Browns Early Offseason Nuggets
Now that the sixteen-game schedule is finally complete, many Browns’ fans can finally get to their favorite part of the year – the offseason. Here, many play GM and perfect this roster from the lackluster bunch from which they have been accustomed. In keeping with this theme, let’s take an early glance at what should be on the front burner for the Browns’ front office.
#1 – Formulate a Quarterback Plan for 2015
What to do with Brian Hoyer, will the Browns let him walk? Should they sign or trade for a veteran like Mark Sanchez or Jay Cutler? Can the team go into the season with a pair of second-year pros and a rookie? Ray Farmer has some difficult decisions to make in the coming months, and the quarterback job is at the center of it. Now is the time to lie out who is/are the target(s) and determine the best way to acquire the most elite quarterbacks possible.
#2 – Talk to the Three “Me” Guys
This list is in no particular order, at least chronologically, but Farmer, Pettine, and Haslam must sit down Johnny Manziel, Justin Gilbert, and Josh Gordon and discuss their futures. It’s my opinion that the two rookies will stick around, while the team shops the troubled wide out in the spring. That said, Gordon and Johnny have been talking a lot without backing that up – can either be trusted?
#3 – Start Looking for Vocal Leaders
The acquisitions of veterans Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner were wise moves two-fold. Both helped on the field, and they carried weight in both the locker room and on the field. The boisterous leaders led a strong and improving defense; in 2015 the front office should look for some loud athletes who can do the same for this offense. These may be offensive linemen, or even wide receivers (a Steve Smith-like player comes to mind). This will help to further facilitate some of the culture change the franchise has been touting.
#4 – It’s Never too Early to Start on your Homework
It should be a given that free agent decisions are happening already in Berea (heck, they just signed a long snapper to compete for next season already). However, all who make personnel decisions should focus on which youngsters can help out immediately and also long-term. The attitudes of Manziel and Gilbert burned the team in 2014; Farmer and his scouts must be wise in their second go-round. Pinpoint positive and negative qualities now, and verbalize them so the entire organization is on the same page.
#5 – Free Agency is just around the Corner
This relates more to the impending class who just finished the season wearing orange and brown. The futures of Buster Skrine, Jordan Cameron, and Brian Hoyer are just a few of the tough calls to make. Finding their replacements (if that’s the way they go) is imperative following any departures. The second the team’s last game was over, it was time to start looking forward to next season.
Conclusion: While the regular season ended on a bitter note, it is time to wipe the slate clean and determine how to better this roster going forward. I hope the front office makes a vast amount of correct moves all offseason, but the hard work is underway.