Yesterday at 4:00PM was the official start of the NFL Free Agency period. I like to call it Christmas Day for NFL fans.
Normally, I'm not one to agree on having a losing team go hog wild in free agency, but when a team is $104 million dollars under the cap like the Browns, it's time to spend some bucks on some young talent. My oh MY did the Browns do just that.
The Browns started out by signing WR Kenny Britt. Now, I'm not overjoyed with this signing unless the Browns re-sign Terrelle Pryor. If they don't, all this signing is is a trade of sorts, which the Browns get the short-end of the stick.
I believe the Browns got great value in the signings of C JC Tretter and RG Kevin Zeitler. The O-Line was a mess last year and these two acquisitions just made the O-Line a strength. The offense is going to be substantially better because the O-Line is much better.
The talk of the free agency was the unique trade the Browns and Houston made. The Texans sent a 2017 6th round pick, a 2018 2nd round pick and QB Brock Osweiler to the Browns for a 2017 4th round pick. The Browns are now responsible for the entire contract of Osweiler, which is no problem considering how much under the salary cap they are. There is talk of the Browns either trading or releasing Osweiler. I think this would be a mistake. There's also talk of the Browns making a push for Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo. I think that would be an even bigger mistake.
Here's what I would do if I were the Browns. First and foremost, I would re-sign Pryor. The idea of having two 1,000 yard WR's (Britt and Pryor) with Corey Coleman in the slot, Gary Barnidge at TE and a RB duo of Isiah Crowell and Duke Johnson running behind a revamped O-Line is exciting. The next thing I would do is hang on to the 2018 draft picks for the time being. The Browns have accumulated three 2nd draft picks in next years draft, along with a 1st round pick. They are VERY valuable pieces. Use the 1st pick overall in this years draft to grab either DE Myles Garrett or DT Jonathan Allen and the rest of the draft picks this year should go in the direction of best player available. Next thing I would do is give Osweiler the job and see what he can do with the talent around him. I think the 2015 version of Osweiler is a better representation of his talents than the struggling one we saw in 2016. After the season ends, the Browns need to make the decision on if Osweiler is the long-term answer. If he is, then use those valuable picks in next years draft to make this team even stronger. If he isn't, then the Browns should do whatever it takes to acquire the 1st pick in the 2018 Draft and select USC QB Sam Darnold, who is the next franchise QB.
I gotta say, yesterday was a great start in the right direction for this franchise. Hopefully the front office keeps the ball rolling with a great draft next month.