The Cleveland Browns investigated a trade for Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy but the sides never got close to making it happen.
The hang-up was the Broncos’ desired value on a return for Jeudy, which was a first-round pick. Cleveland didn’t have any readily available after trading a trio of first-rounders for Deshaun Watson last offseason. Negotiations “never got close,” per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com
“While the internet was abuzz with the Browns pursuing Broncos 2020 first-round receiver Jerry Jeudy, they never got close,” Cabot wrote. “The Broncos ideally want a first-round pick for Jeudy, and the Browns don’t have a first-rounder this year or next year.”
There was some scuttlebutt that the Browns could include a starting-caliber player in the deal packaged with their second-round pick to make it work. Cornerback Greg Newsome became a rumored option but Cabot dubbed that as “much ado about nothing.”
Newsome has expressed a desire to play on the outside next season after spending much of his time in the slot last year. But it didn’t seem likely that the Browns would give up a young, solid player at a premium position for someone who has largely disappointed early on in his career.
Jeudy is coming off his best season as a pro, collecting 67 catches for 972 yards and six touchdowns. In all, Jeudy has 2,295 yards on 157 catches in his career.
Browns Opt for Elijah Moore Over Jerry Jeudy
The Browns chose a cheaper route instead, making a move for New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore. They gave up a second-round pick for Moore but also got back a third-rounder, meaning it cost them just some spots in the draft to land the speedy pass-catcher.
Moore was a second-round pick of the Jets in 2021 but his sophomore season in the NFL didn’t reach the heights that were expected. Moore caught 43 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie but saw all those numbers drop last season. He managed just 37 grabs for 446 yards and one touchdown.
The change of scenery could do Moore good and he’s excited to play with a “legit” quarterback in Watson.
“He is a legit quarterback. He is someone who has been doing some amazing things around the league,” Moore said during his introductory press conference. “He has respect from everybody around the league. They talk really highly about him here, and they believe in him. With him being my quarterback, I believe in him, too. I am grateful to be one of his guys.”
Browns Were Finalist for Javon Hargrave
The Browns have added some key pieces on the defensive side of the ball in free agency but just missed out on defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, who opted for a richer deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
“The 49ers gave Hargrave, 30, a four-year deal worth $84 million, including $40 million guaranteed, but they have a quarterback on a rookie contract and could afford to break the bank on the Pro Bowl tackle,” Cabot wrote.
The Browns shifted to their next best option, which was former Minnesota Vikings DT Dalvin Tomlinson. Cleveland also added pass-rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and safety Juan Thornhill as starting-caliber pickups.