Sunday’s meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles will see Carson Wentz make his debut at quarterback in FirstEnergy Stadium. That’s four years later than many wanted it to be at the time, back when the Browns had the opportunity to draft Wentz in 2016.
Instead of selecting the North Dakota State QB, the Browns traded the pick to the Eagles. The full initial trade:
The Browns sent the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft along with the No. 139 pick in the 2017 Draft to the Eagles for Nos. 8, 77, and 100 picks in the 2016 draft, the No. 12 pick in the 2017 draft, and a second-round pick in 2018.
Wentz has been a rollercoaster for the Eagles. There are the highs of leading them to an 11-2 mark in 2017, a year that culminated with the Eagles winning the Super Bowl — albeit with Nick Foles replacing an injured Wentz for the playoff run.
Outside of that magical season, Wentz has a losing record (24-27-1) as a starter. He currently leads the NFL in interceptions and times being sacked, and Wentz’s completion percentage and yards per attempt have both steadily fallen from his Pro Bowl 2017 campaign. His QB Rating of 73.1 in 2020 ranks 31st, several spots below Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield (90.0).
The Browns end of the trade evolved several tentacles. The initial deals resulted in this menagerie of moves:
Cleveland Traded No. 8, 176 to Tennessee for No. 15, 76, and 2017 Second Round Pick (No. 52)
Cleveland Traded No. 77, 141 to Carolina for No. 93, 129, 168
Cleveland Traded No. 100 to Oakland for No. 114, 154
All the picks from those trades resulted in the following haul in 2016:
No. 15 – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
No. 76 – Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn
No. 93 – Cody Kessler, QB, USC
No. 114 – Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn
No. 129 – Derrick Kindred, S, TCU
No. 154 – Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA
No. 168 – Spencer Drango, OG, Baylor
In 2017, the Browns traded the first-round pick from the Eagles in the deal too.
Cleveland traded the No. 12 pick to Houston for No. 25 and a 2018 first-round pick.
Houston used the pick to select QB Deshaun Watson. Despite Houston’s 2-7 record and last weekend’s loss in Cleveland, the Texans are still elated with the deal.
The Browns got these picks from the Wentz-to-Watson deal.
No. 25 – Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
No. 52 – DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Cleveland used the 2018 first-round pick acquired from Houston with the strand of the Wentz trade on CB Denzel Ward with the No. 4 overall pick.
The final pick, Philadelphia’s 2018 second-rounder, was (of course) traded by the Browns during that draft weekend. The Browns dealt the No. 64 overall pick in that 2018 draft to the Colts, who selected DE Tyquan Lewis. The Browns picked up Miami DE Chad Thomas with the No. 67 pick. This is where it gets really complicated…
Unpacking the further trade tentacles
From the initial trade, the Browns eventually traded Shon Coleman for a 2019 seventh-round pick to San Francisco. The Browns traded that pick and WR Josh Gordon to the Patriots for a 2019 fifth-round pick that Cleveland used on Oklahoma kicker Austin Seibert.
The Browns also received the Colts’ sixth-round pick in that Chad Thomas deal. Cleveland packaged that pick (No. 178 overall) as part of another trade during the 2018 draft weekend. Along with its own fourth-round pick (No. 114 overall), the Browns sent that acquired pick to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick (No. 105 overall). That pick became Florida WR Antonio Callaway.
Back to the 2017 trade of the Wentz bounty to Houston. The Browns traded Jabrill Peppers to the Giants as a primary part of the package to acquire WR Odell Beckham Jr. in 2019. The Giants also got two other picks from the Browns in that deal, with which they selected DT Dexter Lawrence and DE Oshane Ximines.
The Browns also dealt the net of the first Eagles’ pick in 2017, Corey Coleman. This one gets wacky. The Browns shipped Coleman to Buffalo in 2018 for a 2020 seventh-round pick. That pick got traded, then traded again, and eventually wound up being part of another trade that landed 2020 third-round pick Jordan Elliott into Cleveland.
In 2020, the Browns have Denzel Ward, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jordan Elliott to effectively show for Wentz, via a convoluted path with many twists and turns.