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Friday, April 2, 2010
Browns pull off smart trade

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Unless the Cleveland Browns got extremely lucky, chances are they would not have landed two starters in this year's draft in the fourth and fifth rounds.


Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesCornerback Sheldon Brown, acquired in a trade from the Eagles, fills an immediate need for the Browns.
For that reason, Cleveland made a very smart trade Friday with the Philadelphia Eagles to land veteran cornerback Sheldon Brown and outside linebacker Chris Gocong. Both players can be penciled in as starters in Cleveland's 3-4 defense.

The Browns shipped backup linebacker Alex Hall and a fourth- and fifth-round pick to the Eagles, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Cleveland has plenty of draft picks to spare, particularly in the middle rounds, and still has 10 selections in this month's draft.

Brown, who likely will get an extension with Cleveland, fills a major void at cornerback and moves the struggling Brandon McDonald out of the starting lineup. Gocong is a player Browns coach Eric Mangini liked coming out of college and has starting experience with Philadelphia, tying Gocong with current Browns general manager Tom Heckert.

The trade for Brown likely impacts Cleveland's draft plans in the first round.

The Browns are no longer desperate for a cornerback with the No. 7 overall pick, where Florida's Joe Haden was a potential target. Tennessee safety Eric Berry definitely makes more sense at this point if Cleveland has a choice between the two players.