After being in the news for so many of the wrong reasons, look for the Cleveland Browns to have a much quieter offseason than in years past.
Let’s all look forward to the Cleveland Browns having a nice, quiet offseason this year.
After making it all about themselves the last two offseason, the Browns should quietly build their football team without us knowing everything they’re doing. In 2018, it wasn’t really their fault. They were coming off a winless 2017 campaign and had the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. So of course, we were going to talk about them. They also drafted Baker Mayfield that year.
By taking the outspoken 2017 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback No. 1 overall out of Oklahoma, the Browns became a media lightning rod as soon as Mayfield was drafted. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing in 2018, as the Browns overachieved to go 7-8-1, despite firing their head coach and offensive coordinator mid-season. Then, it was all aboard the hype train for 2019.
As do most hype trains, the 2019 Browns went off the rails and crashed into a heaping pile of 6-10 nonsense. The Browns fired yet another coach. Mayfield criticized the Cleveland medical staff in the midst of that proverbial sophomore slump of his. Trading for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with the New York Giants only added gasoline to the raging dumpster fire that is Browns football.
Fortunately for Clevelanders, we’re about to have an offseason where the Browns won’t be prominently featured in every headline. Boisterous former general manager John Dorsey was whacked. Replacing him and their former head coach Freddie Kitchens are Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski, respectively. Cleveland became infinitely more mature upon their arrival in Ohio.
Berry came up through the buttoned-up Philadelphia Eagles organization. Stefanski achieved success as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. Though the Haslams could still get in the way as they tend to do, the Berry/Stefanski partnership has a chance to cure what ails this Browns organization: Having enough adults in the room to run a competent football operation.
Instead of taking another luxury item with the No. 10 overall pick, look for Berry to make an offensive tackle his first first-round pick as a general manager. This will do wonders in keeping Mayfield upright and allowing him to get the most out of his talent in Stefanski’s offense. They’re also going to want to run the ball with Nick Chubb down the AFC North’s throat. That’ll be fun.
Overall, the Browns have a lot of excellent pieces on the roster. They have playmakers at all levels of their defense. They are a team that can run the ball effectively just as well as they can move it through the air. With Joe Burrow going to the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens all in on Lamar Jackson, Cleveland is lying in the tall grass, waiting to pounce once the season gets here.