Lattimore is a three-time Pro Bowler and not a piece of the defense the Saints would part with easily. However, the Browns could pounce knowing New Orleans has cap issues going forward, as pointed out by Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski in an article laying out ideal trades for each team.
“In this case, the Browns could land an excellent cover corner who is still on his rookie contract because the Saints need short-term financial relief and aren’t positioned well to extend the three-time Pro Bowler,” Sobleski wrote.
Lattimore posted a career-high 62 tackles last season, five of those for loss. He also defended 11 passes and had two interceptions as a starter on the Saints’ stout defense.
Browns Have Talented, Young Cornerbacks on Roster
The Browns have cornerback Denzel Ward as the centerpiece in the secondary. Ward — who was a Pro Bowler as a rookie — is one of the best cover corners in the league when healthy, but he’s had some issues staying on the field, missing nine games through his first three seasons.
“I feel like I have grown quite well as a player this year in various things technique-wise, my playing ability on the field or whatever and just being there for my guys,” Ward said after the season ended. “I feel like I have grown quite well.”
Cleveland also has Greedy Williams in their arsenal at cornerback, although the 2019 second-round pick missed the entirety of last season due to nerve issues in his shoulder. Williams did, however, show promise as a rookie, starting all 12 of the games he played in.
While the Browns expect Williams back next season, his situation is shaky, at best. On top of that, veterans Terrance Mitchell and Kevin Johnson — who were relied upon when the secondary was banged up — are pending free agents.
Lattimore is in the final year of his rookie deal and has plenty to prove as he eyes a payday. Not to mention he’s a Cleveland-native who played his college ball at Ohio State. Playing opposite of Ward — his college teammate — on a team with championship aspirations would be the perfect situation.
Browns Rumored to Have Interest in Richard Sherman
Rumors have already started to heat up around the Browns, who have made it clear they want to improve on the defensive side of the ball this offseason.
“We can have improvement anywhere,” general manager Andrew Berry told reporters after the season ended. “Understand that obviously we think we can certainly boost the defense as we go into 2021. It is probably too early to make any declarative or definitive statements, but certainly understand the strengths and weaknesses of the team.”
One player the Browns have been linked to is Richard Sherman, who will be one of the better cornerbacks on the free-agent market despite his age (32).
Sherman’s linkage to the Browns comes because he has familiarity with defensive coordinator Joe Woods, who was his defensive backs coach in San Francisco in 2019 before coming to Cleveland. The initial report of Sherman’s interest in the Browns came via Cleveland.com. Sherman would bring plenty to the table for the Browns — if the price was right. He’s a five-time Pro Bowlers, three-time first-team All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion.