Hungry to add proven talent to a deficient roster.
Impatient to change the image of the organization.
Desperate to win.
General manager John Dorsey, who’s been on the job for three months, took a giant step in reshaping the Browns with a flurry of trades Friday. He didn’t wait for free agency to start next week.
Within two hours, Dorsey agreed to trades for Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry, Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Packers cornerback Damarious Randall, a league source confirmed to The Chronicle-Telegram.
Three glaring position needs addressed in less time than it took the Browns to lose a game on their way to 0-16 in 2017.
The trades can’t be official until the league year starts Wednesday afternoon, so the organization didn’t comment.
It certainly made a statement.
“@Browns are en fuego!!” tweeted left tackle Joe Thomas, who hasn’t announced whether he’ll retire or return. “Here’s to John Dorsey tonight!!”
.@Browns are en fuego!! Here’s to John Dorsey tonight🍻🎉!!
— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) March 9, 2018
Dorsey inherited 12 draft picks and $113 million in salary cap space from fired head of football operations Sashi Brown. Rather than risk rejection in free agency, Dorsey made sure he added young, productive starters at three critical positions, including quarterback.
To do so, he agreed to part with quarterback DeShone Kizer and three draft picks, none in the first two rounds.
The Browns will send a fourth-round pick (No. 123) this year and a seventh-rounder in 2019 to Miami for Landry. The Dolphins placed the $16 million franchise tag on Landry, 25, to prevent him from becoming a free agent and to facilitate a trade. He signed the tag Thursday, guaranteeing him the salary for 2018.
The Browns are expected to try to sign him to a contract extension.
“Y’all better understand sh** about to get SERIOUS… ON MY MAMA,” Landry tweeted.
Y’all better understand shit about to get SERIOUS… ON MY MAMA
— Jarvis Juice Landry (@God_Son80) March 9, 2018
The Browns will give Buffalo pick No. 65 in April for Taylor. The Packers get Kizer, and the teams will reportedly swap draft position in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Kizer was the No. 52 pick out of Notre Dame last year and went 0-15 as a rookie. With Taylor on board and the Browns expected to draft a quarterback with the No. 1 pick, Kizer was unlikely to get another chance in Cleveland.
Landry (6-foot, 205 pounds) has been one of the most productive wideouts in the NFL since the Dolphins drafted him with the 63rd pick out of LSU in 2014. He set an NFL record for receptions in the first four years of a career with 400 — 58 more than runner-up Anquan Boldin.
Landry made the Pro Bowl the last three seasons and has 4,038 yards, 22 touchdowns and a 10.1-yard average in 64 games, never missing one. He led the league with 122 catches in 2017.
Only Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown and Atlanta’s Julio Jones have more catches since 2014, and he’s the first player since Lydell Mitchell in 1978 to change teams after leading the league in catches.
Landry, whose nickname is “Juice,” wanted a contract worth an average of $13 million a season from the Dolphins, the Sun Sentinel reported, citing a league source. Despite the production, the Dolphins were unwilling to make a slot receiver one of the highest-paid receivers in the league.
“I’m happy. I’m happy. I can live with what’s happened, because I know that I gave my all, all the time,” he said at a charity event in Florida, adding he didn’t have input in the trade. “I’m excited, man. I’m excited about the next chapter in my life.”
The Browns needed help at receiver, particularly in the slot, to help an offense that ranked last in scoring at 14.6 points a game. The Browns could still look for receiver help in free agency or the draft but have former All-Pro Josh Gordon, Landry and Corey Coleman, the No. 15 pick in 2016.
Cleveland wideouts totaled 134 catches and seven touchdowns in 2017.
“I could be the browns QB with Flash & Juice playing receiver! Just throw it up.” Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu tweeted.
Gordon tweeted a string of trophies.
— Flash Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII) March 9, 2018
The Ravens were also reportedly interested in Landry, a physical player with a personality that’s been called volatile. He was ejected in the fourth quarter of the finale, and Miami coach Adam Gase called the incident “embarrassing” and “extremely bad.”
Randall (5-11, 196) started 30 of 39 games in three years with the Packers. He was the 30th pick out of Arizona State in 2015.
Randall, 25, has 10 interceptions and 32 passes defensed but was inconsistent before finishing the season strong. Assistant general manager Eliot Wolf and vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith recently left the Packers for the Browns and know Randall well.
Randall and Gordon traded barbs on Twitter, and Randall got personal in bringing up Gordon’s history of drug abuse, after the teams played and they matched up in December. Randall reportedly left the stadium during a game in September after being sent to the locker room after a sideline fight with a coach.
Jason McCourty, 30, and Jamar Taylor were the Browns starters at corner most of last season and an upgrade was necessary. McCourty started out great but fell off toward the end of the year, and Taylor didn’t play nearly as well as he did the previous season.