News & Analysis

Examining the trade that will send Emmanuel Ogbah to Kansas City in return for S Eric Murray

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: Emmanuel Ogbah #90 of the Cleveland Browns reacts to recovering a fumble in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a trade on Monday afternoon, which will send safety Eric Murray to Cleveland and Emmanuel Ogbah to Kansas City. 

This deal makes a decent amount of sense for both sides in terms of need, as the Browns recently traded starting safety Jabril Peppers to the New York Giants as a part of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade and also released Derrick Kindred earlier this week. The Browns were also the worst special teams unit in the NFL last season by quite a distance, and Murray has been terrific there in the past, earning an 86.4 special teams grade as a rookie in 2016 which was worth about a fifth of a win above replacement. While Murray has mostly struggled along with the Chiefs' defense over the past two years, allowing a 103.6 passer rating into his coverage and committing nine penalties, he’s likely to offer value as a reserve if he doesn’t end up starting.

The Chiefs, fresh off of acquiring the multi-talented safety Tyrann Mathieu early in free agency after drafting Armani Watts in the fourth round a season ago, have been in the market for new (and different) edge players in new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s new scheme. They jettisoned franchise tag recipient Dee Ford last month while acquiring Alex Okafor in free agency, and while Okafor promises to be a more complete player than Ogbah, whose career has been in decline since a decent rookie year in 2016, he has had his moments during his first three years in Cleveland having mostly played on the left side of the defensive line the last two (Okafor has mostly played on the right side). 

Ogbah has tallied 98 pressures and 62 stops since being selected at the top of the second round in 2016, and he will compete with two other second-rounders looking to improve on underwhelming starts to their career in Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks. With their biggest need being cornerback in the upcoming draft, the Chiefs have put themselves in a position where they don’t have to reach and draft for bodies along the defensive line later this month, only opting for edge talent should it offer substantial value relative to when they end up selecting.

While this move will not move the needle with respect to win totals or Super Bowl odds, it’s a sign that both teams are past the phase of developing their identity as a football team during the 2019 offseason, and are focused on fortifying their depth at positions of need.

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.

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