With the NFL Draft just a few weeks away starting on Thursday, April 28th to Saturday, April 30th you’re probably wondering who the Cleveland Browns will take? Cleveland has picks in the second round, which is 44th overall, two third-round picks at 78 and 99, two four-round picks at 107 and 118th, one sixth-round pick from the Dallas Cowboys at 202, and a seventh-round pick at 223. Plus, having Amari Cooper from the Dallas Cowboys can be an asset for the Browns going forward.
Furthermore, you hear about the defensive presence of Drake Jackson coming out of USC. Possibly Logan Hall out of Houston, Josh Paschal out of Kentucky, Cameron Thomas San Diego State, Kyle Phillips UCLA, and Dane Belton a safety from Iowa to name a few possible players, who can make an impact for the Cleveland Browns organization?
In essence, I know it’s early to discuss the 2022-2023 regular season of any teams in the NFL. The ramifications are that every year changes, deals, negotiations, salary cap issues, free agencies, coaching hirings, bonuses and all cash considerations to acquire certain players throughout the lottery draft aren’t always met. The phone calls being made by managements and agents for example as the clock goes down waiting for the final result.
Out of all of this, we get every teams’ schedules, times and what networks the matchups will be broadcasted on?
For those Cleveland Browns, they got an interesting schedule to say the least. As nine games will be in progress for Cleveland to battle test themselves on the road. The Washington Commanders, the Atlanta Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens, the Carolina Panthers, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Miami Dolphins, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Texans are going to define the Browns leadership skills.
At FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, the Browns will see their AFC North rivals, the New York Jets, the New Orleans Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots.
Overall what I find to be the most interesting battles out of this schedule is when Desean Watson returns to Houston, the Patriots, seeing Bill Belichick, who was the head coach of Cleveland from 1991-1995 leading the Browns into the playoffs in 1994. The Browns and the Bengals are becoming one of the biggest rivals in the entire NFL under quarterback Joe Burrow. The list goes on and on.
Everyone wants to get to the nitty and gritty QB situations between Baker Mayfield and Watson. Watson signed a mega-deal of $230 million dollars for five years according to ESPN.com reporter, Adam Schefter, and roughly around 46 million dollars a year. Moreover, I’m still not sold on Watson turning this entire franchise around. The reason being is because Mayfield got the Browns into playoff contention already in 2020 going 11-5 and losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round, 22-17. Mayfield threw for 204 yards that day.
When you look at the glass picture itself, both of these QBs have played for four seasons and they have both thrown over 14,000 passing yards. Mayfield executed 92 touchdowns, while Watson threw 104. In sequence, aren’t these players identical in the prime of their careers? Honestly, the quarterbacking position in the past hasn’t been an issue to me. The issue is how the staffs and the team building development plans were all established.
With that being said, the player and coaching personnel have kept changing at rapid rates meaning brand new philosophies, overwhelming probabilities, ideologies and different sociologies. The list of quarterbacks and head coaching changes for the Browns has been a laundry list of concern for Browns fans for a very long time. We know that the window of opportunities for the majority of the quarterbacks in the National Football League is very short.
Then, you hear all the possible landing spots from multiple sources of where Baker Mayfield could end up going? How about keeping him in Cleveland? Yes, he feels ‘‘disrespected.’ ‘For the most part, the Browns want to put all their eggs in one basket. I don’t agree with doing that. Watson did have back-to-back winning seasons in 2018, 11-5, 2019, 10-6.
Nevertheless, Desean had two seasons in 2017 and 2020 going 4-12 in those years. Mayfield never had a 4-12 mark at the helm, and he was 7-8-1 in 2018, 6-10 in 2019 and 2021 going 8-9. My overall argument is that why do you need to have two franchise quarterbacks on the same team? I feel these are two average athletes, who are going to have similar careers in the NFL. Usually, long-term lucrative contracts don’t work out in sports for the majority of the time.
Some of the questions to consider: Is Desean Watson going to start the regular season on time? Who is going to have the better year Mayfield or Watson? Will Mayfield be a starter or a backup for the Browns, or on another football franchise? Will the Browns decide to keep Baker after all the comments were made? How will the rest of the team handle this situation going forward? Will the locker room be divided? Could this result in another possible head coaching change if this deal doesn’t pan out? How many games will both Mayfield and Watson start this season if they remain together? Who do the fans want to see at the quarterbacking position going forward? Is Mayfield just an insurance policy, or is he going to be a distraction? Is it a good problem to have? Do the Browns have to trade Mayfield in the first place? Lastly, could the Browns keep both of these franchise quarterbacks for the foreseeable future?
Like in many sports anything can happen. We will just have to see what the Cleveland Browns organization will think of doing? On the other hand, this looks like it will be an exciting season for all Cleveland fans.