Bills general manager Brandon Beane confirmed Monday that the team agreed to terms on a trade for the receiver, sending a 2020 seventh-round pick back to Cleveland. The GM added that Coleman must pass his physical before the trade is finalized.
Beane classified the trade as a "low-risk" move. Giving up a seventh-round pick two years from now couldn't get much lower in terms of value, which speaks to how talent evaluators across the NFL regarded Coleman after two seasons.
The No. 15 overall pick in 2016 has missed 13 games over the past two years. Coleman has been inefficient when on the field, catching just 56 of 131 targets over 19 games.
Beane hopes that a fresh start will make a difference for the 5-foot-11 wideout.
"It hadn't worked out in Cleveland probably the way he thought when he was drafted or the way they thought when they drafted him in the first round," Beane said. "So it's a fresh start for him to come in here and compete. He's not going to automatically get anything. He's going to come in here and compete."
Beane noted that Coleman's speed is something the Bills are looking to add to their offense.
"Definitely, always looking to add speed on both sides of the ball," he said. "You can't coach speed. And we're always looking to add it. So that was one of the attractive things of him coming out [of college], and he's still got that."
The GM didn't sound worried about the baggage Coleman is bringing with him from Cleveland as a disappointing first-round pick.
"We all go through things in life that don't go our way all the time," he said. "I'm sure there is things that went well there. You can turn on his clips, he makes a lot of good plays. I'm sure he's not happy about [the drops]. I'm sure he wishes he'd played all 16 games both seasons. So, I think fresh start is the best ways I would put it."
Beane added: "I don't know all what went right or wrong with Corey in Cleveland, but again we view it as a fresh start here to earn and compete. There is nothing guaranteed here. He's got to come in and earn it, whether it's a starting job or just a job on the 53 [-man roster]."
No player with Coleman's raw talent would be available in the seventh round of a draft. Even if he washes out of Buffalo, the Bills are taking a smart risk that the 24-year-old might turn his career around. If it doesn't work out, the Bills lose little draft capital. If Coleman reforms and lives up to his potential, Beane just hit a seventh-round homer.