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Browns Pull Off Blockbuster as the Deadline Looms; Not Done Yet?

Discussion in 'Game Summaries & Team News' started by LtJustice, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

    Jul 22, 2010

    With the trading deadline just days away, the Cleveland Browns pulled off a blockbuster trade with the New England Patriots. The Browns sent defensive end Jabaal Sheard and defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin tp the Patriots in exchange for tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Browns also received the Patriots 2014 1st round pick in the deal. The move gives the Browns yet another weapon on an offense that already features the likes of Darrius Heyward-Bey, Josh Gordon, Travis Benjamin, Trent Richardson, and Jahvid Best.

    In just his 4th year in the league, and at just 24 years old, Gronkowski is already considered arguably the best tight end in the game. At 6'6" and 265 lbs, Gronk is a massive target with great hands and surprising speed for his size. The Browns feel that he will not only be a big help in the passing game, but his run blocking ability will be a big benefit for halfbacks Trent Richardson and Jahvid Best. With the acquisition of Gronk, incumbent starter Jordan Cameron will still see the field on multiple tight end formations, a position which the Browns coaches feel better suit his abilities.

    While this trade adds another weapon to an already dangerous offense, the trading of the Browns two best defensive lineman is quite a surprise move by the usually defensive minded front office.

    In response, Browns GM LtJustice simply said: "When you have the opportunity to add a rare talent such as Gronk, you jump at the chance!"

    Head coach Jim Luby gave a little more insight to the Browns thought process: "While we love Jabaal and Ahtyba, we felt that we were deep enough on the defensive line and the defense in general to part ways with them. Now that doesn't mean we think these guys are going to be easily replaced by any means, but we feel that the mix of youth and veterans we have will be up to the task."

    The Browns had been rumored to be shopping Rubin all season, and they certainly appear to have the depth in the middle of the line to support the move. The real surprise is the decision to move Sheard, the current team leader in sacks this season, who was developing into one of the premier pass rushers in the league in only his 3rd season. It's unclear if the Browns feel one of the younger ends like Swift, Cosbert, or Carson are ready to step into the starting role, or if they will be taking a committee approach to fill the spot vacated by the trade of Sheard. The trade could also preclude the long rumored transition to a more 3-4 heavy approach in the Browns hybrid style defense going forward, as Sheard would would be ill-suited as a 3-4 end and the Browns are set at outside linebacker. Time will only tell what this move really means for the Browns defense.

    Not to be overlooked in the deal is the browns acquisition of another 1st round pick in next years rookie draft. The addition of the Patriots 1st gives the Browns three picks in the opening round of the draft; along with their own and the Jaguars first, which was acquired in a draft day deal during this years draft. The rumors have been increasing that the Browns feel they made a mistake with the big contract offered to Matt Schaub this offseason and have been and will continue to be in the market for a new franchise quarterback better suited for their offensive philosophy. Having three 1st round picks in the next draft, could certainly help in their quest to find that quarterback.
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