CLEVELAND — On Monday, the Cleveland Browns confirmed that star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to miss the remainder of the 2020 season with a torn ACL.
As a result, the Browns could find themselves in the market for a new wideout in the days leading up to next week's NFL trade deadline on Nov. 3.
As is often the case, players in the final year of their contracts currently playing on teams on the outside looking in of the NFL playoff race make for the most obvious candidates. With that in mind, here are some players who fit the bill:
Will Fuller V, Houston Texans
Perhaps the top player potentially available on this year's trade market, Will Fuller V is one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL. In 49 career games since being selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Notre Dame product has tallied 187 receptions for 2,721 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Just seven games into the 2020 season, the 26-year-old speedster is on pace for the best season of his career, with 31 receptions for 490 yards and 5 touchdowns, including a career-high 15.8 yards per reception. With the Texans sitting at 1-6 and Fuller set to hit free agency next offseason, it may behoove Houston to try to get something back in return for the second half of their top receiver's season.
Breshad Perriman, New York Jets
After an underwhelming three seasons in Baltimore, Breshad Perriman revived his career in Cleveland, where he caught 16 passes for 340 yards and 2 touchdowns in 10 games with Baker Mayfield. Perriman was actually slated to return to the Browns in 2019, but was let out of an agreed-upon one-year contract after Cleveland acquired Beckham.
Since then, Perriman has played on one-year deals for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and currently for the New York Jets, who are the league's only still-winless team. With Beckham sidelined, the 2015 first-round pick's speed would certainly be welcomed back in Cleveland, as would his previous familiarity with Mayfield.
John Ross III, Cincinnati Bengals
Another former first-round speedster, John Ross III has been the odd man out in Cincinnati this season, having been inactive for the Bengals' past four games. While he's only caught 51 passes for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns since Cincinnati selected him with the No. 9 pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Ross remains one of the fastest players in the league and player capable of taking the top off of opposing defenses on a consistent basis.
While the Washington product may seem like an ideal fit, the question remains whether the Bengals would be willing to deal him within their own division. It may, however, help the Browns' cause that Cleveland and Cincinnati have already played their two games against each other in 2020.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers
While the Panthers still have plenty to play for with a 3-4 record, it seems likely that Curtis Samuel's future will likely be elsewhere with D.J. Moore and Robbie Anderson in Carolina. In three seasons with the Panthers, the former Ohio State standout has totaled 133 receptions for 1,467 yards and 11 touchdown catches, as well as 346 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Recently, Carolina has begun to use Samuel in its backfield with Christian McCaffrey out with a high ankle sprain. But with McCaffrey nearing his return, Samuel could be expendable and possesses a skill set that would be put to good use in Cleveland.
Kenny Stills, Houston Texans
At 28-years-old, Kenny Stills is both the oldest and perhaps least splashy name on this list, which could may make him the most realistic trade target. While he's only caught 10 passes for 138 yards in seven games this season, his 4.38 40-yard dash speed could provide a dynamic to the Browns' offense it now lacks without Beckham.