Jaguars trade for offensive line help, add Ezra Cleveland at trade deadline

Ezra Cleveland #72 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on from the field during at Lincoln Financial Field on September 14, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) (Cooper Neill, 2023 Cooper Neill)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars made a move before the trade deadline, dealing for Minnesota offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon.

It wasn’t a blockbuster move like last year’s deadline deal for Calvin Ridley, but it helps shore up a significant area of concern along the offensive line. Cleveland, 25, was a second-round pick of the Vikings in 2020 and is in the final year of his contract. He had started 43 consecutive games for Minnesota until sitting out the final two games with a foot injury. The Jaguars gave up a sixth-round pick for Cleveland.

It wasn’t the blockbuster day that the Jaguars could have had.

The team stood pat and didn’t make a deal with Washington for edge players Chase Young or Montez Sweat. The Commanders traded Young to the Niners and sent Sweat to the Bears.

The team cut Ben Bartch as a result of acquiring Cleveland. Bartch hadn’t been the same type of player since his return from a significant knee injury that kept him out a good portion the preseason. Bartch spent most of 2022 on injured reserve after an injury reported to be a dislocated knee and ligament damage in Week 5. Bartch returned to the starting lineup at left guard this season but he wasn’t as sharp after being out so long.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.