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Did the Browns make an NBA-style trade to prepare for Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo?

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The Browns just moneyball’d the NFL with an awesome trade.

I don’t care who wins or loses this trade, I just love when history is made.

The Houston Texans just sent QB Brock Osweiler, a 2017 6th round pick, and a 2018 2nd round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a 2017 4th round pick.

I repeat: the Texans just paid the Browns a future 2nd round pick to take Osweiler and his albatross of a contract off of their hands.

This transaction opens up a whole realm for terrible teams that want to Trust The Process by eating bad contracts of other teams in exchange for more draft picks to play with, and the Browns with former baseball guru and current EVP Sashi Brown make perfect sense to be the epicenter of this changing landscape.

There is more cap space to go around than there are players to earn it, at least for now, because teams don’t want to set precedent by giving average players top dollar for the sake of using up cap space. We should see more of these trades until the salary cap plateaus, or contract structures change.

And, best of all, this trade now sets the Browns up to make a major splash to acquire New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

Wait, you might wonder. Didn’t the Browns just acquire a quarterback? Why would they want another one?

To that, I give you NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:

The Browns did this for the 2nd round pick, not for the quarterback. Osweiler could be a free agent after this season (and could add another wrench to the Broncos offseason). And even if the Browns kept Osweiler, he doesn’t cost a dime in 2018 if he is released, right when Garoppolo would be signing his big new contract.

The Browns have two picks in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft (#1, #12 via Eagles from QB Carson Wentz trade) and two picks in the 2nd round (#33, #52). They also own their own pick in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and three picks in the 2nd round (own, Eagles, Texans). They have plenty of draft capital should they want to trade for Garoppolo.

The Patriots are playing hard to get with Garoppolo and are now pushing for two first round picks in return. If the Browns offer #12 and #33, or #12 and #52, or #12 and a pair of 2018 2nd round picks, the Patriots will have to start to listen- and the Browns will be more inclined to offer.

This Osweiler trade doesn’t make the Browns a guarantee to trade for Garoppolo, although they remain the Patriots best hope. The San Francisco 49ers signed QB Brian Hoyer and are looking for a developmental quarterback in the draft, as are the Chicago Bears which signed QB Mike Glennon.

The Browns have the capital to easily pull off a trade for Garoppolo.

I love this trade so much.