The Cleveland Browns finished up signing all of their 2017 draft class by inking a deal with first-round pick Jabrill Peppers on Sunday. The signing of Peppers was the final signing of the 10-player draft class for 2017. The agreement with the safety came on the same day that Browns rookies were supposed to report to training camp. Peppers was the lone unsigned player from the 2017 draft class, leading to rumors of disagreement about guaranteed money. However, the Michigan alum never missed a practice and signed just in time to report to training with the rest of the class.
With Peppers ready to go, the Browns will have 10 new draft picks coming in to help turn around the long-struggling franchise, who went 1-15 in the Hue Jackson’s first season as head coach. The 2017 class is headlined by overall No. 1 pick Myles Garrett, but it also includes two other first-round picks, Peppers and tight end David Njoku. Garrett will earn the most headlines this preseason, but second-round pick quarterback DeShone Kizer will have his share of water cooler time discussing his performance during the preseason. The quarterback position is always the top topic for the Browns and, with the excitement around Kizer, there will be attention surrounding the Notre Dame star. It will be an interesting group to follow throughout training camp and the preseason.
With the signing of Peppers, it finishes up an offseason that was quiet besides the draft and free agency. That is a good thing for a franchise that has had a bit of a rocky road in recent seasons. After Hue Jackson’s first season, the only real change this offseason came in the coaching staff, headlined by the replacing of defensive coordinator Ray Horton with Gregg Williams. The juicy tabloid news was mitigated to updates on allegations stemming from an in-season incident off the field with Corey Coleman unlike past offseasons. It has seemed like those trends were passed to the Cavaliers, who are mired in pure dysfunction in their offseason.
With Peppers in the fold, it ends the actual functional Browns offseason. It also marks the start of training camp and the road to the 2017 NFL season. Could the Browns be turning the page on turmoil and becoming a young, up-and-coming franchise that can finally give Cleveland some excitement during football season? Well, there’s still a ways to go before that can be stated.