking price, and DPJ is also on the final year of his contract, meaning he’s just a short-term rental for the remainder of the season.

Still, a deal like this being pulled off shows that the Browns were simply looking to move on from Peoples-Jones for whatever they could get for him, rather than only trading him because the right offer came across Andrew Berry’s desk. 

Maybe the most exciting part of this move is that now we might get to see rookie Cedric Tillman get some real playing time, giving us a chance to see what the third-round pick is made of.

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