BerniesInsiders.com's Lane Adkins is reporting this evening that the deal may occur even if there are issues found in Ekuban's physical. Denver is desperate for defensive line depth, and sees an opportunity to deal off a player who has been demanding a trade to secure a starting job.
ESPN's Len Pasquarelli has also chimed in, reporting that Droughns will be in Cleveland on Wednesday for a physical and Ekuban is already in Denver.
Droughns had slightly more than one hundred yards to show for his four season career prior to breaking out against the Carolina Panthers during week five for 193 yards. Droughns followed up with 176 yards a week later against Oakland and 166 yards against the Saints the next month. The running back finished with 1240 yards on the season.
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported this afternoon that the Browns and Broncos are near a deal which would exchange DE Ebenezer Ekuban for Denver RB Reuben Droughns. Since the report came out late Tuesday afternoon, there have been additional radio reports indicating that the story has substance and that Ekuban is taking a physical in Denver.
If true, the story would mark the Browns second attempt in the last month to upgrade themselves at running back, where neither Lee Suggs nor William Green is considered to be the complete solution for the Browns. Green was given an opportunity to seek a trade earlier this year, and no takers have materialized. The Browns also made an abortive run at Ravens RB Chester Taylor, which was stopped when the Ravens unexpectedly matched the Browns $3 million offer.
The move would also mark the third Browns defensive lineman to head to Denver this off-season. The Broncos, who hired Cleveland's defensive line coach Andre Patterson after the season, have also acquired Gerard Warren and Courtney Brown, who signed a contract today. Patterson has been a vocal advocate of all the moves, and feels that the Browns underestimate the talent that they had in their defensive line.
Two other possible transactions swirl around these rumors. One is the possible release of William Green, who has two strikes already to his name relative to the NFL's three-strike policy. The Browns have attempted to model themselves somewhat after the Patriots organization in their desire to minimize off-the-field distractions.
The Browns have also continued to talk to the agent for Ravens DE Marques Douglas, who has yet to sign a contract. Lane Adkins has been reporting on the progress of the negotiations in Ask the Insiders, and some compromises would need to be made before the two sides can come to an agreement. A willingness to deal Ekuban, however, might very well indicate that the team believes that they can sign Douglas or find additional defensive line depth in the draft.