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Don't count out a Browns' trade for a wide receiver just yet

May 28, 2014 -- 6:00am

By Tony Grossi |



The Morning Kickoff …

Trade winds: The odds are better than 50-50 that the Browns eventually will trade for a wide receiver. Here are the reasons why:

1. Josh Gordon is likely to miss some time in 2014 to a league suspension. On May 9, ESPN reported that Gordon, a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy, could be facing a minimum one-year ban because of a failed drug test. Gordon is appealing. Neither the NFL nor the Browns will comment.

2. Receiver Nate Burleson, whom the Browns signed as a free agent, is inactive until training camp after re-fracturing his left arm in an OTA practice earlier this month. Burleson, 33 in August, missed 17 of 32 games the past two seasons with Detroit because of injuries.

3. On May 15, the Browns signed veteran receivers Miles Austin and Earl Bennett. Austin, 30 in June, missed five games in 2013 due to hamstring problems. As of last week, Austin had not joined his teammates in OTA practices as a precaution of further injuries.

4. Receiver Charles Johnson, whom the Browns signed off the Packers practice squad in October only to learn he needed ACL surgery, has not yet been cleared to practice with the team.

5. On May 16, the Browns released receiver Greg Little. He was awarded to Oakland on waivers.

6. On May 21, Browns GM Ray Farmer said he was not averse to adding another receiver. “I'm open to every avenue. We're going to unearth every guy that's available,'' Farmer said.

7. Since 2008, 27 veteran receivers have switched teams in trades – more than any position.

In that time, Brandon Marshall and Anquan Boldin each has been traded twice.

The Browns were involved in two trades involving three receivers since 2008 – shipping out Braylon Edwards and receiving Chansi Stuckey and Davone Bess.

At least two veteran receivers currently are believed to be available on the trade market – Andre Johnson of Houston and Denarius Moore of Oakland.

Johnson, who turns 33 in July, is boycotting the Texans’ voluntary OTA practices because he is frustrated by the team’s losing and unhappy with its offensive direction. Moore, 25, may be expendable after the Raiders signed ex-Packer James Jones in free agency and claimed Little.

What is the trade market for a veteran receiver? It is all over the board. In 2010, Marshall brought two second-round draft picks; in 2012, he was traded for two third-round picks. In 2008, Boldin was traded for third- and fourth-round picks; in 2013, he was moved for a sixth-round pick. (That was the Harbaugh to Harbaugh transaction).

Here is a list of NFL trades involving veteran receivers since 2008:


* May 9: Bills trade Stevie Johnson to 49ers for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2015 (which could move to a third-round pick).

* March 23: Buccaneers trade Mike Williams to Bills for sixth-round pick in 2014.


* April 27: Dolphins trade Davone Bess and fourth- and seventh-round picks in 2013 to Browns for fourth- and fifth-round picks in 2013.

* March 15: Buccaneers trade Arrelious Benn and seventh-round pick in 2013 to Eagles for sixth-round pick in 2013.

* March 11: Ravens trade Anquan Boldin to 49ers for sixth-round pick in 2013.

* March 11: Vikings trade Percy Harvin to Seahawks for first- and seventh-round picks in 2013 and third-rounder in 2014.


* October 30: Jaguars trade Mike Thomas to Lions for fifth-round pick in 2014.

* July 23: Raiders trade Louis Murphy to Panthers for seventh-round pick in 2013.

* March 14: Dolphins trade Brandon Marshall to Bears for third-round pick in 2012 and third-round pick in 2013.


* October 17: Broncos trade Brandon Lloyd to Rams for fifth-round pick in 2012.

* August 12: Bills trade Lee Evans to Ravens for fourth-round pick in 2012.

* July 28: Bengals trade Chad Ochocinco to Patriots for fifth-round pick in 2012 and sixth-round pick in 2013.


* October 11: Seahawks trade Deion Branch to Patriots for fourth-round pick in 2011.

* October 6: Patriots trade Randy Moss and seventh-round pick in 2012 to Vikings for third-round pick in 2011.

* September 6: Ravens trade Mark Clayton and seventh-round pick in 2011 to Rams for sixth-round pick in 2011.

* September 3: Cowboys trade Patrick Crayton to Chargers for seventh-round pick in 2011.

* April 16: Dolphins trade Ted Ginn Jr. to 49ers for fifth-round pick in 2010.

* April 15: Broncos trade Brandon Marshall to Dolphins for second-round pick in 2010 and second-round pick in 2011.

* April 12: Steelers trade Santonio Holmes to Jets for fifth-round pick in 2010.

* March 6: Cardinals trade Anquan Boldin and fifth-round pick in 2010 to Ravens for third- and fourth-round picks in 2010.


* October 7: Browns trade Braylon Edwards to Jets for receiver Chansi Stuckey and third- and fifth-round picks in 2010.

* October 2: Eagles trade Brandon Gibson and sixth-round pick in 2010 to Rams for linebacker Will Witherspoon.

* April 6: Falcons trade Laurent Robinson and fifth- and sixth-round picks in 2009 to Rams for fifth- and sixth-round picks in 2009.

* March 5: Eagles trade Greg Lewis and seventh-round pick in 2010 to Patriots for a fifth-round pick in 2009.


* October 14: Lions trade Roy Williams and seventh-round pick in 2009 to Cowboys for first-, third- and sixth-round picks in 2009.

* September 16: Broncos trade Keary Colbert to Seahawks for fifth-round pick in 2009.


Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and

He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Use the hashtag #HeyTony on Twitter or email your “Hey Tony” questions to

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi




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