As the NFL trade deadline approaches, reports suggest that the Cleveland Browns are planning to move several players in its roster. Offensive tackle Joe Thomas, center Alex Mack, and linebacker Barkevious Mingo are all rumored to be open to trade as the league's Tuesday deadline nears.
The news of Thomas and Mack's potential trade comes courtesy of NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. According to the journalist, the Browns are currently in talks to deal away the two offensive linemen. Given the league-wide shortage of offensive line players, the team is likely expecting to get significant amounts in return for the duo. Seattle is a possible trade partner, especially now that the Seahawks have surrendered the most sacks in the league this season.
Mack, who is a two-time Pro Bowler, has a no-trade clause in his contract and would need to waive it for a trade to push through. In 2014, Cleveland matched a five-year deal worth $42 million that the 29-year-old signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Meanwhile, Thomas' rumored exchange might come as a surprise to some since the offensive tackle is still under contract for a relatively reasonable $8 million for three years.
Furthermore, another player said to be on the negotiation table is Barkevious Mingo. Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot tweeted on Sunday that the team "made it known" that it is willing to move the linebacker. He was the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft.
The 25-year-old Mingo has just seven sacks in his career, and his present responsibility is to drop back into coverage while playing in the team's sub packages. The upcoming season is the last one on his four-year, $16.3 million contracts. If Mingo is to be acquired by another team before the deadline, they would have to pay him the remainder of his base salary that is roughly $310,000, next year's base salary amounting to $675,000, and his roster bonus that stands at about $2.6 million.
All of those players are former first-round picks by the Browns, with Mingo and Thomas being top ten selections. Cleveland probably need a full rebuild, and putting up some of its most valuable players for trade may help accelerate that overhaul. However, football enthusiasts note that a potential fire sale of this kind might hint about the future of the team's personnel department and indicates that its coaching staff is in jeopardy.