Needing help at almost every defensive position on their roster, the Cleveland Browns are reportedly close to a deal that would land them Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Chris Cocong and defensive back Sheldon Brown.
In return, the Browns would send either a draft selection and a player or two selections and a player of lower perceived value.
The deal is reportedly contingent upon the disgruntled Brown obtaining a new contract if the Browns were to acquire his services. Last season, the veteran cornerback was unhappy with his contract situation and demanded a trade – one that was not granted. With four years remaining on his current deal, Brown continues to plead for a renegotiation.
The Browns have had their fair share of contract issues, including but not limited to the recently signed Josh Cribbs as well as the recently tendered D’Qwell Jackson. Historically, the team has attempted to rid itself of all financial issues by trading away disgruntled players like tight end Kellen Winslow and wide receiver Braylon Edwards. But given the teams’ current needs, the new regime – lead by Mike Holmgren and (former Eagles GM) Tom Heckert – may be willing to take on some additional baggage in order to make the team better.
Very similar to when Eric Mangini brought over former New York Jets last season, it appears that Heckert wishes to do the same with players that he was comfortable with in Philadelphia.
Despite wanting a new deal and being verbally unhappy in Philadelphia, Brown put up a very respectable 2009 season by recording 51 tackles (43 of which were solo), 17 passes defensed, and five interceptions – one returned for a touchdown. The 26-year old Gocong had 44 tackles, one sack and a safety.
(Update: The deal is reportedly official. The Browns send Alex Hall, a fourth-, and fifth-round pick to Philadelphia for Brown and Gocong.)
Eagles Brown, Gocong on verge of going to Browns [Clark Judge/CBS]
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)