Cleveland Browns Update: Just When You Think You’ve Seen It All…
Well, it’s now less than a month to the NFL Draft and the Cleveland Browns still don’t appear to know what they’re doing. Let’s round up the recent information, shall we?
We’ve discussed at length on this site how Josh McCown didn’t make sense (keeping Hoyer would have been just as good), how the Browns have missed on early round quarterbacks multiple times in the last decade (Quinn, Weeden and McCoy to name a few), and how Manziel hasn’t really shown us that he has the maturity to handle the NFL (or even simply handle his own off-the-field behavior). The current quarterbacks on the Browns roster had a combined 11 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 2014, which would have been the second worst amongst quarterbacks with at least 10 starts. Not great for all the money being spent (and in particular, the almost $4.7 million a year for backup quality McCown).
And now, it appears the Browns are potentially going to roll the dice AGAIN in the draft, or pay a lot more for a fourth quarterback, as Mary Kay Cabot noted on Cleveland.com:
“[T]he Browns are fully prepared to start McCown this year, but they will continue to look for chances to upgrade the position. I think they’ll try to trade up to draft Marcus Mariota, and I also think they could make another run at Sam Bradford on draft day. If they don’t land one of those two, I do think McCown will be their man in 2015.”
Rolling the dice by trading up to get Mariota is not a terrible proposition, but I certainly think they should work more on fixing their defensive line in the draft instead. Now that that the secondary has been addressed with the addition of Tramon Williams, drafting some help along the defensive line could make the Browns defense a consistent presence that will limit scoring and remove pressure from the offense.
As for acquiring Bradford, we all know that the Browns offered the Rams a first round pick for him, but the Rams preferred getting Nick Foles. If the Browns do bring in Bradford via trade, they’ll be taking on a giant $13 million contract for a guy that’s been injured more often than not over the last two years. That was my problem with Bradford when the Eagles acquired him, and it actually only makes things worse for the Browns.
All in all, since the Browns have already paid for McCown, it’s time to work at other positions and, as much as it pains me to say it, perhaps see what they have in Johnny Football before acquiring more quarterbacks.
Ray Farmer Is Silly
Well, we’ve discussed this several times now, so it was only a matter of time before Farmer got his due for his lack of judgment during the regular season. And if you can’t figure out which bad decision I’m referring to, I’m referring to the entire “textgate” scandal. But unlike the Falcons, who recently got hit with forfeited draft picks for piping in crowd noise during games (and how sad is it that you have to do that because your “fans” either (1) don’t make enough noise during games or (2) just don’t show up for games), the Browns got off relatively light.
Troy Vincent stated that the NFL determined:
“The use of a cell phone on multiple occasions during games in 2014 by Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer was a violation of NFL rules that prohibit certain uses of electronic devices during games.”
But ultimately, the only penalties were a four game suspension for Farmer and a $250,000 fine. Yup, you read that right, no forfeited draft picks. As we said before, next time Farmer wants to illegally call plays, he should just go down to the sideline and tell someone in person. Heck, it works for Jerry Jones. At least the NFL determined that Browns management wasn’t involved, which was probably why there were no forfeited draft picks:
“[There is] no evidence in the NFL’s review that Browns ownership or any other team executives had knowledge of the prohibited conduct.”
Johnny Downfall Returns
So we know that Johnny Downfall will be out of rehab in early April. And hopefully, he’ll be a changed man that can focus on football, and not…well…everything else that he was focused on prior to rehab.
Part of the change will also be in his personal life as he’s apparently broke up with his longtime girlfriend Colleen Crowley. The TCU undergrad student apparently confirmed their break-up on Instagram last week:
Crowley was certainly part of Manziel’s party life style, but I severely doubt that the couple broke up because he wasn’t available for parties while in rehab. So what was Johnny doing in rehab that could have angered Crowley? Let’s hope it wasn’t more “off-the-field shenanigans” and that this was actually a part of Johnny turning over a new leaf.
Think you have nothing to look forward to? Think again! Perhaps if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see all the chaos first hand, since the Browns are the leading candidates to be the team featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”. But if that doesn’t happen, and the Browns fall flat during the 2015 season, at least they’ll fall flat in what’s sure to be “amazing” new uniforms that will be announced on April 14! Hurray!
Cleveland Browns fans sure have it “good”!