April 19, 2024

​On August 29th at 4 pm the 2023 Cleveland Browns roster was cut down to 53 players. These moves are the final touches of an already eventful offseason. The team is set to start Week 1 preparation for the Home Opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 2023 offseason has sent a message to the Cleveland Browns fans and to the players. That message is there is a new standard in Berea.

The 2023 Cleveland Browns season has a lot on the line for this organization. A large financial investment in the quarterback position is only a part of it. Many NFL experts believe that head coach Kevin Stefanski and GM Andrew Berry’s jobs are on the line. Their schedule at the beginning of the season doesn’t do them any favors either. The team must win and win early in the season. The organization showed this by their recent roster moves.

In the preseason finale at Kansas City, running back Jordan Wilkins fumbled twice on consecutive offensive drives. Within 24 hours, the Browns traded for running back Pierre Strong Jr. from the New England Patriots and Wilkins was released shortly after that. After struggling the last two seasons, WR Anthony Schwartz was released with an injury designation. Earlier in the offseason the Browns traded for Jets WR Elijah Moore, drafted WR Cedric Tillman and signed WR Marquise Goodwin. That brings us to kicker Cade York, he was shaky this preseason and had a poor showing in the final preseason game. He was released the following Monday and the Browns traded for kicker Dustin Hopkins from the Chargers. The prior Cleveland Browns standard of mediocrity is now gone.

Other contributing players from the 2022 squad were waived. DT Tommy Togai, RB Demetric Felton and DE Isaiah Thomas- were cut. Also waived was the promising young wide receiver Austin Watkins Jr. All players could make the practice squad if they clear waivers. I don’t think Watkins will clear waivers. I’m sure another team could use him.
​In 1999 Browns fans were happy to have a team. In 2023 those same fans now want a good team. They want a team they can be proud of and a team that contends annually for the playoffs. Prior to 1999, the Cleveland Browns were that team. They were a respected organization with 14 Hall of Famers (in 1999), 27 Playoff Appearances (in 1999), and eight AAFC / NFL World Championships. They regularly contended for the NFL postseason. It is those days that are trying to be recaptured by Berry and Stefanski.
​The last 24 years have been difficult for Browns fans, many of them shared a workplace with an arrogant Steelers fan who thinks the NFL started in 1970. Their only counterargument was to talk about how great the Browns used to be. If the moves this team has made are indicative of anything. It is that used to be great will no longer be tolerated. The new standard is that the time to be great is now.

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