There is a full-fledged fire sale going on in Carolina.
After firing head coach Matt Rhule, the Panthers have seemingly turned their eyes to the 2023 NFL draft, and because of that, most of their roster is attainable via trade.
In the past four days, in exchange for Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson, Carolina has added six picks over the next three drafts:
🏈Extra 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th-round picks in 2023.
🏈Extra 5th- and 6th-round picks in 2024.
🏈Extra 7th-round pick in 2025.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 21, 2022
They have already moved WR Robbie Anderson, and recently they struck a deal with the San Francisco 49ers to send franchise superstar Christian McCaffery to the bay in exchange for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th round selections in the next two drafts.
Despite a disappointing season so far, the Cleveland Browns are still a team fighting for a spot in the AFC playoffs.
With their recent trade for Deion Jones, the Browns have made it clear they aren’t going to sit on their hands come the trade deadline.
With Carolina open for business, we will look at two players who the Browns could realistically target in trade talks with the Panthers.
Matt Ioannidis DT
The struggles of Cleveland’s defensive tackles this season have been widely noticed by fans.
With Taven Bryan and Jordan Elliott both posting well below average grades according to Pro Football Focus, the Browns desperately need to get Myles Garrett and Jadaveon Clowney some help on the inside.
Carolina already has a young star in the middle with Derrick Brown who general manager Scott Fitterer was very commital to during a press conference Friday morning, so losing Ioannidis wouldn’t be too big of a loss for a team that will be trying to lose games the rest of this season.
Ioannidis signed with the Panthers as a free agent this offseason after spending the first six years of his career in Washington, and the 26-year-old IDL would be a massive upgrade over the Browns’ current DT’s.
The 7th year man from Temple is posting a 72.6 PFF grade so far, a number that would be an over 20-point upgrade over both Bryan and Elliott.
Ioannidis should be available for a relatively cheap price, and with the Browns’ lack of draft capital, they have to be careful not to overpay at the risk of not having cost-controlled contracts during the Watson era.
DJ Moore WR
Cleveland successfully trading for Moore is certainly a long shot, but with Amari Cooper starting to get a little bit older, they should at least throw their hats in the ring for the talented pass catcher.
In his 4 year career, Moore has amassed over 4,000 receiving yards despite, to put it nicely, inconsistent quarterback play and the eye test gives Moore an even better grade than his statistics.
The last time PJ Walker went against Matthew Stafford. Panthers won 20-0
DJ Moore 7rec 127yds pic.twitter.com/HqTghW8292
— Austin Vallejo (@ValleyJoe24) October 14, 2022
A trade for him could be difficult, as Moore, like Brown, is seen as a cornerstone in Carolina, and it would take serious draft compensation to pry him out of the Panthers’ hands, something Cleveland will be hard-pressed to do.
That being said, Moore is a special talent at the WR position, and more importantly for Cleveland has been a good soldier in Carolina during what has been a tough time to be a Panther.
Moore, similarly to Amari Cooper, seems adverse to the drama that has plagued the Browns in recent years.
Cleveland could get frisky and throw in their 2nd and 3rd round pick in the upcoming draft, but a trade sending Moore to Cleveland is highly unlikely.