CEO Joe Banner said the Browns have options to trade out of the No. 6 overall pick, but he estimates there’s a 65 percent chance the prospect they want will be available in that slot.
Banner made the comments during a radio interview with 92.3 The Fan less than two hours before the start of the NFL Draft, which begins at 8 p.m. today. He said there are three or four teams the Browns have had “back-and-forth or ongoing conversations with” during the past 24 hours.
“There are things out there we could do if we wanted to,” Banner said when asked if the Browns have a trade in place. “I don’t think we want to do anything until we see exactly how the first five picks fall ‘cause, as I said, there a couple of players that if they were sitting there when we went to pick, we would probably just pick them and regardless of what we were offered, just feel really good about the outcome.”
Rumblings began surfacing Wednesday night about the Browns possibly trading up, which owner Jimmy Haslam said in March would be “doubtful.” This evening, NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported the Browns aren’t planning to trade up.
The Browns don’t have a second-round pick and would like to recoup it, so trading down remains the most realistic possibility by far if any move is made at all.
“There are some players that will be at six that are going to be top, top-tier players,” Banner said. “And we’ll just have to see whether we think taking one of those top-tier players is better for us than something that may produce an opportunity to get a couple of players.”
Banner said the Browns aren’t planning to trade any of the players on their roster but warned that could change as the draft unfolds. It runs tonight through Saturday.
“We’ve had some discussions over the last few weeks and you saw we made the move where we acquired [backup running back] Dion Lewis [in exchange for linebacker Emmanuel Acho],” Banner said. “But there’s no other players that we’re talking about or being asked about. Now keep in mind that can change in a minute. It could change at some point during the draft between now and Saturday, but at this point we’re not involved in any conversations that involve our players.”
Banner also said the Browns have had conversations with one team about acquiring one of its players.
“Over the last few days, we’ve had one conversation that involves a player on another team that we haven’t done anything with,” Banner said. “And I don’t know whether something will happen or not, but probably still kind of hangs out there as a possibility.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday that the Browns were seriously considering trading for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess with the compensation being a mid-round pick. The Browns are not interested in trading for New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett contrary to a report from the Boston Herald, a league source confirmed for the Beacon Journal.