OH. MY. GOODNESS. The Browns have done the unthinkable after being the worst franchise in sports for decades. For the first time since the Jim Brown era, Cleveland will have (realistic) championship aspirations. In one of many moves made so far this offseason, the Browns have acquired Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants. The assets that were dealt for OBJ are surprisingly modest, and will not have a huge impact on the teams future.
Though two early round picks, including the 17th overall selection, were dealt on top of 2nd year safety Jabrill Peppers, I am not at all concerned about the potential losses. For weeks, I have suggested that Cleveland needs a true #1 receiver to compliment Jarvis Landry and it appears that the problem was solved in a big way. The only realistic need for the team with the 17 pick would have been WR D.K. Metcalf out of Ole Miss, but OBJ blows him out of the water in nearly any comparison.
This move will prove incredibly important to the Browns hopes of a deep playoff round. I had the team in the 2020 playoffs well before free-agency even started, but now there is a realistic chance that the Browns compete for a SB. On top of moves like bringing in Kareem Hunt, and former Chiefs TE Demetrius Harris, the Browns look to bolster an average offensive line in order to make their offense unstoppable. Cleveland has one of the best offenses in the NFL, and even more importantly; one of the youngest. The oldest stars in this core are only 26 years old, with the majority of the team sitting at 23-24.
This is important to note because unlike the NBA, the NFL is typically much more team oriented, and the majority of players tend to have a stronger bond with fans and teammates. If the Browns roster plays out as such, then the rest of the NFL could be in for a great deal of trouble for years to come.
On top of the devastating offensive attack, the defense looks to build on a year that had many signs of greatness. There were moments in which the D looked awful, such as the Oakland game and the matchup with the Chargers, they also held up against even the best offenses in the league (KC and NO). With the addition of Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon, the D-line has a surplus of talent, and will be the bright spot of the defense this season. Denzel Ward is also a top-level corner with loads of potential. If the team can pick up a #2-#3 corner, as well as a Strong Safety to compliment Damarious Randall.
At the end of the day, this is a team that has never played with expectations and will do so for the first time in the 2019-20 season. This is a very good team, and anything but a playoff trip will be viewed as a disappointment by many. John Dorsey has been incredible throughout his tenure as a GM, and I hope that he can continue his success going forward.