WOW, what a night for us Cleveland Browns fans, huh?!
The new regime in Cleveland, led by ex-Chiefs GM John Dorsey, has started life at the Browns with a bang and managed to piss on my Kizer chips pretty quickly.
In a previous post, I went on about how I think they should have kept him and given him time to mature behind a veteran they were undoubtedly going to bring in. D’OH! Well, that didn’t happen did it now. I must admit that I am happy for the kid as he’s in a much better situation now as he’ll be able to sit behind and learn from one of the best in the game, Aaron Rodgers. He also has no pressure to step in if Rodgers goes down injured again as he’ll probably also be behind Brett Hundley — unless they trade him, of course.
So, in one evening of trade action, what did the Cleveland Browns new-look front office achieve? Well, quite simply they came in and improved the three worst positional units on the team; defensive back, wide receiver and quarterback. These have been obvious issues for a while now but it seems this regime actually have an ability to address them and address them well.
Let’s have a look at who they’ve brought in and what they’ve given up to get them.
Jarvis Landry | WR
The first to be announced (unofficially, of course) was the signing of WR Jarvis Landry from the Miami Dolphins. He has his fair share of haters who knock him for his lack of production after the catch but he’s undeniably a huge upgrade to the Browns receivers unit and I’m sure many teams were waiting to pounce in free agency.
His production did slip some from the previous two seasons if you’re looking at yards per reception and yards per game, but come on, he was only 13-yards away from his third consecutive 1,000-yard season and he scored one more TD in 2017 than he did in the previous two seasons combined. I might be wrong, but this tells me that he was used differently. He’s also started all 16 regular-season games for the past two seasons, meaning he’s reliable.
So, what did the Browns give to get him? Honestly? Nothing much. It’s reported that they sent the Dolphins a 4th round pick in 2018 and a 7th round pick in 2019. The 4th rounder is also the one they got from the Carolina Panthers in return for the ageing punter, Andy Lee, who isn’t even still in Carolina. So to massively improve their receiving corps, the Browns have given up an ageing punter and a 7th round draft pick in 2019. Wowsers!
I love this pick-up and it should open the field for the other targets the new QB has.
Tyrod Tayler | QB
Hot on the heels of the Jarvis Landry announcement came the news that QB Tyrod Taylor was also coming over to be the Browns’ starting QB from the 2017 playoff Buffalo Bills. It wasn’t a surprise that they’ve got a veteran QB in but it is more of a surprise with regards to who it is. This is because many of us were expecting it to be one of the free agents such as A.J. McCarron when the FA window opens next week.
I must admit that I’m not completely sold on Taylor being the saviour at QB for the Browns, but he’s sure as hell a mahoosive upgrade on the shite we’ve had to endure for several seasons.
He’s not exactly the type of QB the ‘experts’ have been banging on about an AFC North team needing as he’s only 6’1″, although he does have the big hands and good arm strength required and he can shift when he needs to. This latter part of his traits is what could also open up targets downfield for him as the defence must keep an eye on him running.
One of my favourite records he holds from his time in Buffalo is:
Most consecutive pass attempts without an interception in Bills history (222)
He also has a career 51-18 TD-INT record and these two factors are why people recognise him as a player that doesn’t turn the ball over too often. Won’t that be nice after the shambles of 2017 by the Browns?
A nice stat I saw was that he’s been picked off 16 times in the past 3 seasons combined. This is in comparison to DeShone Kizer who was picked off 22 times last season alone. I don’t have anything against DeShone Kizer and believe he was thrown into an impossible situation but, as a fan, I’m fed up with all the turnovers.
Can we also please not forget that this guy took an average Buffalo Bills team to the playoffs in 2017 for the first since 1999, despite his head coach benching him in favour of a young guy for a game. I like how he came back and carried on performing after that had happened.
I’ve seen it reported that the Browns would do well to run their offence from out of the shotgun more to best utilise their new QB. If this is so, I have no problems with that and still hope they take Saquon Barkley at the top of the draft as he’s comfortable with it also.
The Browns gave up a little more for Tyrod Taylor than they did for Jarvis Landry but, hey, he’s going to be the starting QB so what would you expect. They ended up giving the 65th overall pick for him, which is the first pick of the 3rd round in the 2018 draft.
Again, I’m happy with what they gave up for him as the Browns have already got a young roster and I’d rather they used some of the many draft picks they have to bring in some players in their prime, just like they have done on Friday.
I’ll just leave this Tweet by @NFL here to get us fans excited by what we’ve just traded in:
— NFL (@NFL) 10 March 2018
Damarious Randall | DB
I’ve just copped out and put “DB” as his position description as I’m not sure where he’s going to play in 2018 for the Cleveland Browns. I suspect it will be at CB but he could always start at FS as well. During the run-up to the 2015 NFL draft, he was actually Mike Mayock’s top-rated FS above Landon Collins, who was second.
I’m still not sold on this trade as he seems to have a history of up and down play as well as a character issue and might not be right for the Browns’ locker room. Time will tell on that one and I doubt very much that DC Gregg Williams will put up with any shit from him.
It can’t be denied that Randall has great potential and after a benching and sending to the locker room by his HC during a game against the Chicago Bears in 2017, his performances improved and he was considered a starting CB. He would also have been a starting CB in Green Bay again this year if he’d stayed. I just hope he comes to Cleveland and has the right mentality and we get the quality player rather than the potential locker room cancer.
In order to get Randall, the Browns sent QB DeShone Kizer to the Packers and the teams swapped 4th and 5th round picks. This moves the Packers up 13 places in the 4th and 12 places in the 5th — I’m ok with that.
Some people have been saying that the addition of Tyrod Taylor at QB means the Browns are now out of the market for one at the top of the draft. Surely with the departure of the young DeShone Kizer, they are now more than ever in the market at the top of the draft as Tyrod Taylor should be considered as the “Bridge QB” everyone is so keen to talk about these days.
At 6’1″, good arm and mobile, I foresee the Browns building their new-look offence around Taylor before slotting in their top pick in the 2018 draft, Baker Mayfield, who is a very similar animal but younger. I’ve been getting the impression John Dorsey and his crew have been impressed with Baker Mayfield and I just hope he doesn’t turn out to be Johnny 2.0 as some haters have been suggesting.
Well, after picking up such good pieces for the 2018 NFL season it could be thought that that might be the biggest moves the team will make this off-season, right? Wrong. They still have five picks in the first two rounds of the draft, including the first overall and fourth overall picks. Also, free agency hasn’t even started yet and I’m sure there’ll be some pieces to add to the roster from that as well.
The move for Tyrod Taylor gives me the comfort of knowing who’s actually in charge now in Cleveland and it ain’t Hue Jackson..thank fu**! He obviously wanted his old mate A.J. McCarron but Dorsey has given him Taylor, who I believe is the better option as the bridge QB seeing as he isn’t an unknown factor and, perhaps, is happier spending just a season or two at his next team whereas McCarron will want to prove himself and sign a starting QB’s contract at his next stop.
Having said that, Tyrod Taylor is the kind of QB Hue Jackson has wanted for a while and so I’m sure he’s not pissed off about getting him instead of McCarron.
Let’s not forget Sashi Brown in all this. He’s the guy who went about doing the job he was brought into Cleveland to do and load them up with capital to finally turn this shitty franchise around. Thank you for everything you did in securing this capital for the likes of John Dorsey to succeed!
Title image source: Getty Images