For the Browns, the plan must be revealed at some point

I’ll buy that it was too expensive to bring back Eric Steinbach at his exorbitant cap number. I’ll also buy that Peyton Hillis is more trouble than he is worth. Yes, even at a one-year $3 million price tag. In all honesty, neither one of those players did anything to help the Browns win a game last year. O.K., that’s not 100% true. Hillis did play in one game last year in which the Browns were victorious against Indianapolis, but you know what I mean. I’m a reasonable man and I’ll buy that the Browns would be better off spending that $9-ish plus million elsewhere. But, today I’ll admit it is really tough to swallow.

Yesterday there were rumors of the Browns trying to trade for Ben Tate. That’s really exciting. That is more exciting than a one-year deal for Peyton Hillis for $3 million. In Tate, the Browns would have a potential top half of the league NFL starting running back to put in front of Brandon Jackson, Montario Hardesty, Chris Ogbonnaya and whoever else ends up being in the mix at running back. (I’m still hopeful for Armond Smith, but I know that’s kind of a personal lottery ticket kind of situation.)

The point today though is that the Browns do not even have Peyton Hillis let alone Ben Tate. The Browns don’t have Eric Steinbach or anyone even rumored to replace him.

I hope for the best for Montario Hardesty because I’ve been there. I’ve had both my ACLs replaced and I’ve come back from them to do athletic things in high school. I don’t know what it’s like to test a surgically repaired knee against NFL levels of talent, but I do know that even when you think you’re good after six months, it really takes a year to 18 months to really feel anything resembling 100%. So, I do have some hope for Montario Hardesty. Just not enough to count on him being one of the only options at running back whose name has never appeared on the waiver wire or with the words “practice squad” next to his name.

I’m fine with the Frostee Rucker signing. It is only $8 million guaranteed for a guy that is hopefully a late bloomer capable of helping to stop the run and make Browns fans forget Jayme Mitchell. I’m also fine with the Browns not overpaying a career #2 receiver in Pierre Garcon no matter how much I happen to like the guy. Signing Laurent Robinson to a 5-year $32.5 million deal isn’t a good idea either. The 7-year $35 million deal that Donte’ Stallworth signed with the Browns is proof enough of that.

This is a salary cap league and often the best deals are the ones you don’t make. But if you take that philosophy too far, it is a hell of an excuse to never do anything at all. It’s too early in this process to call the Browns failures, but the fear is real and it isn’t totally unfounded for Browns fans. The Browns will get better in the draft, but the question is how much better considering the Browns were a 4-win team this past season. The Browns should get better organically as young teams tend to do. How much better is a big, scary question mark.

“Big scary question mark,” is a pretty good way to describe the Cleveland Browns right now, huh?


  • Hetz

    “because when it comes to my sports teams I’m from Kansas. Show me.”

    That’s Missouri.  In Kansas they’ll take your word for it.

  • MrCleaveland

     The PD reported that Holmgren had a conference call with the season-ticket holders and he talked about how hard they tried to land RG.

  • mgbode

    he actually pretty well said we offered more than the Redskins and the personal relationships are what got the Skins the pick – and sounded pretty mad about it from those I talked to.

  • mgbode

    the Colts aren’t giving up a franchise QB.   besides that, the Skins made that trade to get RGIII.  if we take him at #1, then they would be just as happy (if not more) to get Andrew Luck.

  • Max

    and you’re actually going to keep all three of them for 15 years, in this wild totally contrived scenario that I set up? Why are you arguing semantics over something that was obviously laden with sarcasm?

  • Max

    wow, i even said I was laying the sarcasm on pretty heavily

  • mgbode

    engineer, don’t have a choice 🙂

    just pointing out that it’s an 8year cycle of an average of 3 starters each draft to get to a really good place.

  • mgbode

    McClain is money. 

  • Dustyn_vanzant

    Take a look at free agent signings over the last few years.  How many people have Green Bay signed?  How many have the New York Giants signed?  How many have the Pittsburgh Steelers signed?  They don’t freak out, they draft well and leave free agency alone, and so should we.

  • Max

    sarcasm- [sahr-kaz-uhm]- noun- 
    a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark

    Do you need me to use it in a sentence for you, or have you got a handle on it now?

  • Jim Brown

    We are this close to the start of the NFL season and the Cleveland Browns still do not have an NFL caliber quarterback on their whole team.  Why haven’t they fired the Browns management and get some people who actually know what they are doing?  Guess we will just have to accept another losing season for the Cleveland Browns with no quarterback on the team again this year………….how pathetic is that?

  • Fervidphlegmatic

    I disagree.  The best teams in the league are teams that are patient and acquire draft picks.  They do not trade two number 1’s and a number 2 for a higher number 1.  Typically they are the recipients of other team’s draft picks, and they make the best of the picks they make.  NFL teams need depth, and a team cannot afford to build depth through free-agency.  I hope the Browns do whatever is necessary to be a competitive organization for the long-haul.  They must do this through the draft.

  • Fervidphlegmatic

    If there are not enough players in the draft for teams to have enough starters, where do all the starters in the league come from?  I guess they just magically drop out of the sky and into the laps of good teams.  That post is just dumb.