Another trade? Why not? Browns also land Green Bay Packers CB Damarious Randall for QB DeShone Kizer
The Cleveland Browns were on a roll, so why stop at two trades?
In a wild, dizzying day for the franchise and its embattled fan base, the Browns added to their recent trade acquisitions by landing Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall. They’re sending 2017 second-round QB DeShone Kizer to Green Bay, and the two clubs will also swap fourth- and fifth-rounders, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
What a whirlwind day — and the Browns got better on Friday. Randall was perhaps the Packers’ best corner down the stretch, but that came after a few run-ins with the coaching staff last season. He’s due to have his fifth-year option picked up or declined this summer, so it’s a crucial time in Randall’s career, but it’s clear that the Browns want him.
The Browns’ revamped front office includes a few former Packers scouts, including assistant general manager Eliot Wolf and vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith, both of whom were on staff in Green Bay when the team used a first-round pick on him in 2015.
Randall had a blowup in the Packers’ Thursday night victory over the Chicago Bears in Week 4 last season, which head coach Mike McCarthy called “an internal matter.” Although Randall was not suspended, there were questions about his place with the team long term. Then he played some of his best ball down the stretch, despite hand and knee injuries.
Can the Browns get the best out of him? He turns 26 this season and could be in line for a pay raise with a strong first season in Cleveland. Cornerback was a need, even with Jason McCourty and Brien Boddy-Calhoun playing respectably well.
The Browns’ decision to move on from Kizer only increases the likelihood that they draft a quarterback to sit behind Taylor this season.
From the Packers perspective, they get a talented 22-year-old passer to potentially back up Aaron Rodgers after Brett Hundley was far too uneven in 11 appearances (nine starts) for an injured Rodgers a year ago.
Of course, uneven might be too generous of a description for the rookie season of Kizer, the 52nd overall pick in 2017, who led the NFL in turnovers by a wide margin and was benched by Hue Jackson on three separate occasions. But Kizer was considered by PFW to be a first-round QB prospect last spring before he slid in the draft amid questions about his maturity.
While Hundley enters a contract year and may not be a lock to return altogether, Kizer gets the chance to learn under Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy. The big-armed former Notre Dame product has starter traits but likely needed a fresh start to repair his confidence after a disastrous debut season in Cleveland.