The Cleveland Browns were involved in the Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes in the offseason but it was apparent the defensive end wasn’t interested in coming to Cleveland.
However, Clowney was nearly a Cleveland Brown for a moment on Saturday as general manager Andrew Berry was reportedly involved in a potential sign and trade with the New Orleans Saints.
NFL Network is reporting that apparently the Browns, who were identified as Team X in the report, would’ve signed Clowney to a one-year deal and then sent the former number one pick to New Orleans in exchange for a second-round pick and a player in order for Clowney’s contract to fit into the Saints’ salary cap.
This would’ve been the second time the Browns would’ve been involved in a salary cap type trade, with the first one being the Brock Osweiler trade in 2017 when Cleveland took on Osweiler’s contract in order to acquire a second-round pick from the Houston Texans that eventually became Nick Chubb in 2018.
Cleveland has the most cap space in the NFL and the analytics based front office is always looking for unique ways to acquire talent.
We may never know who New Orleans would’ve sent in the trade but judging by their payroll, the most likely options could’ve been linebacker DeMario Davis ($9.9 million cap hit), defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins ($7.69 million cap hit) or defensive tackle Malcolm Brown ($6 million cap hit) based on the Browns’ searching for potential depth at the positions and the high cap hits the Saints would’ve been looking to unload for Clowney.