For the first time in years the Cleveland Browns appear to have building blocks in place to field a really good team. The next step is retooling their young defense with extra talent. Is a trade for New York Jets star Darrelle Revis worth it?
Cliff Avril and Paul Kruger rule early talk for Browns
Another 5-11 finish would make most fans believe Cleveland was a horrible team last year. Granted they struggled in a lot of areas but anyone who watched closely saw a group of very young players learning on the job. Now things have changed. A new coaching staff laden with experience and a history of success is in town and they have the money and draft pick to make a real splash in 2013. The first order of business is free agency. While head coach Rob Chudzinski is an offensive guy, experts believe the team will actually use the majority of its spending money to upgrade the defense. This is for several reasons. The unit isn't overly talented aside from a few bright spots. Also they plan to switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme under new coordinator Ray Horton. The quickest way to make that transition is finding players with experience in it or has the athletic skills for it. With that in mind the running idea is the Browns will target a pass rusher first and foremost. Any number of options exists including defensive end Paul Kruger who just won a Super Bowl with Baltimore, another 3-4 team. Then there is Cliff Avril out of Detroit who is naturally gifted at rushing the passer. There is plenty of money in the salary cap to sign either. However, is there a chance to really give the unit a new identity?
Revis open to joining San Francisco 49ers or other contenders
Some forget Cleveland actually has one superstar in the making in corner Joe Haden. Despite missing five games last year and playing behind a poor defensive line he still picked off three passes and defended ten others. Another priority for the team is finding a second corner to compliment him. Is it really crazy to think they can't go after one of the best? The New York Jets made it clear weeks ago they want to trade All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis. Regardless of his rehabbing from a knee injury, the 28-year-old is among the best defensive backs in all of football. His value in a trade is the reason the Jets won't stop shopping him. Already rumors have surfaced about the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons having interest. This is great news for Revis who said in interviews his biggest thing is to play for a contender. That however is not his decision. New York will decide where he goes. That is why the Browns must at least think about the possibilities. They sit in a division dominated by quarterbacks like Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger and Andy Dalton. Imagine the advantages of pairing Revis with Haden on defense. The prospects are too often a dream for defensive coordinators.
Either way the Cleveland Browns have lived too long on sitting in the background. This time is right for a statement. Taking Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets is about as loud as it gets.
Photo Credit - Every Joe