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5:18 PM ET

  • Pat McManamonESPN Staff Writer Close
    • Covered Browns, Cleveland sports since 1998
    • Previously worked at Fox Sports Ohio, AOL Fanhouse, Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com
    • Cleveland native, proud father of two daughters

The Cleveland Browns sure do keep things interesting.

Thursday, the Browns brought the NFL trade world to a new level when they essentially spent $16 million to acquire a 2018 second-round draft pick.

Now that is some serious analytics.

How does this work? Let's go point by point.

The Houston Texans had a quarterback, Brock Osweiler, they had grossly overpaid to acquire last year.

Osweiler is due $16 million guaranteed in salary this season. Houston didn't want to pay it; the Texans wanted to pursue Tony Romo.

The Browns had the cap room to take that salary.

So Cleveland took Osweiler and his guaranteed money, and because they did Houston a favor, the Browns also received the Texans' second-round draft pick in 2018.

The Browns will make a decision soon on Osweiler's future, but he does not figure to stay in Cleveland. The Browns will be responsible for paying the $16 million, but the team started free agency with just more than $100 million in salary-cap room. Accounting for an additional $16 million is not difficult under the cap, though it is a significant cash cost.

To make the deal work — the Browns couldn't just take Osweiler and a second-round pick and give up nothing — the teams also exchanged 2017 draft picks. Houston gets a fourth, Cleveland a sixth.


In essence, the Browns did the Texans a solid by taking Osweiler's salary, and the Texans showed their thanks with the second-round pick. Between 2016, '17 and '18, the Browns will have 10 first- and second-round picks.

The Browns essentially bought a second-round draft pick for $16 million, and acquired a quarterback they can evaluate or perhaps even trade — and likely reduce the cash obligation in a trade.

And they can turn the pick they acquired into another player via trade.

Immediate speculation will fall on a possible deal for New England's Jimmy Garoppolo, but there have been no rumblings on that front on a busy opening day of NFL free agency.

The Browns value draft picks.

This trade proves it.

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