Nose tackle Phil Taylor, the last player involved in the blockbuster trade that the Atlanta Falcons made with Cleveland for wide receiver Julio Jones back in 2011, has been released by the Browns.
With that comes the sad reminder that a failing organization like Cleveland gets everything wrong, particularly personnel decisions.
The Falcons, meanwhile, were the clear winners in the deal, getting a wideout that would become a two-time Pro Bowl selection and arguably the best receiver in the NFL, despite giving up a boatload to move up from the 27th pick to the sixth pick to get him. In all, Atlanta surrendered first, second, and fourth round picks in the 2011 draft, as well as a first and fourth round pick in the 2012 draft.
Conversely, the Browns got all that in return and still ended up missing and missing badly. Along with Taylor, they ended up with wide receiver Greg Little, who was released in 2013 after three marginal seasons and is currently fighting for playing time in Cincinnati, running back Owen Marecic, who was cut after two seasons then retired, quarterback Brandon Weeden, who the Browns jettisoned after two miserable seasons and is now a third stringer in Dallas , and running back Trent Richardson, who was released after a season and a half, ended up in Indianapolis for a season and just got cut recently by the Oakland Raiders.
Making matters worse, Jones has become an unstoppable force in leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl. Last season he put up the best numbers of his career with 136 catches for 1,871 yards and 8 touchdowns. This past season Jones had 83 receptions for 1,409 yards and 6 touchdowns.