Now that the Browns have a new head coach in Mike Pettine, and a new offensive coordinator in Kyle Shanahan, the next order of business for the team is the roster.
One of the selling points for the coaching gig made by Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner was the presence of six Pro Bowl players, a large number for a 4-12 team. It’s also one of the reasons they probably used internally to fire Rob Chudzinski.
However, two of those players who were voted to play in Hawaii can be free agents, and you would think that if you are promoting them to coaching candidates, then they need to re-sign C Alex Mack and S T.J. Ward.
Keep in mind; the Browns have a lot of room under the salary cap to keep both players.
They certainly can’t afford to lose two of the better players they have coming off a season in which they earned the fourth pick in the NFL Draft.
There are enough holes already, particularly on the offensive line and in the secondary, to create new ones when money is the only issue.
That brings us to the draft, where the word is apparently out that Cleveland has made no bones about their desire to land Texas A & M quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel to the Browns.
The thought here is that if the brain trust really wanted Manziel to wear the brown and orange, they wouldn’t be leaking that to the media. They want people to think they want Johnny Football.
So, who do the Browns really want with the fourth pick?
Here’s hoping they take the best player available, which of course is the purpose of the draft. Too many personnel experts have said there is only one legitimate first round passer coming out this spring.
To us, it doesn’t seem to be a good thing to pick the let’s say, 25th best player, with the fourth choice.
Maybe Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, or Blake Bortles will be the next great quarterback in the National Football League. Our question is would you bet your house on it?
Because if you wouldn’t, or Joe Banner wouldn’t, then he should take Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, or South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, or Texas A & M T Jake Matthews with the pick.
All three are dynamic talents and could impact the Browns as early as next season.
The name of the game should be about accumulating talent. And we just saw a team win the Super Bowl without having an “elite” quarterback in Russell Wilson.
Despite what they tell us in Berea, it can be done.
And even if they do choose a passer at #4, would it do any good to start an inexperienced QB at the beginning of next season? Let them sit and watch for at least a few games to get used to the speed of the game.
The only scenario that would be worse is trading the other first round pick the Browns accumulated to move up one or two spots to pick a quarterback. If Andrew Luck was at the top of the draft, it might make sense, but he’s not there.
The Browns have more talent on the roster right now than at any time in the past five years. However, they still have plenty of holes that need to be filled. Taking a player much higher than he’s rated isn’t the way to win, especially a quarterback.
It’s a risk the Browns can’t afford to make again.