Image Credit (Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
With Training Camp about to start for the NFL in a few weeks, there are questions that follow each team. Like I did with the Vikings, I will be doing the Top 5 Biggest questions for every team heading into Training Camp. Next up is the Cleveland Browns who originally had the 13th Overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, until they traded it in order to acquire QB Deshaun Watson. But there are still questions that remain with this team.
1. What is going on with the dysfunctional QB room?
I had a feeling that acquiring Deshaun Watson was going to be a complete nightmare for the Cleveland Browns. Mainly because of the fully guaranteed contract, which is still ridiculous to give 200 million guaranteed for a QB that has a large amount of risks that follow. Along with wrecking their salary cap and with a suspension on the horizon. We still don’t know how many games Watson will be suspended for his multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. If I were a betting man, I think he is absolutely done for the 2022 NFL season and will not play a game next season. Could I see the suspension being longer than a year, absolutely? But I really doubt that he will play this year for the Browns.
Bringing in Deshaun has brought a ton of consequences in that QB room, especially with Baker Mayfield. I doubt he plays another game as the QB for the Browns. Can you really blame him though? Baker was the best QB this franchise has seen since returning to the league. They threw him away like a piece of trash when they got Baker. I don’t remember who said this and I don’t want to call out names, but the Browns made the incompetent statement saying that they wanted an “adult’’ at the QB position. This makes zero sense because Mayfield is clearly more of an adult than Watson is. If I were Baker, heck yeah I would not want to play for a team that treated me like this. It is clear the Browns and Baker’s relationship has deteriorated. That is a big reason why they signed Jacoby Brissett to this team. I think the Browns want to have Brissett as an option because Baker is serious with his holdout. The Browns have to trade him, but can’t because of his awful contract. It would not shock me if the Browns decided to do an Osweiler Effect to get out of his deal. I really feel for Baker and I hope he goes to a team that appreciates his talent. Yes, he may not have looked right last season, but he played the year with a serious shoulder issue. This has to be the most dysfunctional QB room in the league and it is not a debate in my mind.
UPDATE: My timing bro. Right, when I finished editing this article news came out that Baker has been traded to the Carolina Panthers. This move had to be done and I am not surprised at all that Carolina was the team to do it. I will grade this trade in a later article.
2. Who will be the number 3 running back?
It is clear that Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will be the number 1 and 2 running backs on this team. But I wonder who the number 3 running back will be as that backfield is crowded. Demetric Felton showed promise as a pass-catching running back. D'Ernest Johnson has promise as well and impressed when Chubb and Hunt got injured. The Browns decided to draft Jerome Ford in the 5th round as he is a solid prospect who could be something. John Kelly is not great but was decent during his time with the Los Angeles Rams. It will be a positional battle that will be intriguing to watch.
3. Who will be the number 2 receiver?
I think it is safe to say that Amari Cooper will be the number 1 receiver for the Browns this year. Well, I can’t say the same for the number 2 receiver. There are plenty of options for the Browns to choose from. Donavan Peoples-Jones has a ton of potential, but we will see how he does as the full-time number two receiver. David Bell was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft and is a prospect to watch out for. Javon Wims well is mainly remembered for punching Chauncey “C.J.’’ Gardner-Johnson, but he is a special teams player. Anthony Schwartz was not great last year, but with another year of development could improve. Jakeem Grant is mainly a special teams player. This is absolutely something to watch in training camp and in the pre-season.
4. Can a change of scenery reignite Tavon Bryan’s career?
I like what the Cleveland Browns have been doing on defense the past few years. But with the additions that they made on defense, there is one player that intrigues me and his name is Taven Bryan. Taven Bryan was a former 1st round pick from the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2018 NFL Draft. His tenure with the Jaguars did not work out at all and he was very inconsistent. Cleveland desperately needed a defensive tackle as Malik McDowell's legal issue continued to grow, so they decided to give Bryan another chance. Hopefully, a change of scenery will help Bryan as he was solid in Florida.
5. Can Cade York be the guy at kicker?
Let's be real, the Browns have not had a consistent kicker since Phil Dawson left in 2012. The Kickers have just been on a revolving two-year door. They tried signing guys so why not use a draft pick on a kicker to fill the need. First let's get this out of the way, drafting a kicker in the 4th round was a complete reach for the Browns. They should have waited until the 6th, maybe 7th round to draft a kicker. But could York be that guy as he played very well for LSU? Hopefully, he can translate well in the NFL.