After weeks of speculation about a trade between the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, one did finally happen. But not the one that everyone was expecting.
While there was no blockbuster deal for the mercurial Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr, both teams did complete a trade that addressed both their needs in Cleveland sending guard Kevin Zeitler to New York for edge rusher Olivier Vernon.
Perhaps the biggest winner of the Zeitler-Vernon swap is second-year guard, Austin Corbett.
Drafted with the 33rd overall pick out of Nevada, Corbett was one of the highest-rated offensive lineman prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. At 6’4 and 306 pounds Corbett is both massive and agile enough to slide into the spot vacated by Zeitler. One could also say that the writing was on the wall for the now-departed Zeitler, as he was in the second year of a then-blockbuster five-year $60 million deal that made him the league’s highest paid guard.
But once former head coach Hue Jackson—who lobbied the Browns to sign him—was fired and interim head coach Gregg Williams took over, one could sense that the Browns were ready to make some personnel moves to have general manager John Dorsey’s players on the field.
With Corbett now likely to start, the Browns came away big winners in not only trading away an older more expensive player in Zeitler, and replacing him with a younger one In Corbett–that they drafted and can develop, as well as not having to likely draft offensive line in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft down in Nashville, but the Browns also addressed a glaring need on defense in adding one of the NFL’s most talented young pass rushers in the fore-mentioned Vernon.
Now likely to be a leader on a re-tooled line, can Corbett take the next step in making the most of his opportunity?
Also published on Medium.