Trade Proposal Nets Browns Young Wide Receiver Out of AFC East

Denzel Mims, Jets

Getty Denzel Mims #11 of the New York Jets warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns have been encouraged all offseason to add a playmaking threat to an otherwise young, and mostly unproven, group of wide receivers.

Instead of thinking big, however, the Browns may attempt to buy low on a value addition to the passing game. New York Jets wideout Denzel Mims presents Cleveland with that exact opportunity.

Mims’ agent Ronald Slavin officially requested a trade out of New York on Thursday, August 25. Matt Lombardo of reported the following day that Cleveland is among the top three most likely landing spots for Mims as the start of the regular season fast approaches.

“The Cleveland Browns … have been hoping to add a veteran receiver to replace Jakeem Grant, after the burner was lost for the season with a torn Achilles,” Lombardo wrote. “It’s hard to imagine Mims not being able to climb the depth chart in Cleveland, with Donovan Peoples-Jones and rookie David Bell the two most likely starters alongside Amari Cooper.”

Also potentially in the mix for Mims’ services are the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants, Lombardo said.

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Change of Scenery, QB Could Help Jumpstart Mims’ Sputtering NFL Career

Deshaun Watson

GettyQuarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns runs a drill during training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on July 30, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Mims was a highly-touted receiver coming out of Baylor University, which was reflected in the Jets’ decision to select him with the 59th overall pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, it’s been pretty much all downhill since then for the young receiver.

Mims has appeared in just 20 total games in New York, starting 11 of those. Mims has not only struggled to produce while paired with quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Joe Flacco and Zach Wilson, but he has also struggled to even get their attention.

Per Pro Football Reference, Jets QBs have targeted Mims just 67 times total across his first two years in the league. He has caught 31 passes for 490 yards over that span and has never found the end zone.

“There is no question that Mims has underachieved,” Lombardo wrote. “His struggles in the Big Apple include battling through nagging injuries, and ultimately getting benched during the latter stages of the 2021 campaign.”

In fairness to Mims, the Jets have frequently proven a purgatory or a graveyard for NFL talent over the last decade or so. A change of scenery to Cleveland and a change of quarterback to three-time Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson — once his 11-game suspension is up — would provide Mims with one of the better opportunities he could find to shine anywhere in the league.

Browns Receivers Have Proven Injury Prone Throughout Preseason

Amari Cooper, Browns

GettyWide receiver Amari Cooper of the Cleveland Browns runs a drill during OTAs at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on May 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

As Lombardo noted, Mims could step in right away for the injured Grant and would add depth to a position group that has struggled to stay healthy during the preseason.

Cooper and Bell, two of the Browns’ three projected starters at wide receiver, have each been banged up during training camp, as has Anthony Schwartz and rookie Michael Woods.

Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who is stepping into the starting role while Watson is out, will need all the help he can get on the outside, meaning Mims could prove a valuable addition if Cleveland can work out a trade.

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