Shockingly, the Cleveland Browns aren’t Brownsing things up right now. Signing veteran edge rusher (and I use that term loosely) Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year deal worth up to $10 million is the latest in a trend of impressive and savvy moves by the Browns front office. That is, um. Different.
Andrew Berry, who was hired as the Browns’ General Manager last January, hit the ground running with a strong introductory press conference.
“If there is anything that I want to be defined by, it is aggression. We want to aggressively acquire talent because that is the name of the game from an NFL front office perspective, and we are going to explore every avenue that enables us to do that,” Berry said.
Now, slightly over a year later, it’s safe to say that he has lived up to that claim. In the 2020 free agency cycle, Berry added veteran tight end Austin Hooper, bolstered the offensive line with stud offensive tackle Jack Conklin, and revamped Cleveland’s defense with linebacker B.J. Goodson, safety Karl Joseph, cornerback Kevin Johnson, defensive tackle Andrew Billings, and defensive end Adrian Clayborn. The roster that Berry worked hard to revamp snapped the longest postseason drought in the NFL, making it in after 18 years.
And the impressive moves continue in 2021. Berry has been equally active this year, with a free agency class highlighted by pickups including stud safety John Johnson III, defensive end Takkarist McKinley, cornerback Troy Hill, and now, Clowney.
It’s been steady growth and improvement over the last year. In the draft coming up in two weeks, the Browns hold the No. 26 overall pick — that’s the lowest pick they’ve had since 1995. Think of draft picks like golf scores. The lower the number, the better the player/team.
Heading into this draft, the Browns are poised for a run at their division and are armed with nine total draft picks. They have a ton of momentum coming out of free agency, and have a few holes left to fill — wide receiver being one of them. The defense looks stout and ready. Give Mayfield some more talent on the outside/depth behind the currently injured Odell Beckham Jr., and turn it loose. Don’t Browns this up. It’s a new era for the Dog Pound.