Browns Score Big with Proposed ‘Dream’ Trade for Titans Pass-Rusher

Denico Autry

Getty Images Jeff Driskel of the Houston Texans is tackled by Denico Autry of the Tennessee Titans.

The Cleveland Browns need to add some firepower up front and a proposed “dream trade” would land them Tennesee Titans pass-rusher Denico Autry.

Autry isn’t a household name but has been making an impact for the Titans off the edge. Over the last two seasons, he has logged 58 tackles, 17 sacks and 54 quarterback pressures. He graded out at a stellar 82.8 on Pro Football Focus, adept at both stopping the run and rushing the passer.

Autry was singled out by Bleacher Report as a player the Browns should go after the shore up their defensive line, which — outside of Myles Garrett — was disappointing last season.

“Autry is entering the final year of his contract, and the Titans could save $7.1 million by trading him. That could be important for Tennessee, as it has a modest $11.3 million in projected cap space,” Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report wrote. “Given Autry’s age (32) and the financial implications of trading him, the Browns might be able to land him for a middle-round pick. For a franchise that won’t have its own first-round pick again until 2025 because of the Deshaun Watson trade, that would be a terrific deal.”

On top of his skill set, Autry is also familiar with new Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Prior to landing with the Browns, Schwartz was a senior defensive assistant in Tennessee for two seasons, so he’d know exactly how to utilize him.

Browns Have Plan to Upgrade Trenches

Upgrading the defensive line will be high on the priority list for the Browns as Schwartz installs his new “attack” scheme.

“I like to call it an ‘attack defense,'” Schwartz told the Browns’ official site. “We’re not a ‘read’ team up front. We’re an ‘attack’ team. We’re going to be disruptive. We’re hitting spots. It’s probably not as wide as it used to be, but it’s pretty simple in theory.

And the team doesn’t have to look for the big name or a highly-touted prospect. Schwartz is looking for particular skill sets that he feels can excel in his system.

“There are certain skill sets we look for and a little bit of play style that maybe other people might not appreciate as much,” Schwartz said. “They might use the person a little bit differently, and something that’s sort of involved in that scheme is that we can get guys going pretty quickly. … I think that if we all work together, we can find some productive players regardless of (if they’re in) the first round, or as a high-priced free agent or anything else.”

Myles Garrett Could Become Even More Productive

Luckily for Schwartz and the Browns, they have an All-Pro piece to build around in Myles Garrett, who is coming off back-to-back 16-sack seasons. Having a capable threat on the other side will be key to capitalizing on his contributions, minimizing double-teams and putting him in the position to make plays.

“I have a little spot on my wall in my office that says, ‘Anything that gets Myles Garrett one-on-one is a good scheme,'” Schwartz said. “If we can get our best players in one-on-one and create matchups for those guys, we’ll be in a pretty good place, particularly with guys like Myles.”

The Browns will also have to find some depth at defensive tackle, where they ran out one of the worst groups in the NFL last season. Schwartz should help attract some solid options, considering Albert Haynesworth, Ndamukong Suh, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Fletcher Cox all had Pro Bowl seasons under his tutelage in the past.

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