After a very disappointing loss to the Texans in the first game of the wild card round, the Browns suffered a pretty tough 45-14 loss. That means one and one thing only, it’s on to the offseason. I’ll be discussing the necessary steps for the Browns to take to have a good offseason.
If it isn’t apparent yet, the Browns have already begun taking steps to change coaching for the team. There were already multiple firings,and clearly, the Browns weren’t very happy with their coaches’ production. These changes are one of the best to do at this point since they still have all of the training camp and everything prior to that to teach the players the new game plan. Changing coaches in the middle of the season is difficult and so right now is the perfect opportunity to change coaches.
The second is going to be having a good free agency. Last year they had an incredible free agency, with the signing of Dalvin Tomlinson and Za’Darius Smith. That has paid off well and so if the Browns can replicate that it will be a great step in the right direction. Although the Browns will be $17.5 million over the cap, they can save around $66 million through contract restructures. Watson alone can save the Browns a whopping $33 million, a wise decision to give much more cap freedom to the Browns. Even if they don’t restructure every penny of the $66 million, at least getting under the cap will be a great idea.
While the Browns don’t have a first-round pick, the draft can still be a valuable asset to the Browns and growing the team. Draft picks aren’t going to make an immediate impact on day one, but with a good draft, the next three years can be bright. The Browns have a second-rounder, a third-rounder, two fifths, two sixths and two sevenths. Without a first-round pick, they won’t be able to draft the cream of the crop talent, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to draft good talent. The second-rounder can arguably be a better pick than a first if you know what you are doing with it. This scouting department has found some future hall of farmers before, so who says they can’t do it again?
Remember, the Browns season was severely hindered by the injuries they suffered. If Nick Chubb didn’t go down, or if some of these players didn’t get hurt the Browns could have been even better. With a fresh reset and all injuries basically wiped, we have a clean slate to see what the Browns can produce. Having to deal with five quarterback changes didn’t help either and so hopefully that number goes down next year. The loss of Dawand Jones didn’t help, since it made that tackle position weaker. The odds were against the Browns last year, and they could have produced much more if the odds were in the Browns’ favor.
The Browns have a lot going for them, and all they must do is take action. If free agency and the draft work out, I think the Browns have a realistic chance to maybe steal this division from the likes of the Ravens. Nothing is guaranteed, but we can get as close as possible if we take action.