It seems Eric Mangini is wasting little time in putting his stamp on this franchise.
The trade of outspoken TE Kellen Winslow is the first significant move made by the Kokinis/Mangini tandem.
For the Browns, this surprise move is a huge step forward in changing the culture and attitude of the organization. Kellen Winslow, while a supreme talent on the field, is a notoriously opinionated tight end with a pension for expressing himself to the media. In Eric Mangini's anti-media era of Browns football, such a persona goes against everything demanded out of players on this roster.
For Mangini to truly run a Belichickian ship, every member of this organization must share the team-first philosophy implimented by the coach. Over the past 4 years, Kellen Winslow has consistently proven his individualism exceeds such a philosophy, and that most likely culminated in his release.
From a risk-reward standpoint, trading Kellen Winslow at the presumed height of his career has many positive ramifications for the Browns. Winslow spent the first two years of his career in Cleveland on the physically unable to perform list. The oft-injured tight end has had multiple surgeries on both knees only 5 years into what was supposed to be an illustrious NFL career. Put simply: dealing Kellen Winslow eliminates a great injury liability for the Browns.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, Kellen Winslow is not the prototypical tight end that would allow for offensive balance and deception. Winslow's pass protection is sub-par and his run-blocking non-existent. For Brian Daboll to run a truly balanced offensive system, the tight end must be adept in both pass catching and run blocking. A one-dimensional player like Kellen can tip off opposing defenses to the play based on formation and personnel groupings - a virtual death sentence in the AFC North.
While a supreme talent on the field, the injury-ridden Kellen Winslow
was not suited to the new regime.
From a football perspective, I would have liked to see Kellen Winslow stay with the team in a potential conversion to wide receiver. With the success of tall, phyiscal pass catchers in the mold of Terrell Owens and Larry Fitzgerald, Winslow's size and toughness could have given Cleveland a dangerous weapon that created mismatches against smaller defenders. Despite this I agree with the move based the changing culture of the Browns' franchise.