Early Free Agency Signings
After getting veteran Josh McCown, the Browns made two moves towards getting some offensive personnel on their roster, and faltered on another. Although none were Earth shattering, I support one move and am ambivalent towards the other two. While many continue to be down on the Browns’ front office – they could have tossed millions of dollars at men who will never live up to the hype. Let’s review what Ray Farmer has (or has not) done over the past few days.
Getting Brian Hartline
The local kid (well, close enough) chose to take the hometown discount and become a member of the Cleveland Browns. I was happy to see the team pick up a reliable number two wide out, who should be able to keep Andrew Hawkins in the slot receiver position. I understand Hartline’s production dipped last year (474 yards and two touchdowns), but I have a sneaking suspicion he will be closer to his 1,000-yard seasons in 2012 and 2013 than that one.
Securing a DeVante Parker or Jalen Strong in the first round of the draft would be huge for this offense. The team would (hopefully) have their wide receiving corps set – and who knows what type of matchups that Taylor Gabriel could win as the fourth (or fifth with a tight end) receiving option.
Acquiring Thaddeus Lewis
This was definitely a ho-hum signing. He’s a nice guy and a smart athlete, but he will likely be competing for the third-string quarterback role. He is 2-4 as a starter in the NFL, so I suppose he could be called upon should the first two signal callers be injured or highly ineffective. We’ll see what other types of moves are made at this position group for the Cleveland Browns going forward.
NOT Re-signing Jordan Cameron
What a deke move by Jordan Cameron. First he was going to Miami, then he signed here, and finally he agreed to terms with the Dolphins. Well, it’s a bummer for the Browns – they lost a reliable option at tight end. The only positive is that they do not have to worry about a guy getting a concussion or not. It may take one more shot to the head to end Cameron’s NFL career – but it is no long the Cleveland Browns’ proble. Will the team find his replacement (i.e. Charles Clay)? I sure hope so, as now they must replace their most dependable pass catcher in the tight end spot. If they cannot secure a viable option in the coming days – look for the team to keep an eye on Maxx Williams or Clive Walford during the draft next month.