Bills take low-risk gamble in acquiring Coleman from Browns


PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Bills general manager Brandon Beane described the trade to acquire receiver Corey Coleman from Cleveland as a low-risk gamble in a bid to address an unsettled position in Buffalo.

Beane said he’s aware of Coleman’s struggles during his two seasons in Cleveland and hopes the former first-round draft pick takes advantage of a fresh start in Buffalo. Beane spoke Monday morning, less than 12 hours after Buffalo gave up a seventh round-pick in the 2020 draft to acquire the speedy but injury-prone receiver.

Coleman was traveling to the Bills’ training camp facility and must pass a physical. He’s expected to make his practice debut Tuesday, though it’s uncertain whether he’ll play in Buffalo’s preseason opener against Carolina on Thursday.

Coleman’s time ran out in Cleveland under new general manager John Dorsey. The Browns selected the Baylor product with the No. 15 pick in the 2016 draft.

He played just 19 games because of injuries and eventually symbolized the overall dysfunction of Cleveland’s previous regime.

Coleman’s tenure with the Browns will be best remembered for his drop late in the fourth quarter in last season’s finale at Pittsburgh that sealed the Browns’ 0-16 finish.

“I’m sure he’s not happy about the play you’re referring to. I’m sure he wished he had played all 16 games both seasons,” Beane said.

“We all go through things in life that don’t go our way all the time. I’m sure there’s things that went well there. You can turn on the clips, he makes a lot of good plays,” he added. “So I think fresh start is probably the best way I would put it.”

Coleman also had off-field issues.

He was named in a police report regarding an alleged felonious assault last year. He was also sent home from the Browns’ trip to Houston for missing curfew while he was injured.

Coleman caught 56 passes for 718 yards and five touchdowns with the Browns, who are still in the market for a wide receiver.

The Bills lack proven depth at receiver behind starter Kelvin Benjamin. Buffalo signed Jeremy Kerley in free agency and also used late-round picks to select Ray-Ray McCloud and Austin Proehl.

Returning starter Zay Jones is coming off right knee and shoulder surgery and was cleared for practice for the first time Sunday.

“There’s nothing guaranteed here,” Beane said. “He’s just coming in here to compete and earn. This is low risk, and we’ll see what happens.”

The Bills are in the midst of overhauling their offense under new coordinator Brian Daboll and a new starting quarterback after Buffalo traded Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland in March. Buffalo traded up to select Josh Allen with the No. 7 pick in the draft and also signed former Bengals backup AJ McCarron in free agency.