The Cleveland Browns could use some additional depth on their defensive line and a trade for Las Vegas Raiders pass-rusher Clelin Ferrell has been pitched as an option for the AFC North squad.
Ferrell was identified as a player who “should be on the trade block” by Bleacher Report. The Browns were dubbed the best fit for the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 draft. Here’s what Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox had to say about a possible deal:
As things stand, Ferrell will have an opportunity to revitalize his career in Patrick Graham’s 3-4 scheme, but a change of scenery may be even better for the 25-year-old. The Cleveland Browns are a team that could provide it.
The Browns need pass-rushing depth behind Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, even after acquiring Chase Winovich and drafting Alex Wright. Cleveland has also shown a willingness to bring in former first-round disappointments. Last offseason, it added Takkarist McKinley. This offseason it added Taven Bryan.
It’s true that general manager Andrew Berry has shown a liking for former first-round picks that have not lived up to the hype — especially on the defensive line – and Ferrell fits the mold. He has just eight career sacks and played on less than a third of the Raiders’ defensive snaps last season.
Adding Ferrell to a room that already includes a pair of first-overall picks in Clowney and Garrett could give him some guidance to help him get his career on track. The price of a trade for Ferrell could come at a discount, considering he comes with a cap hit of $10 million. That’s easier for the Browns to swallow than most teams, considering they have the most available cap space in the NFL with more than $42 million.
Ferrell Getting ‘Clean Slate’ With Raiders
While Ferrell has been a popular topic in trade conversations, new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels said everyone is getting a clean slate under the new regime.
“I think everybody, for us, it’s going to be a clean slate,” McDaniels said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “I am really not as interested in what they’ve done as much as what we can do moving forward. He’ll earn his role. Whatever the role is going to be, he’ll earn it. We might have some things we ask him to do that he hasn’t done as much of — but that might fit him better.”
With the Raiders shifting to a 3-4 defense under Graham, Ferrell could find new life in Vegas. Additionally, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal said that the former Clemson standout has been getting some reps at defensive tackle during minicamp.
“Ferrell was getting a lot of work at defensive tackle, which is a change for him and perhaps a beneficial one,” Bonsignore wrote on June 10 .”He has one last chance with the Raiders to prove he is part of the long-range future, and maybe the change will do him good.”
Browns Happy With Defensive Line Heading Into Minicamp
The Browns were happy to wrangle Clowney in for another year to beef up their pass-rush but could use additional depth on the interior of the defensive line, where questions still remain due to lack of experience.
That being said, defensive line coach Chris Kiffin expressed a ton of faith in the group after watching them during OTAs.
“We addressed [the position] in free agency with Taven [Bryan], and we addressed it in the draft with Perrion [Winfrey],” Kiffin told Anthony Poisal, a Browns staff writer, on Wednesday. “We also expect guys to take that next step with Tommy Togiai and Jordan Elliott. They know they’ve got to step up their game and their time is coming.”
Neither of the team’s starters from last season returned to Cleveland. Veteran Malik Jackson, 32, was on a one-year deal and didn’t have an overly impressive season in 2021. Malik McDowell, who started at the other defensive tackle spot, was arrested in January after a bizarre naked encounter with police. He’s not expected back on the Browns as he sorts through his legal issues.