A former Cleveland Browns player was on the phone this week, advocating that he would not draft a quarterback if he were running the Browns.
Guys come out unprepared these days and teams give them too much money, he said, adding that the Browns should build the team and then place the quarterback. Sort of like how Ben Roethlisberger stepped into a winning situation in Pittsburgh way back when the Browns passed on him.
This figures to be an argument the Browns will ignore this offseason. They will draft a quarterback, and they will make every effort to sign a veteran, with AJ McCarron of the Cincinnati Bengals the most likely target. Those two players will join DeShone Kizer.
The Browns may not spend $30 million for Kirk Cousins, but they will do everything else they can to fortify and solidify the position.
That said, the Browns also have plenty of other needs that can’t be ignored. What are their top needs this offseason?
Quarterback: See above. It’s a given every year. The hope is that after this offseason it won’t be a given in 2019.
Receiver: One fact illustrates this glaring need: Last season Kenny Britt tied for the team lead among the wide receiver group in receiving touchdowns with two. Britt, Rashard Higgins and Corey Coleman all had two, which tied for 109th in the NFL. The Browns had seven TDs from wide receivers, tied with the Indianapolis Colts for second fewest. Nineteen individual receivers had more than seven touchdowns. The need at this position is Grand Canyonesque and will have the Browns closely watching to see whether Jarvis Landry (Miami Dolphins) and Allen Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars) reach free agency or get the franchise tag.
Cornerback: The defense showed great improvement in several areas during a winless season, especially against the run. But the passing defense gave up 28 touchdown throws, fourth highest in the league, and had only seven interceptions, second fewest. That’s not a good combination. The Browns need a corner who can cover and force turnovers, which is why they were willing to host former Colts corner Vontae Davis.
Left tackle: Joe Thomas may or may not retire. If his elbow injury prompts Thomas to retire, the Browns will have to scramble to find a suitable replacement. Even if Thomas does play, it’s probably for just one more season. Regardless, the Browns need to be thinking about a future without him.
Safety: Jabrill Peppers played the (very) deep middle of the field because that is a part of Gregg Williams’ defense, plus Peppers was the best the Browns had. The team recognizes that Peppers may be better suited closer to the line so he can play the way he did in college, which means Cleveland must find a true free safety. Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama) is an excellent, highly regarded college player. The idea of pairing him with Peppers at safety and adding a corner to go with defensive ends Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah and linebackers Jamie Collins, Joe Schobert (Pro Bowl) and Chris Kirksey would seem to solidify the defense.
Running back: Assuming Isaiah Crowell leaves via free agency, the Browns will need a back to pair with Duke Johnson. As much as the Browns like Johnson, there is concern he may not hold up if he is the main back. Thus, they would like to form another tandem like the one they had with Crowell. The obvious answer would be Saquon Barkley in the draft (Pick 4 overall), but if the Browns decide Fitzpatrick is the better option at that pick, there still will be good backs available in the second round.
Rockers Kings of Leon to perform on first night of NFL draft
CLEVELAND — Kings of Leon will help kick off NFL draft activities on a stage close to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame later this month.
The Grammy Award-winning band will open the festivities on April 29 with a performance as the draft returns to a more normal state after being held virtually in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to being a top-selling act, lead singer Caleb Followill, his brothers Nathan and Jared and cousin Matthew are also football fans and have closely followed Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield‘s career since he was a star at Oklahoma.
Hall of Fame rock singer Ann Wilson of Heart will sing the national anthem before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell begins calling the names of the league’s newest players. Goodell hosted the event last year from his home.
A massive stage is under construction near the Rock Hall and FirstEnergy Stadium, the Browns’ downtown home.
Cleveland will be represented by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s All-City Choir, which will sing a special rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The local cover band The Sunrise Jones will serve as the house band for the first two nights of the draft.
Headlining musical acts for the second and third days of the draft will be announced in the coming weeks.
The draft will be held from April 29-May 1.
Browns banking on dominant Jadeveon Clowney, Myles Garrett pairing – Cleveland Browns Blog
BEREA, Ohio – Next season, the Cleveland Browns‘ defense will feature two former No. 1 overall picks off the edge. And they’re banking the All-Pro they drafted four years ago will help unlock the vast potential of the one they just signed.
Wednesday, Cleveland further bolstered its budding defense in free agency, inking Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year deal worth up to $10 million.
Unlike Myles Garrett, Clowney has yet to live up to the billing of being the No. 1 pick. But now healthy again, he sees playing in Cleveland alongside Garrett as an opportunity to finally do so in his eighth season in the league.
“I just want to show that I’m still an elite player,” Clowney said Wednesday. “And prove to other people that I’m still out here and can dominate.”
• Why Colts still need to draft a WR
• Lance, Jones, Fields? Who is best QB for 49ers
• Is Kerry Hyder Jr. Seahawks’ new Michael Bennett?
• Why Eagles may have another trade up their sleeve
• Dolphins’ ideal two-round draft: Playmakers, pass-rushers, center
Clowney is coming off a season with Tennessee during which he did anything but dominate. He played eight games with the Titans without notching a single sack, before missing the rest of the season with a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Since becoming the first pick in the 2014 draft, injuries have continually hampered Clowney, beginning with his first career game, which ultimately led to a microfracture in his right knee. Clowney passed a physical in Cleveland on Wednesday on both knees, clearing the way for the Browns to finally sign him.
“I don’t think everybody (has gotten) to see the person they drafted yet,” said Clowney, who has still made three Pro Bowls. “I think I’m working back towards that – I’m well on my way now.
“With my potential and the way I play the game – if I can stay healthy – I shouldn’t be far away from being Defensive Player of the Year. I think I have that potential, and I can do it.”
The Browns already boast a player who was in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation just last season in Garrett. Before contracting COVID-19 in late November, Garrett was leading the NFL with 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. Despite missing two games with the virus and laboring with his breathing after returning, Garrett still was named a first-team All-Pro.
Clowney, himself, has commanded plenty of attention from opposing offenses in the past, even with his injury history and inconsistent production. In fact, since 2018, according to ESPN Stats & Info, only Michael Bennett and Za’Darius Smith have been doubled-team more often.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” said Clowney, who, despite the constant double teams, still owns one of the five-best pass-rush win rates since 2018. “You game plan all week to go against one person, watch him all week to get pass-rush reps — and then you go into the game, and all of a sudden, it’s two people in front of you or somebody there to chip you the whole game.”
In Cleveland, however, Clowney could see the fewest double teams of his career, lining up opposite Garrett, who faced the third-highest rate of double teams last season.
“I’m looking forward to playing with somebody who is dominant on the opposite side like a Myles Garrett, who can draw a double team,” Clowney said. “Maybe I can go one-on-one more.”
Without a doubt, Clowney will see more one-on-one opportunities. And having already landed edge rusher Takkarist McKinley in free agency this offseason, Cleveland could deploy Clowney in the pass rush in a variety of creative ways.
“We love his relentless style of play,” general manager Andrew Berry said in a statement. “He’s one of the more disruptive players in the game and we think he’s going to add an element of ruggedness along our defensive line.
“The other thing we love about Jadeveon is his versatility, his ability to play all across the front and impact the game regardless of his alignment.”
Berry has been busy this offseason upgrading every level of a defense that ranked just 19th in efficiency in 2020 but for a team that still won 12 games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Last month, the Browns landed arguably the top safety available in free agency in John Johnson III from the Rams. Berry also added three other potential defensive starters in linebacker Anthony Walker, nickelback Troy Hill and defensive tackle Malik Jackson.
Clowney, however, has enough talent to elevate the Browns’ defense to yet another level. Especially if he, in his own words, proves that he can be a dominant player once again.
“That is all I am here to prove this year,” he said. “We’re going to see this season.”
Seattle Seahawks extend team president Chuck Arnold through 2027
SEATTLE — The Seahawks have extended team president Chuck Arnold through 2027, they announced Wednesday.
Arnold is entering his 28th season with the Seahawks and his fourth in his current role. As president of the Seahawks and First & Goal Inc., which operates Lumen Field, he oversees the organization’s business and financial operations, sales, marketing and administration.
“Chuck continues to do an exceptional job working with and supporting the football operation while assuring that the entire Seahawks organization remains an engaged and invested community leader unafraid to tackle tough challenges in our region,” Jody Allen, chair of the Seahawks, said in the team’s release. “Stability, quality, and consistency of leadership is a key ingredient to our continued success and winning culture. I remain excited for the future of this organization both on and off the field.”
Arnold’s extension means more stability at the top of the organization. In January, the Seahawks gave general manager John Schneider an extension through the 2027 draft. Coach Pete Carroll was previously extended through the 2025 season.
A native of Tacoma, Washington, and a graduate of Washington State University, Arnold began his career with the Seahawks as an intern in 1994. He was their COO from 2013 to 2018 before replacing Peter McLoughlin as team president.
Soccer4 days ago
Tottenham address Daniel Levy selling the club ahead of Man Utd fixture
MLB5 days ago
San Diego area native Joe Musgrove throws first no-hitter in Padres history in win over Texas Rangers
Cricket5 days ago
Recent Match Report – Kent vs Northants Group 3 2021
Soccer4 days ago
Juventus could swap four players with Man Utd in Paul Pogba transfer raid
NFL6 days ago
North Dakota State’s Trey Lance to hold second pro day
Soccer5 days ago
Man Utd have perfect Harry Kane transfer bait with club ‘open to part-exchange deal’
Soccer3 days ago
Georginio Wijnaldum 'says his goodbyes' to Jurgen Klopp amid Liverpool transfer exit twist
MLB5 days ago
Vaccine side effects land New York Yankees’ Gio Urshela on COVID injured list