Cleveland Makeover: Can the Browns Actually Win a Game After Flurry of Trades, Free Agent Signings?

Dan Cancian

The Cleveland Browns have been busy so far this off-season, adding six players to their roster as they look to rebound from a dismal year that ended with a 0-16 record.

Left tackle Joe Thomas left the franchise after 11 years, while quarterback DeShone Kizer and defensive tackle Danny Shelton left Cleveland for the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots, respectively.

However, the Browns welcomed the arrival of quarterback Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a third-round draft pick, while safety Damarious Randall and offensive linesman Chris Hubbard arrived from the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively.

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John Dorsey, the Browns new general manager, also secured wide receiver Jarvis Landry from the Miami Dolphins, while cornerback T.J. Carrie arrived from the Oakland Raiders and running back Carlos Hyde swapped the San Francisco 49ers for Ohio.

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Duke Johnson of the Cleveland Browns during a match against Pittsburgh in December last year. The Browns ended the season with a 0-16 record. Getty Images

“We identified certain players we thought would help this organization moving forward who had the qualities we were looking for with regard to do they love football?” Dorsey was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

“Are they leaders at their position? Are they guys that are going to be good in the locker room?

”I thought the three guys in the trades fit everything we were looking for.”

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Last year, the Browns became only the second team in NFL history to finish a season with a 0-16 record, with the Detroit Lions in 2008 the only other team to achieve the unwanted feat.

To make matters worse, the Buffalo Bills broke their 17-year playoff drought, meaning Cleveland’s 15-year hiatus from the post-season is currently the longest active playoff absence in the league.

Taylor piloted the Bills to the post-season and his arrival has generated great excitement in Cleveland, amid hopes the Virginia native could prove to be the answer to Cleveland’s ongoing quest to find a talented quarterback.

”He’s a great kid,” added Dorsey, who moved to Cleveland in December after five years with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Smart as a whip. He has the physical abilities to extend the play. He’s got more than enough arm talent and he doesn’t turn the ball over.”

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Meanwhile, Landry, who led the league in receptions last season, will give the Browns a downfield threat alongside wide receiver Josh Gordon. The former, a three-time Pro Bowler despite making the playoffs just once during his four seasons in Florida, did not seem particularly perturbed by joining joining a team that went winless last year.

“That’s OK,” he said on Thursday when asked whether the Browns’ record last year was an issue, as reported by NBC.

“Everybody’s 0-0 right now.”

However, if the recent past was abysmal, Browns fans have reasons to be more optimistic about the future, given Dorsey did not just secure the talent to ensure Cleveland bounces back immediately from his 2017 fiasco, but has also managed to hang onto all of the Browns’ picks in the first two rounds of the draft.

Cleveland has pick number one and four in the first round and a further three in the second round.

“Anytime you can have a chance to acquire three good football players right off the bat in the trades, you’ve got to do it,” Dorsey told the Associated Press.

”I give a lot of credit to everyone in football operations because we sat there for two months. We made some plans and laid some plans in regard to free agency and how we were going to attack it.”

 

 

This article was first written by Newsweek

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