After the injuries to Rod Streater and Derrick Willies, the Cleveland Browns are down to just four healthy wide receivers on the active roster. On Sunday, the young wide receiver core showed just how young they are. The Browns dropped many passes (including two touchdowns) and just could not get open for Baker Mayfield, which caused him to hold onto the ball for longer than needed. There are reports out there that the Oakland Raiders are shopping just about everyone on their active roster. Amari Cooper is one of those names and the Browns should absolutely be all over this, and here is why.
Cooper only has one year left on his rookie contract and it will pay just about $13 million for his next season. Cooper has been selected to two pro-bowls in his first three of seasons. Cooper has had drop problems in his seasons with the Raiders as he has led the league twice in drop percentage. Although he also led the league with the lowest drop percentage between the two.
According to pro-football-reference.com, Cooper had over 1,000 receiving yards in his first two seasons and had over 70 receptions in both of those seasons. Cooper also averaged 14.4 yards per reception over the two pro-bowl seasons. The 24-year-old did have a rough third year as he only amassed a total of 680 yards with only 48 total receptions. His targets were down by almost 40, which would explain the down numbers. Most importantly HE GETS OPEN. That is one of the Browns’ receivers’ biggest issues right now. When schemed for, the Browns just could not get open.
The Trade package for Cooper would not cost as much as it probably should for a two-time pro bowler. In a recent Bleacher Report article, Brent Sobleski wrote that the Browns would be the third most likely destination for Amari Cooper. He listed the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets as potential options ahead of the Browns. The package I could see as being ideal for the Browns would be a package of picks and maybe a player or two. The Browns have a total of eight picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, two of which are not the Browns own picks. I think the Browns should trade the New England Patriots third-round pick, a second-round pick, and either Jamie Collins or Derrick Kindred.
Both Collins and Kindred are holdovers from Sashi Brown’s regime and have under-performed this season, especially Collins (see @BrownsFilmBDN). Collins is also carrying a heavy cap hit on the Browns right now as it sits at $12.5 million and it would offset the trade for Cooper with the Raiders. If he is fully committed, Collins is a special player and can make a ton of plays for a team, but he tends to freelance a lot and tends to give up on plays. Also with the emergence of rookie Genard Avery, letting Collins go would be a lot easier than in years past. Kindred could be an interesting player because for the first few games he was playing more defensive snaps than the starter Jabrill Peppers. Peppers has played better as of late and is starting to come into his own. The Raiders are also shopping starting strong safety, Karl Joseph. Kindred could help be a replacement for Joseph if they chose to trade him or if he leaves.
Overall, even with the drops and the inconsistency, the Browns’ need at the wide receiver position is too glaring to pass up on trading for one of the top young receivers in the game today.
Final offer: 2nd round pick, the Patriots 3rd, and Jamie Collins.