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The Cleveland Browns are starting from scratch, selling off anything of value for future draft picks in an aggressive rebuilding campaign.
They're tanking, in other words.
But that doesn't mean what they're doing is wrong.
Cleveland would be willing to trade wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
These are the Browns' two best offensive-skill players. Gordon is just 22 years old and is already a No. 1 receiver. He's big and fast and likely to get better. Cameron is just 25 years old and is already top-10 in the league at his position. They're both talented players whose skills are being wasted due to the the awful quarterback situation in Cleveland.
It would reportedly take a high draft pick (read:first round) to get either player.
Cleveland has already traded Trent Richardson (a guy they drafted 3rd-overall 18 months ago). They also have a new general manager and coach — both of whom feel no loyalty to the current roster.
We rarely see this sort of NBA-style tanking (rebuilding?) in the NFL. Teams typically try to be competitive every single year, regardless of whether they're better off building for the future.
But it doesn't make sense for Cleveland to keep Gordon and Cameron and try to win seven games this year. They aren't good enough to make the playoffs with these two guys, so why not trade them away and get a few extra picks in the loaded 2014 NFL Draft?
The new regime in Cleveland has recognized that the 2012 Draft was an absolute disaster for the franchise. They're viewing that as a sunk cost, and trying to rebuild the roster through the draft.
It might be ugly, but it's the rational thing to do.
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