Photo Credit: SB Nation
NOTE: The Browns cut Jamie Collins after this was written, moving them into 3rd place in regard to the amount of cap space with over $80 million.
Something is brewing in Cleveland and the players know it. Here are some tweets that display what I am talking about:
With the signing of Kareem Hunt taking place earlier than expected and free agency looming, John Dorsey is poised to make a splash with his $70,696,965. The Browns are ranked 4th in cap space as of today. The Browns know they need to pay up and go into a win-now mode with young stud Baked Mayfield, who is still under his rookie contract. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Browns followed last year’s Los Angeles Rams model by spending on free agents to surround their cheap star quarterback.
Dorsey is known to be aggressive, but silent about his “genius” moves. If you remember, last year we were bombarded with trades all over the beginning of free agency. He also made questionable draft picks that ended up being successful in Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, and Nick Chubb. This year the Browns are loaded with money and 8 draft picks within the first 5 rounds. This is what Dorsey came to Cleveland for.
Next week is when things should really start to heat up. March 11-13 will be our first real taste as NFL.com states, “Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2018 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 13.”
Mayfield and Jarvis Landry have been publicly recruiting since the day the regular season ended. Nate Burleson, one of the cast members of Good Morning Football was on the show talking about how he was at a spot in LA and there were many stars there, such as Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., and rap star Drake. Burleson explained that they were all grabbing attention, but there was one person in the middle of the establishment in which everyone wanted to greet. That person was Baker Mayfield. People want to play with Mayfield, as rookie wide receiver prospects D. K. Metcalf and Paris Campbell said it would be a blessing to play with him. Mayfield also was seen getting dinner with Von Miller and other NFL players. Landry has been tweeting at various free agents to come to Cleveland and saying if you want to come win, the Browns are your home. This is the energy and tactics you love to see.
After the New York Giants failed to agree on a contract or franchise tag Landon Collins yesterday, Landry was on the situation quick:
As of yesterday, Odell trade rumors have started to pick up substantially. With all the Antonio Brown headlines, this has been overshadowed. Landry and Odell played together at LSU as Landry has, of course, recruited Odell to come reunite their marriage in Cleveland for over a year now. Who knows if Odell would even want to go from glamorous New York to Cleveland, Ohio but the excitement and speculation is real. With the assets and picks the Browns posses, they really could make a strong offer to the Giants. With the signing of Hunt, Duke Johnson is now expendable too. Although he would be nice to have during the suspension of Hunt and as a 3rd option or slot back, Dorsey usually makes the right decision in these types of predicaments. Dorsey even entertained Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert by insinuating his interest in Brown trade talks, reminding Colbert that he has his number.
Obviously, the Browns still have many holes to fill in the interior defensive line, linebacker, and wide receiver corps, someone to pair with Myles Garrett, and potentially depth to the offensive line even with the return of breakout LT Greg Robinson. Dorsey will make moves in free agency and most likely hit in the draft as “Dorsey’s four Pro Bowl players in five Chiefs drafts have accounted for eight appearances in the all-star game. Tight end Travis Kelce was drafted in 2013; he has made three. Peters (2015) made it twice, Hill (2016) made it twice and this year Hunt made it as a rookie.” according to ESPN’s Pat McManamon. Ward the 4th overall pick from last years draft also made a Pro Bowl appearance as well, so it is clear Dorsey does his research.
As a Browns fan, I cannot express enough how excited I am for this upcoming free agency, draft, and overall year of football. This is probably the most anticipated Browns season in my young lifetime. Go Brownies baby, it’s time to eat Dawg Pound! Let’s hope the meal is prepared right.