Not convinced with what they have on their offensive line, the Cleveland Browns swung a trade for Bills guard Wyatt Teller on Thursday, just hours before the team was scheduled to take the field for their preseason finale against the Detroit Lions.
The Browns also received a 2021 seventh-round pick from Buffalo and gave up fifth- and sixth-round picks in 2020.
Teller was a fifth-round pick of Buffalo in 2018 and was drafted out of Virginia Tech. Teller started the final seven regular-season games last year at left guard for the Bills, but was not expected to be the starter this season.
According to the Browns official site, the team currently own their own picks in rounds 1-4 and round 7 of the 2020 draft. Cleveland also has Arizona’s sixth-round pick (DB Jamar Taylor trade), Buffalo’s seventh-round pick (WR Corey Coleman trade) and a conditional pick from Houston (RB Duke Johnson Jr. trade) that could become a third rounder if Johnson plays in 10 games.
In the 2021 draft, the Browns hold their own picks in rounds 1-7 and the Bills’ seventh-round pick (Teller trade).
Browns Have to Decide Between Wyatt Teller and Eric Kush
Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reported that Teller is the top candidate to start at right guard, ahead of Eric Kush. The spot had been a problem for the Browns all preseason, with 2018 second-round pick Austin Corbett failing to live up to expectations.
Kush has been penciled in to the start role for most of the preseason, and it was assumed the Browns were ready to roll with the seventh-year journeyman.
Kush has 12 starts in his career, the majority of those coming with the Bears last season, where he was in the starting lineup seven times.
“We’ve been playing Eric there for 2-3 weeks. If we had a game tomorrow, he’d be our right guard,” Freddie Kitchens told reporters last week.
However, Kitchen’s comments on Kush needing to improve were telling.
“He’s got to continue to get better. He’s not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination,” Kitchens said. “There’s always competition and what these guys have to understand, they’re being evaluated every day. So right now, Eric will get the first shot from the standpoint of seeing what he can do. And I think he’s been doing fairly well. Not good enough yet, but he’s going to continue to get better to get there.”
Wyatt Teller Knows He Has to ‘Earn It’
Teller started seven games as a rookie with the Bills, but didn’t let it go to his head.
“You’re never entitled,” Teller told the Buffalo News as the Bills wrapped up mandatory minicamp in June. “You never expect anything, you have to earn every piece of the pie. You would like to think, ‘Hey, they brought me in for a reason.’ But they also brought those guys in for a reason. That’s the name of the game.
“I mean, yeah, I’m young, but I’m starting to get it a little bit that it’s easy to be entitled and to lose that the mindset of staying hungry and attacking each day, because each day is important. Each day is trying to get the best five, trying to find consistency, continuity, stuff like that. Which five work best together? We have great players out there and it’s cool to see everybody working together and new faces and a melting pot.”
The Browns open their season on Sept. 8 against the Tennessee Titans.