Here we go again – the same old song and dance from the Cleveland Browns. I know that Tony Grossi and Pat McManamon already covered the basics of this, but what exactly were the Browns doing the beginning of this free agency? The Browns won 7 games last season. That is the most they have won in a season since 2007. We went into the off-season with $53,777,486 in cap space.
The Browns were reportedly linked to a bunch of high profile free agents: Jerry Hughes, Dan Williams, Darrelle Revis, Trent Cole, Charles Clay and the list goes on and on and on. Those are just guys that they made an attempt to make. They didn’t even try to sign the biggest free agent, Ndamukong Suh. I mean, at least throw the guy an offer of some sort. Instead, the Browns front office gave us this: Josh McCown, Brian Hartline, re-sign Ryan Seymour, John Hughes and Marlon Moore. Jordan Cameron played us like a fiddle, Jabaal Sheard signed in New England, and we have sat back and watched like the nerdy kid at the junior. high dance. I know everyone reading this is saying “Here we go, another guy complaining again,” but this is different than that. I know teams aren’t built through free agency, but let me explain myself.
Since NFL Free Agency began in 1993, teams have been able to sign players who they see can help their team. The Browns were 7-9 last year. Many argue that free agency is not where a team is built. I have been a Browns my entire life, and every single season I see big names hit free agency and I always know we will pass. I’m not sure if Ray Farmer and Jimmy Haslam think they can take that $54 million to the afterlife, but I mean spend something. Make something happen is all I am saying. When you are the laughing stock of the league since 1999, you need to do something to try and change that culture. In Cleveland, the only way free agents will sign with them is if they really open the checkbook. If you could sign in Cleveland or Oakland and both teams offer you 4 years for $28 million, 9.5 out of 10 guys will sign in Oakland. It’s warm and it’s California. The Browns need to overpay for free agents. That is the only way the Browns pull guys in, we aren’t appealing to any free agent. “Right guy, right price” doesn’t work when you are the Cleveland Browns. No way, no how.
I love the Browns. I love Sunday’s in the fall. I always feel the same way around this time though. Like the front office sits back and thinks, “how can I continue to ruin every fan’s life?” Honestly, I would have given Revis whatever he wanted to sign here. It would at least looked like management cared. All I want is to see a winner, but until then I will continue to spill tears into my beer on Sundays.
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