The Seattle Seahawks have a number of players on the trading block just before the 2017 NFL season begins. One player gathering a bit of interest is Jermaine Kearse, with a few teams asking about the wide receiver, including the Cleveland Browns.
Not very surprising, considering how weak the Browns lineup of receivers looks. Kenny Britt came in the offseason after his first 1000-yard campaign, but has looked shaky in the preseason. Corey Coleman is the team’s #2 receiver, but the second year player has 413 yards of production from last season, so the Browns don’t have anyone that’s a real go-to guy. Duke Johnson (converted from running back) and late draft picks like Ricardo Louis and Rashard Higgins are next in line. The Browns don’t have someone impressive at quarterback, making this an even bigger problem.
Kearse signed a three-year deal worth $13.5 million in 2016, but disappointed last season, and has never had a season with even 700 receiving yards. The Seahawks expected him to take the next step in 2016, but he seems to have hit a ceiling and the trade talk suggests the Seahawks don’t think he is going to bounce back this season.
Kearse, undrafted out of Washington, has been in the NFL since 2012. It’s hard to see the Browns giving up anything more than a 6th round pick for him, and even that might be a lot. Cutting him this season will cost $3.6 million and won’t come with a lot of cap savings. However, holding on to him for a year will save anyone who has him $5 million, and result in just $1.8 million in dead money due to his back loaded contract.
Kearse has 69 games (51 starts) for the Seahawks since joining them, making appearances in two Super Bowl games, including scoring a touchdown in the championship game against the Broncos. He has 153 receptions for 2109 yards, catching 11 passes for a touchdown. Last season he had just one touchdown reception, while catching only 46.1% of the throws made in his direction.