CLEVELAND (March 2, 2004) -- Defensive tackle Gerard Warren, a high draft pick and big disappointment with the Cleveland Browns, was traded to the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round selection in this year's NFL draft.
Completion of the deal is contingent upon Warren passing a physical on March 3 in Denver.
The 26-year-old was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in 2001 by former Browns coach Butch Davis, who recruited him in high school and thought he could build his defensive front around Warren.
But while the 6-foot-4, 325-pounder showed signs of dominance, Warren was inconsistent and his outrageous comments and questionable conduct distinguished him as much as anything he did on the field.
Last week, Browns general manager Phil Savage and coach Romeo Crennel informed Warren that he might not fit into their plans and gave him permission to find a deal. The Broncos need help up front after deciding not to re-sign free agent Reggie Hayward, who led the club with 10½ sacks last season.
Denver is also seeking a trade for defensive lineman Trevor Pryce.
Warren was due a roster bonus from the Browns, who decided they have already invested far too much money in the man nicknamed, "Big Money."
"As we conveyed, we are always looking for ways to improve our football team," Savage said. "We'll utilize the fourth-round draft pick on a player that will be part of our team for the next several years. This trade appears to be positive for all parties involved and we wish Gerard the best of luck."
In Denver, Warren will be reunited with Andre Patterson, who coached him the last two seasons in Cleveland and recently joined the Broncos' staff.
During his four years with the Browns, Warren started 59 of 60 games. He finished with 150 solo tackles, 16½ sacks, four recovered fumbles, five forced fumbles and 15 tackles for loss.
But that wasn't the complete story of his time in Cleveland.
During his rookie season, Warren pleaded guilty to a gun charge after being arrested in Pittsburgh while attending a party thrown by Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress. That season he was fined by the league for a late, helmet-to-helmet hit on Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell.
Last year, the league warned Warren after he threatened to deliver a head shot on Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger.