Browns Ship Out Offensive Lineman to Titans Ahead of Draft

The Browns have trade offensive tackle Leroy Watson to the Titans.

Getty Images The Browns have trade offensive tackle Leroy Watson to the Titans.

The Cleveland Browns traded offensive tackle Leroy Watson IV to the Tennessee Titans on Friday, adding a seventh-round pick ahead of the NFL Draft.

The Browns will receive the No. 227 overall pick in the draft, which will take place April 24-27 in Detroit.

The Browns now hold six picks in the 2024 draft. The move gives them a second pick in the seventh round. They also have selections in rounds 2, 3, 5 and 6. Cleveland is still without its first-round pick as a result of the Deshaun Watson trade in 2022. The Browns sent three first-round picks to the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson.

The Browns first signed Leroy Watson to the active roster from the 49ers’ practice squad on November 2. Cleveland lost both it’s starting tackles — Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. — which forced Watson into action. He played in seven games, with 55 offensive snaps and 28 special teams snaps. Watson did not have an offensive penalty in his seven games with Cleveland.

If everyone is healthy, the Browns should be in a good position at offensive tackle. Wills and Conklin should be ready for the start of the year. And 2023 fourth-round pick Dawand Jones proved he can be a starter if called upon. Jones started nine games last season, earnnig an overall grade of 64.7 on Pro Football Focus.

The trade is the second this offseason for the Browns. Cleveland aquired wide receiver Jerry Jeudy in March via a trade with the Denver Broncos.

Browns Will be Flexible in Draft

Browns general manager Andrew Berry has been aggressive over the years when it comes to moving around in the draft. After adding an additional seventh-round pick, he now has a little extra ammo to work with.

As noted previously, the Browns don’t have a first-round pick. Cleveland’s first pick will come at No. 54, and Berry plans to be “flexible” with their plans.

“You can’t dictate the draft at 54, so you have to be flexible,” Berry said in March. “When we took Martin [Emerson] and at 22 — I don’t think anyone thought that we were going to take a take a corner. But like you just can’t be so rigid or dogmatic. And I’ve told you guys this before, we don’t think of the draft as [addressing] a need necessarily. We think about it as more like long term investment in the roster.”

The Browns do have some areas to address, including wide receiver and on the defensive line.

Browns Have Restructured Nick Chubb’s Contract

Aside from trades, the Browns have done some work restructuring contracts to create cap space. The most recent restructure was Nick Chubb, who is coming off a serious knee injury.

The move lowers Chubb’s base salary of $11.75 million with the chance to earn it back via incentives.

Chubb is still working his way back from a pair of knee surgeries. He’s expected to play at some point next season but an exact timeline is still uncertain. Chubb is starting to ramp up his workload this month in preparation for a return.

“Right now he’s strengthening his quad, he’s doing the rehab and everything, but it’s not like he’s going out and doing sprints, agility drills, stuff like that,” Berry said. “But this month we expect that he will.”

Chubb has rushed for 6,511 yards and 48 touchdowns with the Browns in six seasons.

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