Dealing Day in Cleveland: Browns trade Suggs

Not too many Browns fans are broken up over this one:

The New York Jets got the running back help they needed Monday, acquiring Lee Suggs from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for defensive back Derrick Strait.

With Curtis Martin on the physically-unable-to-perform list because of a lingering knee injury, the Jets were desperate to get another back on the roster. Derrick Blaylock and Cedric Houston were taking most of the plays at running back, but neither is the type of player who can shoulder the entire rushing load.

Suggs hasn’t been able to stay on the field for the Browns, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2003 draft. At various times in his pro career, Suggs has been sidelined by injuries to a shoulder, neck, toe, ankle and thumb.

The speedy 6-foot, 213-pounder appeared in only seven games as a rookie because of a shoulder injury he sustained at Virginia Tech. In his final game that season, he ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns.

As for the player the Browns got in return, Derrick Strait:

Strait was a third-round pick in 2004 but has been a backup in his two NFL seasons. During camp, he moved over to safety in the absence of Erik Coleman, out after an appendectomy. Strait had 31 tackles last season, but has yet to notch his first career interception.

“It’s a great opportunity for Derrick,” said his agent, Michael Lartigue. “They know what kind of player Derrick is. Lee Suggs is a great running back. It’s a fresh start, change of scenery for both Derrick and Lee.”

This move tells us a couple of things. First, the team is concerned about depth in the defensive backfield with Daylon McCutcheon (knee) and Gary Baxter (pectoral muscle) sidelined. Second, William Green likely has a spot on this team behind Reuben Droughns. And third, the Browns weren’t able to turn some of their backfield depth into help at center. Rumors had the Browns dealing Green to Philly for backup center Hank Fraley, but I highly doubt Green’s going anywhere now that Suggs has been sent packing.

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