The Cleveland Browns trade of third-year wide receiver Corey Coleman was not only a mistake, but it also carries quite a bit of risk. Coleman’s two seasons with the Browns were marred with injuries and memorable mistakes. He played in 19 games, catching 56 receptions for 718 yards and five touchdowns. Injuries, some of them freak injuries, kept derailing his career.
But, Coleman is just 24 years old. Athletically, he has the speed and agility that gives him the potential to be a playmaker for an offense. In the times he was on the field, his talent was often shown. Last season, he showed improved route running, which allowed him to get open easier. He is a player who you want to get the ball in hands because he has the speed and wiggle to make things happen. We just didn’t see that consistently with the Browns.
The production was not there for two big reasons, injuries and horrible quarterback play. Coleman missed 13 games in two seasons. It’s hard to get flow and consistency missing that many games. But, what compounded his struggle in the first two seasons was the mess at quarterback. He played with some horrible quarterback play. The quarterback not only negatively affected his play, but he was never really aided by the play of the thrower. Coleman would be able to get open, but the quarterback would just miss him or throw it inaccurately, making it a harder catch or even a dangerous one. A lot of his struggles were not his fault.
To give up on a young player who is still developing is a mistake. It is even a bigger mistake that the Browns got what looks to be nothing much more than a late round draft pick. The Browns wasted potential to get a late round pick. It is hard to find someone who had the athletic ability and talent potential that Coleman had. There was no need to rush the trade. The Browns should have held onto the young receiver and let him have 2018 as a season to show what he has. If he played well, the Browns had another good young weapon on the offense. If he continued to struggle or missed more time, then the team could cut bait. Cleveland sold low and just gave up on him. That was a mistake.
To add even more insult to injury, the trade of Coleman holds a lot of risk. The Browns are now trusting in Josh Gordon and Antonio Callaway. These are two players with a wide variety of question marks off the field. They are players who could very well not be on the field for the Browns. Cleveland is putting a lot of trust in two guys who might not deserve or have earned it as of yet.
With Coleman gone, the depth of the wide receiver position is shaky, to say the least. Jarvis Landry is the only sure thing in my eyes. Gordon is the best receiver, but will he be on the team? Callaway has so much talent, but can he put it together on the field and be able to stay clean off it? Rashard Higgins has shown promise during the early training camp, but he has not shown the consistent production during the regular season. Jeff Janis has little NFL productions. Damion Ratley has the athletic ability, but no consistent college production. There are a lot of ifs.
So, Coleman’s trade not only is a waste of talent, but also a risk for the Browns wide receiver position. The Browns are asking a lot of the receiver group that consists of many questions. The trade was just not needed at this time. The timing was not right.