Browns trade disappointing WR Coleman to Bills for pick
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns dropped Corey Coleman.
After two disappointing, injury-slowed seasons, Coleman was traded Sunday night to the Buffalo Bills for an undisclosed draft pick.
Coleman has been a bust with the Browns, who selected him with the No. 15 overall pick in 2016 — the first selection by Cleveland’s previous, analytics-driven front office. Coleman played in just 19 games over two seasons because of injuries, and he never developed into the big-play receiver Cleveland thought it was getting, so the Browns decided to get something for him while they could.
Coleman’s tenure with the Browns will be best remembered for his drop late in the fourth quarter in last season’s finale at Pittsburgh that sealed the Browns’ 0-16 finish.
But beyond Coleman’s problems on the field, he had issues outside the lines that hurt his standing with coach Hue Jackson and new general manager John Dorsey.
Coleman was named in a police report regarding an alleged felonious assault last year. He was also sent home from the Browns’ trip to Houston for missing curfew while he was injured.
In many ways, Coleman symbolized the overall dysfunction of Cleveland’s last regime.
In 2016, former head of football operations Sashi Brown traded the No. 2 overall pick to Philadelphia, which selected quarterback Carson Wentz. Brown got back draft picks in return and used one on Coleman, a speed burner from Baylor who was considered undersized by most draft experts.
And while Coleman struggled and the Browns remained without a franchise QB, Wentz blossomed into an MVP candidate last season before suffering a knee injury.
This is the second major trade this year between the Browns and Bills. In March, Cleveland acquired quarterback Tyrod Taylor from Buffalo. Taylor led the Bills to a playoff berth last season and he’s expected to start for the Browns while rookie Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, learns and develops.
Coleman caught 56 passes for 718 yards and five touchdowns with the Browns, who are still in the market for a wide receiver.
Coleman’s departure adds another wrinkle to Cleveland’s muddled receiving situation. Former All-Pro Josh Gordon is currently not with the club in training camp as he attends to health problems, leaving Jarvis Landry as the only proven receiver atop the depth chart.
The Browns believe Gordon will be back at some point, and until he returns rookie Antonio Callaway and Rashard Higgins could see increased playing time.
Also, the Browns have considered signing Dez Bryant, the former Dallas star released earlier this year by the Cowboys.
Coleman should help the Bills, who are back to square one with their offense after dealing Taylor and drafting rookie quarterback Josh Allen.
Buffalo also released wide receiver Quan Bray.
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