Browns should inquire about Chase Young
The Cleveland Browns should contact the Washington Commanders and inquire about the availability of the former second overall pick.
A report surfaced Thursday that the Washington Commanders could trade Chase Young at some point during the NFL Draft. This comes just a day after it was reported that the team would not be picking up the fifth-year option on the talented pass rusher. Even though the asking price could be very high and potentially out of their price range, the Cleveland Browns should at least make a call.
Josina Anderson tweeted that it is not likely that Washington receives a “Godfather offer” and that it could take two first round picks to acquire the former Buckeye.
While that price range is preposterous and completely ridiculous, the timing of their reported ask is not a coincidence. It is the day of the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, of course they are looking to pry away a first round pick (or two) from a team foolish enough to overpay. If they somehow manage to get that good for them, but there is no reason for any team to give up that type of draft capital for a player, while talented, has only appeared in 12 games since his rookie season in 2020. That is before realizing that a prospective new team would be on the hook for a new contract as well.
It has never been about talent when it comes to Chase Young. Young racked up 7.5 sacks a rookie before suffering an ACL tear nine games into his second season, forcing him to miss the rest of 2021 and most of 2022. That talent is still in there despite not producing on the field for nearly two seasons, it is why Washington’s initial reported asking price is so high. If a trade does occur, Young’s new team will be reaping all the benefits.
Chase Young opposite Myles Garrett would be a dream come true
Remember when everyone thought that Jadeveon Clowney was somehow the answer to Cleveland’s need of a capable defensive end to pair with Myles Garrett? Chase Young could actually deliver in that particular area. While Young did miss a large chunk of time due to an ACL injury and that is concerning, it is just one injury rather than the laundry list that Clowney came with prior to signing. It is a lot more justifiable to bet on a 23-year old with three seasons under his belt being a productive addition rather than the then 28-year old Clowney with seven years and a ton of major injuries.
This duo would be the bookends everyone has been trying to make happen since Cleveland drafted Garrett. While Cleveland did spend a decent chunk of money on Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, the fact of the matter is that he has never popped like Young has. If Cleveland were to somehow acquire Young from Washington and bump Okoronkwo out of the starting lineup it would be best for both parties. The Browns could even utilize all three on passing downs in order to actually have a productive pass rush, everybody wins.
Browns need to put out a feeler call to Washington
But before any of this can happen, Andrew Berry and the Browns are going to have to make a call to Washington. Cleveland is not expected to use all eight of their draft picks in this draft and could make a trade or two during the draft to maximize their value. What better way to get value than pairing some picks with others in future drafts in order to get a known defensive commodity like Young. The Browns do not own a first round pick until 2025 and if things go right it will not be a high selection. With the team needing to capitalize on their window and avoiding it slamming shut they need to do something of substance. That something could very well be acquiring Young, the exact type of player that they should not be in position to draft in the future.
It is now or never for the Browns. They cannot afford to kick the can down the road and hope everything falls into place as part of some extended contention window. It simply is not realistic and the only case of it happening is the exception to the rule. If Cleveland does not make a serious move to improve their defensive front and the team falls flat again everyone will be out by season’s end. It is better to go down swinging rather than not try at all, and the time for Cleveland to take a swing is now.