I had an entire outline for the post that I was going to write about John Dorsey this week. I laid out all the reasons why it was foolish for us to speculate about Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. with John Dorsey at the helm. And then, the Cleveland Browns — under the stewardship of John Dorsey — executed a trade for OBJ. It’s comical really, but I thought I would go back through that outline and see why I thought what I thought and where I went wrong in my thinking. So first things first, here’s the outline, that I posted for our patrons at Patreon this week.
– John Dorsey doesn’t need to trade for guys like Antonio Brown or OBJ. In fact, he’s probably starkly opposed to it because it erases some of the value he thinks he brings to the table as a talent evaluator. John Dorsey doesn’t trade for a receiver like that because he thinks he can find them every so often in the third round of the draft or later.
– Yes, the Browns have the money and it’s a good time to spend stupid money to fast-forward team progression while Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett are on rookie deals, but Dorsey is less likely to do it at the receiver position after already doing it once with Jarvis Landry.
– At the same time, Jarvis Landry’s deal was basically a two-year deal with just $4.5 mil in dead cap if the Browns cut him prior to the 2020 NFL season. The Browns don’t need to save cap space, but they can save about $10 million on the cap and just over $13 million in cash if they were to get rid of Landry after 2019.
– Even still, it’s hard to imagine John Dorsey opting to take a position where he’s spending so much on Landry to add Odell Beckham Jr. and $15 mil in cap hits on top of Jarvis Landry’s money.
– The Browns already spend the 15th most on receiver in the NFL. The top five teams are the Buccaneers, Dolphins, Eagles, Giants, and Chargers. The bottom five? The Ravens, Patriots, 49ers, Bills and Steelers now that Antonio Brown is gone. Every team needs good receivers, but some of the best NFL teams don’t spend all that much money on it.
– And of course, the point of all this is John Dorsey feels like he can draft the next Beckham or Antonio Brown and have them on a rookie deal. He’s got a track record and probably feels like he can turn every fourth-round pick into an all-pro. Of course, he knows he won’t, but he probably feels like it’s possible every time he turns in that card.
– Browns fans should feel like it’s possible too and should probably stop pining away for high priced guys rather than find and develop them internally.
So, what happened? Obviously, I don’t know for sure, but here’s what my thoughts are as to why I ended up being so very wrong. One thing you’ll notice in my outline is that I didn’t talk about the price it would cost for the Browns to trade for OBJ. I should have brought up the fact that I thought it would take at least two first-round picks. I didn’t factor in the stupidity of the Giants for giving Beckham away for as little as they ended up getting. They got a first rounder and a former first-round player — Jabrill Peppers — who is good but seems to have a somewhat known ceiling already. He can be a good to very good player but isn’t likely ever to be truly great. The Browns also give their middle-of-the-first-round pick, which is also unlikely to be a Hall of Famer. It could be, of course, but generically speaking, the chances of the Giants finding anyone as good as OBJ in all of their compensation for OBJ is pretty low.
Credit to John Dorsey for getting a high quality known quantity to support his quarterback on a rookie deal. Credit to him for bringing a volatile guy into a situation where he’s likely to succeed with coaches and teammates and most importantly a quarterback that should be able to keep things positive. Credit to John Dorsey for deciding that this team with this cap situation in this moment was worthy of deciding the wait is over. The time is now, not next year. Not when the Browns are able to establish a few more baseline pieces. Just NOW.