There are reports already surfacing that the Arizona Cardinals could look to trade Larry Fitzgerald this off-season. Fitzgerald is scheduled to count $18 million against the salary cap next season and the Cardinals could save as much as $8 million by trading him. With so many holes on their team, the trade would make sense from a financial standpoint for the Cardinals. There are several teams out there that could use Fitzgerald but few with the cap room to bring him on board.
The Cleveland Browns aren’t exactly viewed as potential contenders and are probably one of the last teams viewed as potential players for Fitzgerald if he becomes available. In fact, most people view them as rebuilding yet again after the trade of Trent Richardson. The Browns are rebuilding but can do so on the fly. They already showed they are no pushover this season, especially when Brian Hoyer was under center. They will also have two first-round picks and could use one to tempt the Cardinals into sending them Fitzgerald.
The Browns already have the makings of a pretty good-looking pass attack with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron setting a solid foundation. The Browns will also look to draft a young quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft. Adding Fitzgerald to that mix would be a huge upgrade and would set the Browns up to be a potentially lethal offense.
Cleveland is one of the few teams that will have plenty of money to spend this off-season. There are a few teams who can be considered potential contenders next season but none with the cap room of the Browns.
Fitzgerald, 30, has 32 catches this season for 422 yards and four touchdowns. Compared to last season when he had 71 catches for 798 yards, this season is something of a rebound for him. There is no question that Fitzgerald is one of the best receivers in the game but he has suffered with poor quarterback play since last season. It should be noted that one of Fitzgerald’s best games last season came on December 23rd against the Chicago Bears where he hauled in eight passes on 12 targets for 111 yards, just the second time he exceeded 100 yards receiving, with Brian Hoyer under center.
Is it likely the Browns make a play for Fitzgerald? No. Should they? Yes. Adding Fitzgerald to team with Gordon and Cameron could mean the difference between a playoff spot or being on the outside looking in. It would also tell Cleveland fans that the Browns are committed to improving the team and trying to win now. That is exactly the kind of message fans in Cleveland need and this is exactly the kind of move the Browns need to make.