The Facts Behind the Rumors
When is enough really enough? Every off-season rumors persist that the Browns have wide receiver Kevin Johnson on the trading block.
This off-season is no different, but this time the rumors may actually turn into reality.
From what we've been told, the Browns are not actively shopping the four-year veteran, but would deal him at the right price. We have heard in the past that Johnson could be dealt for a second round draft selection. Once again, a second-round selection is the rumored asking price this off-season.
Deep in talent at the wide receiver position, the Browns are seeking opportunities to open up cap space by cutting long-term salary, while maintaining competitiveness and retaining depth on the roster. Johnson is not the long-term solution at wide receiver in the eyes that matter in the decision making process.
Trading Johnson may have never been easier than it is right now. Numerous teams in the league are looking for young, productive receivers who will not create a crippling salary cap situation.
According to a league source, the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles have taken an interest in Johnson. The Jets, reeling since an offer made to their standout unrestricted free agent Laveranues Coles by the Washington Redskins, have debated what course of action to take. The Jets do not want to lose Coles, but may not be willing to match the lucrative offer the Redskins have made to the wide receiver.
If Coles departs in free agency, the choice of a replacement appears to be a financial and scheme-fitting issue for the Jets. Hence, the Jets are looking at a variety of options.
The Eagles, on the other-hand, are a team that has laid low. They have been waiting to see what shakes-out in free agency before jumping into making a trade proposal for Johnson.
Johnson could represent a fit for the Eagles offensive team that they've been looking to find for the past three seasons.
At this point, according to the league source, no deals are eminent.
But the opportunity for a deal prior to the draft exists.
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