Being a Cleveland Browns fan, I naturally follow and interact with many fans and many fan pages, alongside reading articles online, and I’m surprised with the amount of strange rumours and unpopular opinions going around at the time being.
With a standout season after so many years of hurt, I find it extremely strange that some supporters want a lot of players gone, and some questionable ones brought in.
The Browns went 11-5 in the regular season, and a whirlwind first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers put them into the second round of the playoffs.
So why change? Why are certain rumours being spread? Is there any truth in these?
I’m going to cover the main rumours I’ve seen doing the rounds, and seeing what I think is best for Cleveland.
Baker Mayfield trade for Deshaun Watson…
Where better to start.
For me, this is the craziest story to be circulating. After the fantastic year Baker has had, why would we possibly want to trade him?
I would personally say both are fairly similar talent wise. So why would we give up Baker and draft picks, just to bring in a QB with a questionable attitude, who doesn’t understand the way the Browns play, and will undoubtably take a while to understand the playbook?
I understand the reasoning why Watson wants out of the Texans, but I don’t want him in Cleveland.
I’ll admit I had reservations about Baker before this year. I wasn’t sure if he was the right man to lead the franchise. However he really stepped up this season and I for one, was impressed with how much he improved.
Mayfield managed a total of 3,563 passing yards, with 26 touchdowns. Not bad for a team who mainly rely on a running game eh…
A huge step forward was Baker’s lack of interceptions. This was a big problem in Mayfield’s game in his two previous seasons in Cleveland, however he only threw a total of 8 interceptions throughout 2020, a career best.
Deshaun Watson had the most throwing yards in the NFL with a total of 4,823. But this doesn’t tell the whole story.
Unlike the Browns, Houston rarely run the football, putting more and more pressure on the arm strength of Watson, therefore he has many more attempts at slinging the ball than Mayfield.
I think we would be crazy to let Baker go, just at the very moment he’s starting to prove why he smashed so many NCAA records. I think he’ll only get better with time, and it’s an exciting time in Cleveland with Baker leading the franchise.
All in all I think it’s very unlikely that anyone at the Browns will entertain this deal at all, however rumours will be rumours, and you never know with the NFL. Anything can happen!
OBJ being traded?
Another rumour that does the rounds daily, is Odell Beckham JR being traded. OBJ was having a fantastic season until he ended up getting injured against Cincinnati during week 7.
Many people seem to focus more on the injury, and just ignore the standout 6 weeks Beckham had beforehand. Week 4, he singlehandedly won us the match against the Cowboys. He managed 2 receiving touchdowns, and a 74 yard rushing touchdown ultimately clinching the game. This was one of, if not the best performance I saw from a Browns player all year, and think it slips under the radar with him missing the final 3 months.
I’d understand the need to trade OBJ if we needed the cap space, however we are well below our limit and there’s simply no need to let one of the most talented Wide Receivers in the NFL go.
If the Browns did decide to trade him, I think we’d only get a 2nd or maybe even a 3rd round draft pick. An awful deal for us.
Keep OBJ and pray he comes back stronger than ever, and stays healthy next year.
Jarvis Landry no longer needed?
I’ve seen many Browns fans mention Landry being surplus to requirements in Cleveland, however I can’t disagree enough.
‘He runs basic routes’
‘He does the same job as Higgins’
‘He doesn’t have the pace’
So why is he the key man when Baker needs someone? He’s always there. Always picking up that 3rd down. Fights for the cause and his attitude is known to be impeccable. Why would we possibly let someone who is so influential go?
Again, we don’t need the cap space. We aren’t overflowing with talent and depth in the WR position, and year after year, Jarvis provides us with the consistency and balance we need.
Hopefully Rashard Higgins will re-sign, OBJ regains his fitness, and Landry will complete the trio.
Donovan Peoples-Jones is a young, talented guy who will undoubtably improve next year, along with KhaDarel Hodge. These 5 should be a formidable force in 2021.
JJ Watt incoming?
Finally, a rumour about a player coming into Cleveland.
Let’s not beat around the bush, JJ Watt is a beast. He would be just what our defence needs.
I’d love him at the Browns, however for the right deal. Watt won’t be cheap, and isn’t getting any younger, however I think if we offered David Njoku and a 3rd round draft pick, it would be a fantastic trade for us. Olivier Vernon is likely to leave due to his contract being too expensive, so this would be a great replacement.
Imagine a defence with Myles Garrett one side and JJ Watt the other? Would definitely shore things up on that side of the ball.
We don’t need to get rid of Baker, Jarvis or OBJ. Simple as that. David Njoku wants a trade, Olivier Vernon is likely to leave due to his contract demands, and Larry Ogunjobi also looks exit bound. This will free up more cap space, therefore we don’t need to get rid of any other high earners.
I think Andrew Berry knows exactly what he’s doing, and will ensure we have a solid pre season bringing in the players we need, and securing any free agents that he wants back in 2021.
Let’s hope for even more improvement in Cleveland next season, and hopefully get a step (or two!) further than this year.