The Cleveland Browns announced they have traded pass rusher Genard Avery to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for an undisclosed 2021 draft pick. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that it is a fourth round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft going to Cleveland.
Avery, a fifth round pick out of Memphis in the 2018 NFL Draft, showed a lot of promise as a pass rusher last season. He finished the year with 39 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four pass deflections, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble in primarily a reserve role. New defensive coordinator Steve Wilks struggled to find ways for Avery to get on the field this season though. He has recorded just one tackle in two games. In fact, he has been inactive for most of Cleveland's regular season games.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens said the decision to make Avery inactive on a weekly basis came down to numbers. Wilks provided some additional insight.
"It is not so much that. I know there is a lot of speculation out there, but I think when you look at the big picture and when you talk about 53 guys, if you guys really want to try and help us out, I think you can petition to the league – I do not know if it will work – to where you may get all 53 guys up on gameday. When you look at the big picture, sometimes it equates to special teams. It is not just defense and what we are trying to get done. It is really the big picture of the team," he explained Oct. 24.
"Which guys are up? Who is going to help out more on special teams? The rotation that particular week up front on defense, is it more of a running team? Do we need more of a run-stopper in there? I think Genard brings a great skillset. I think he has tremendous speed off the edge. I think he has the ability to get to the quarterback and affect the game in a positive way. We will see exactly what happens this week and who is up. I am sure if he is, he will make a major impact on the game."
Eagles Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry was a part of Cleveland's front office when Avery was drafted. It stands to reason that he was able to offer valuable insight into the type of player General Manager Howie Roseman was acquiring.
The NFC East appears to be a two-horse race between the Dallas Cowboys and Eagles. Avery should boost an average Philadelphia pass rush that has recorded 21 sacks this season. The 4-4 Eagles are a half game behind Dallas currently.
The Browns fell to 2-5 Sunday with a loss to the New England Patriots. They are active in other trade conversations as well. Cleveland has the second easiest remaining schedule so their playoff hopes have not been entirely extinguished. They face an uphill battle within the AFC though.
The 2019 NFL Trade Deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. ET. only on CBS Sports!