It's hard not to hear the message sent by the Cleveland Browns that they will get back to winning with their new blood. With a lack of talent on offense though, could a trade for tight end Aaron Hernandez from the New England Patriots offer a boost?
Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski are great for now but unlikely long-term
It's a struggle to find a football expert who doesn't agree that the New England Patriots have the best tandem of tight ends in the NFL. Rob Gronkowski broke out with 17 touchdown catches last season and became a nightmare for defenses. His counterpart Aaron Hernandez created almost as many problems not just catching but running the football too. Both went to the Pro Bowl and both aren't even over 23 years old. It's impossible not to see them as a scary matchup for teams down the road. The problem is it's rare for teams to sink large amounts of money in tight ends. New England already gave a megadeal to Gronkowski and if Hernandez makes another Pro Bowl this year he will have good leverage to ask for a new one too. Given other contract problems the Patriots have on offense they might find it hard to pay up. That means they let him go in free agency or trade him. Since it is New England who never fears blockbuster moves they could go that way. Which teams might pay up the most depends on need.
Browns have little besides Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson
Recent history says to win a Super Bowl a team must have offensive firepower. The Cleveland Browns haven't had that since 2007 when Derek Anderson, Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards had their one good year together. Now the burden falls to rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and rookie running back Trent Richardson. Outside of them the Browns have little in the way of talent on offense. Free agency doesn't have many choices left to find help which means they must trust coaches can develop what they already have or plan for making a deal. One thing a player like Hernandez could bring is steady hands and less pressure on Richardson or the wide receivers. At 28 Weeden doesn't have the luxury of time as other rookies might which is why Cleveland brass must not waste any time finding him more weapons.
The New England Patriots have time to reap rewards with Aaron Hernandez but if they can't keep him for the long haul then trading him is their best course of action. The Cleveland Browns have Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson but they'll need way more to get back to winning.