Quarterback

Friday Night Lights in Cleveland

We at BBW were having a little get together on Friday night to talk about how we take the podcast and site forward (more news on that soon!).  As we were attempting a group Wonderlic test (we achieved a score that was between the average safety and tight end by the way) news started trickling in that Cleveland had swooped for Jarvis Landry.  Eyebrows were raised, and we agreed it to be a positive move for the Browns.  By the time I had driven home the Browns had also acquired Tyrod Taylor from the Bills and Demarious Randall from the Packers with DeShone Kizer heading the other way.

Firstly, let’s not beat around the bush – the Browns are making serious improvements following one win in two seasons.  Their offence now looks dangerous, and that’s without the players they add from the draft where they still hold a lot of high picks.  I just wanted to take a look at what each deal brings to the team.

Jarvis Landry – The Browns give up a 2018 4th round pick and a 2019 7th round

Read that bit in bold again.  The Browns got a receiver who had over 100 catches last year for a 4th and 7th round pick.  Pretty impressive.

This deal got done though because the Dolphins wanted something, anything for Landry, Landry wanted money and Cleveland had money to spend.  Before this deal was done the Browns had the highest amount of cap space so Landry knew they could afford it and I look forward to seeing details of what I expect to be a front-loaded contract.

The Browns now have a legitimate receiving threat.  Landry can play in the slot where he excels with Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman playing outside.  David Njoku and Seth DeValve providing help from the tight end position.  That’s a strong line up

Tyrod Taylor – The Browns give up 3rd round pick in 2018

We, and many others, have never really been quite sure on why the Bills really don’t rate Tyrod Taylor.  The Browns seemingly do after giving up a 3rd round pick for him.  He’s been a good QB in Buffalo and helped lead them to their first playoff appearance in an age.  He also did that with a very average (being nice there) receiving corps.

Taylor only has a year left on his contract and rumour has it he’ll be the bridge between what is now and what will be – that’s likely to be a QB picked up in the draft this year.  Unlike the Kizer experiment of 2017, that rookie is going to have time to develop and Taylor will be given the keys to an exciting offence with which he can impress in 2018 before negotiating a new deal in free agency.

Demarious Randall – The Browns give up DeShone Kizer and swap picks with Green Bay in the 4th & 5th rounds in 2018

A lot of moving pieces in that deal but it works for both teams.  Cleveland get a hybrid safety/cornerback player in Randall and Green Bay get a new back up QB after a miserable showing from Brett Hundley last year after Aaron Rodgers went down injured.

Like the rest of the team, the secondary in Cleveland was disappointing despite the addition of first rounder Jabrill Peppers in last years draft.  The move for Randall (another former first round pick) gives them more experience back there.  If he is to play safety, then it gives the Browns a tandem of safeties that can do different things.  Peppers could line up as a linebacker in some packages and Randall can move to cornerback.  Makes life a little bit more difficult for opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks.

With Taylor and the presumed addition of a quarterback in the draft there wasn’t really going to be any chance for Kizer to progress in Cleveland. I do feel for him a bit as he was given a very hard time in Cleveland and his confidence is likely shot.  Moving to Green Bay gives him the chance to learn from the best QB in the business and compete with an average back up.

After all that, we were just getting our breath back and digesting the various details on Saturday when…..

 

Browns trade Danny Shelton to New England for a 5th round pick in 2018 and a 3rd round pick in 2019

Shelton was a first round pick in 2015.  And the longest paragraph about him on Wikipedia is how he changed his number from 71 to 55 after Alex Mack left the team.  That says it all really.  He’s not really been productive (1.5 sacks in 3 years and no forced fumbles) and is coming towards the end of his rookie deal.  The Browns get something for him and move on.

They got a lot for him as well considering his production. I would say they fleeced the Patriots on this one but knowing the Pats like we all do, he’ll probably end up an all Pro player and defensive player of the year!

 

One last thing, so far this off season has been crazy in terms of deals done (or planned to be done once the new season officially opens on Monday) and we’ve not even hit free agency yet.  The NFL has always been slower in terms of trades compared to it’s basketball and hockey counterparts.  Howie Rosen and the Eagles have shown how you can wheel and deal to build a team and it looks as though the barriers have been broken.  The cost, in terms of draft picks, for a lot of good players has been lower than I would have expected.  Marcus Peters, Michael Bennett and Robert Quinn have all gone for much less than I would have predicted.  Even given his apparent personal issues, I would have thought Peters would have been worth a first round pick – given his production and age.

Free agency opens this week and if the recent events are anything to go by it’s going to be an exciting couple of weeks!

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