Colquitt joined the Browns in 2016 on a single-year deal following his release from the Denver Broncos and after the Browns traded former punter Andy Lee to Carolina. He set a team single-season record with a net average of 40.31 yards and he made 22 punts inside the 20-yard line.
“I am thrilled,” Colquitt said per the team’s official site. “My family couldn’t be happier. We love the organization and the fans. From Jimmy and Dee Haslam to Sashi (Brown) to the coaching staff with Hue (Jackson) and of course Tabes (Chris Tabor), this is a great place to work. The Browns are a class act. I want to thank the organization for giving me this opportunity.”
But the Browns were in no hurry to trade picks in last year’s draft, and they certainly had more than enough leverage to do it. Cleveland made 14 draft picks last year, giving them, as of now, 36 picks over a three-year stretch from 2016-2018.
Translating all these draft picks into much-needed victories in Cleveland, of course, is an altogether different challenge. But nobody can say the Browns aren’t willing to hitch their wagon to a youth movement.
When one in Cleveland reflects on McCown’s career, that person will think of ugly seasons, multiple injuries (two broken collarbones in two years, a concussion) and missed games (he played in 13 contests in two seasons), but they’ll remember his gutty play behind a line that saw two of its best three pieces depart between McCown’s first and second season in Cleveland. They’ll remember his blue-collar attitude, which was on full display after a difficult loss in 2016 in which he was again knocked around relentlessly.
Relatively speaking, McCown wasn’t that bad. He completed 276 of 457 passes for 3,209 yards and an 18-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio. But his play falls in line with the collective performance of the team, which was subpar if we’re putting it nicely.
While Kizer might not have been the No. 1 quarterback on Cleveland’s offseason wish list, he has incredible size and arm strength. He’ll need time to be conditioned by Jackson but sounds as though he has the head coach’s attention.
Kizer is Jackson’s first real chance to attach his name to a quarterback with long-term starter potential since Joe Flacco (Jackson was the Ravens’ quarterbacks coach in 2008 and 2009). While he did fantastic work with Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, this is a ground-up project that energizes coaches like Jackson, who enjoy the quarterback whisperer title.
The odd component is watching Davis head back to New York. In a way, it defines the Jets’ desperation to get Pryor off the roster. Davis was a player apparently not worth the two years and $8 million the Browns signed him for back in early March last year in the Jets’ eyes. Now, he could find himself working back into the starting lineup. Davis started 15 games for Cleveland last year with two sacks and 59 solo tackles. Before that, he was a 16-game starter for the Jets each of the last three years.
So it goes in the NFL where the new Browns regime has established itself as one of the league’s more enjoyable wheeler and dealers. After stripping the roster of all their dead weight like Justin Gilbert and cheap nfl jerseys and Barkevious Mingo via trade, they acquired Brock Osweiler from the Texans and now Pryor from the Jets.
So, it can happen for the Browns. Hell, it did happen for the Browns. They were one of the most dominant professional football teams in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Taxi tycoon Mickey McBride founded the team and hired Paul Brown (hence the name*) in 1945, and the Browns won four consecutive titles in the All-America Football Conference. When they joined the NFL for the 1950 season, folks thought the Browns were going to get served; instead, they beat the Los Angeles Rams for the NFL title. And that was after the NFL threw the Browns to the wolves in Week 1 by putting them up against the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. The Browns won that first game, 35-10. Could you imagine a team joining the NFL and winning the whole damn thing in the first season? Because that’s what the Browns did.
In all, the Browns have won eight titles, four in the AAFC and four in the NFL. (Tell Steelers fans you know that those titles do indeed exist, whether they want to believe it or not. And denying evidence is no way to go through life.) It should also be pointed out the Browns played in the championship game of whatever league they were in for 10 consecutive years, right from the start.