Vikings trading offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland to Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are beefing up their offensive line for the stretch run.
The Jags are acquiring guard Ezra Cleveland from the Minnesota Vikings, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported on Tuesday. The teams later officially announced the deal and that Minnesota would receive a 2024 sixth-round draft pick as compensation.
Cleveland, a pending free agent, was expendable in Minnesota after the Vikings signed Dalton Risner in the middle of the season. The guard, who has played on both the left and right side, during his three-plus seasons in Minnesota, is a stellar run blocker and improved his pass blocking this season before being sidelined with a foot injury.
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Cleveland reunites with Jags offensive line coach Phil Rauscher, who was in Minnesota in 2020 and 2021.
The move bolsters the Jags interior offensive line, a need heading into the trade deadline. Ben Bartch started the season at left guard before being replaced by Tyler Shatley in Week 4. Walker Little started in the LG spot in Week 5 but went down with an injury. Where the trade leaves Walker, who was active in Week 8 but played just four special teams snaps, remains to be seen.
Adding Cleveland helps solidify the Jags’ offensive line in front of Trevor Lawrence and should help open more holes for Travis Etienne in the run game.
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