Browns add insurance on the offensive line with Moffitt trade

SanfordOn Monday, the Cleveland Browns traded defensive lineman Brian Sanford to the Seattle Seahawks for guard/center John Moffitt.

Here’s why I like the deal. The Browns traded from a position of strength. The defensive line is the deepest position on the team. The Browns like Brian Sanford. He is a quality backup.You can sit and watch position drills at camp and often tell what a team thinks of a certain player. Sanford was not a guy that they had to ride or correct technique often. He often took reps with the first team in practice.

The team may not have been able to keep Sanford though. While working through my projected 53 man roster today, I found myself in quite a quandary trying to keep both Sanford and Ishmaa’ily Kitchen on the squad. I don’t think it could have happened, and you risk losing a player when you try to put him on the practice squad. 

On the other side of the ball, Moffitt certainly gives them options while Lauvao and Pinkston come back from injury.

The depth behind Pinkston and Lauvao is questionable. Rookie Garrett Gilkey played at Division II Chadron State last fall. Asking him to play extended snaps early in the season may be asking too much.

Who knows, maybe there is more to either the Lauvao or Pinkston injury that the Browns are concerned about? Securing depth at the position before cuts are made seems like a smart football decision. Earlier in camp the Browns had Shaun Lauvao try playing some center with the second team. If the team is comfortable with Moffitt as a backup center, it could open the doors to keeping one less offensive lineman and adding a player they like at another position.

The bottom line here is that there is no downside to this trade. The 26 year old Moffitt has this year and next on his contract. He earns $625,000 this year and $752,000 in 2014. He is a better pass blocker than a run blocker, but overall you have to think he would be better or at least more ready to start than any player cut in the next couple of weeks.

(Photo: Candice Vlcek/WFNY)

  • JHop

    I take issue as to whether or not he is actually an upgrade to Gilkey, or if the Browns should have aimed their sights a bit higher.

    “He is a better pass blocker than a run blocker…” I sure hope that isn’t the case, since Pro Football Focus graded Moffitt out as a Bottom 10 guard in pass protection last year.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think I like this trade because I’m not sure if you can get better for Sanford who was likely to be cut anyway. Seahawks fans seem to really like this guy. Pro Football Focus thought he was awful last year. If he wrestles the starting job away from Gilkey I’ll be a little concerned with the browns’ run blocking. Greco got pushed around against Nick Fairley in the last preseason game and that’s being nice… aren’t guards typically supposed to be your best run blockers? With that said Moffitt is still young and maybe a coaching change will do him good

  • Chh11

    How could you not love this man!!!

  • His experience alone should make him an upgrade to Gilkey. As for those ratings you linked, that was from 2011, his rookie season. Last year he rated higher as a pass blocker than a run blocker.

  • mgbode

    not just a coaching change, but JoeT is also from Wisconsin. for whatever reason that Seattle coaches fell out of favor with him, hopefully JoeT can help rectify.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I like your moxie… you’re hired! I do think that having Joe Thomas around (and Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz) should be very helpful for this young buck.

  • mgbode
  • Harv 21

    Whoa there, Moffitt may not quite be a starting-caliber guard but there’s no way he’s not an upgrade. Gilkey is a 7th round pick with zero NFL experience, he’s not used to anywhere near this level of competition and, to top it off, is just learning the guard position after playing tackle in college.

    One day Gilkey may be a superior player to Moffitt, but not in games 1 and 2 this year. Throwing Gilkey out there would be like throwing chum to sharks. I’m not ready to see Jason Campbell yet.

  • Harv 21

    Whywhywhy? You know it’s impossible to un-see something.

  • he’s right all over the place here but specifically about there not being a state called carolina so they play north and south carolina in charlotte and more importantly the risk to viewers of entering the 4th dimension when an filmed interview gets filmed by another film crew at the same time.

  • mgbode

    that grannie doesn’t look like she’s complaining

  • Harv 21

    Maybe this is a Rorschach for your views on elder care. Change Moffitt’s expression to a lineman’s glare and granny may now appear to you as if she’s screaming for the cops.

  • Harv 21

    I do see her grasping red mitten around his girth now. Clearly, the issue is mine.

  • Jaker

    Love the deal. Sanford was gunna have trouble making the team, let alone see the field. Moffit is a young guy who helps us at a position we really needed help with. When at ill strength, this line is impressive with quality and depth. I wouldn’t be surprised if Moffit is starting at RG next year and just beating Pinkston for the job

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I am perfectly happy with this kind of a trade. We give up something we were likely to lose anyways to gain something we really needed.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    At her age, an improperly shaved hotdog makes her happy.

  • CBI

    Thanks Ben, I’m now going to have to spend the rest of my week cleaning the mouthful of pepsi I spewed all over my keyboard reading your post. From now on, every time my ‘F’ key sticks, I’m going to silently curse your lunchtime humor.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Couldn’t be helped bud…but at least I’ve done/said something memorable that wasn’t memorable for it’s utter stupidity!

  • CBI

    No worries Fffffffffffffffffffffframbaugh. I can always stop eating at my desk.