Print and Go Back AFC North [Print without images]

Thursday, March 5, 2009
Is anyone safe in Cleveland?

By James Walker

Posted by's James Walker

The Wolf composed this question following the swift Browns trade of tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is the first domino of many as new head coach Eric Mangini is likely remaking the roster.

A year ago, Winslow was in the Pro Bowl. Last week he was traded for draft picks. This should be a warning that no one in Cleveland is safe.

In no particular order, here are five other potential trade candidates:

1. Derek Anderson, quarterback

Why: Anderson was benched in 2008. Toward the end of last season, Anderson hinted that he wanted out of Cleveland. He didn't feel he could get a fair shot under the old regime. Anderson's feelings may have changed with new leadership, but at the very least, he still would have to compete for the starting job in 2009. The Browns will have to pay a $5 million roster bonus if Anderson is still on the roster by March 13. The big question is: Would Cleveland be willing to pay a $5 million bonus only to ship Anderson elsewhere after that date?

Chances: Moderate

2. Brady Quinn, quarterback

Why: The prospect of trading Quinn is stronger than most people think. Once Anderson's bonus is paid, Quinn's contract and cap number are much more manageable to pull off a trade this offseason. Word out of Berea is that the Browns could open a quarterback competition if both Quinn and Anderson remain on the roster. Connecting the dots, this says the new regime hasn't been blown away by either signal-caller when watching film from the past two years. A move of this nature would devastate Cleveland fans. But if Mangini has proved anything in the past six weeks, it's that he's going to run things his way regardless of what outsiders think.

Chances: Moderate

3. Braylon Edwards, wide receiver

Why: Edwards is in the final year of his contract. Based on his tumultuous first four seasons in Cleveland, it's likely he will not return to the Browns. The team likely knows this and should at least consider getting something in return for Edwards, as opposed to letting its former No. 3 overall pick walk next year for nothing. Unlike the quarterbacks, the downside is there is currently little depth behind Edwards at receiver. But if the team is willing to trade Winslow so quickly, moving Edwards should not be completely ruled out.

Chances: Below average

4. Shaun Rogers, defensive tackle

Why: From all accounts, Rogers wants out in the worst way. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle doesn't like the way things have gone so far. He spent a lot of bad years in Detroit. Rogers and Mangini have been butting heads from Day 1, which is never a good sign. Rogers would probably welcome a trade, but the Browns need him and the salary cap hit would be too large. Expect Rogers and Mangini to reach a resolution and then get back to football.

Chances: Slim

5. Joshua Cribbs, return specialist

Why: Here is something few people in Cleveland are talking about: Cribbs wants a new contract. The special team's ace is not the type who will make a lot of noise about it. Cribbs will go about his business quietly, but it doesn't mean he will happily accept playing for below-market value for another year. It was expected that the old regime would work out a deal with Cribbs next year, but those people are gone. Cribbs will likely get a new deal hammered out. But with a new regime, you just never know.

Chances: Slim