It’s the decision we expected from Jackson, who anointed Griffin as Cleveland’s starter before the season opener. Recently activated off injured reserve, the veteran quarterback hasn’t appeared in a game since suffering a broken bone in his non-throwing shoulder in that ill-fated Week 1 loss to the Eagles.
Since then, the Browns have turned to a hodgepodge of passers — rookies Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan, old-as-the-trees Josh McCown and even quarterback-turned-wideout Terrelle Pryor — to throw the ball for a club still searching for its first win.
The signing is the latest savvy move on the part of Sashi Brown, Browns executive VP of football operations, who hasn’t constructed a contender for 2016, but has stocked the cupboard with a handful of young talent and even more future high draft picks. It fills a void created by last week’s deal that sent Lee to the Carolina Panthers for a fourth-round pick, which, when considering the Browns just gave up nothing to secure a near-equivalent veteran punter (Lee’s 2015 average net yardage: 40.1; Colquitt’s: 39.7), looks to be quite a coup.
Add in the Aug. 25 deal that garnered the Browns a fifth-rounder for Barkevious Mingo, a linebacker who was very much on the bubble and even more likely to get cut, and the news that Philadelphia traded starting quarterback Sam Bradford to Minnesota (Cleveland owns Philadelphia’s 2017 first-rounder), and it’s been a pretty good couple of weeks for Brown and Co.
A trade became increasingly likely after the Browns declined to pick up Mingo’s fifth-year option back in April. It became even more likely after the Browns reunited Mingo with his first NFL defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, in 2016. Horton likely knew Mingo’s limitations in the scheme and preferred to pivot in another direction with a platoon of young pass rushers coming in via the draft.
It will be interesting to see what, exactly, New England’s plans are for Mingo, who has been reluctant to discuss his weight ever since he was drafted. The buzz on him this offseason was that he packed on more muscle than ever, though that didn’t seem to clear the way for a starting role in Cleveland’s new-look defense. Mingo seems personally invested in salvaging his NFL career and he might have found the perfect place to do it.
The wide receiver announced Thursday that he was entering rehab in an effort to “gain full control of my life.” Gordon is eligible to play in the Browns’ Week 5 contest against the New England Patriots as part of the terms of his NFL reinstatement for a substance abuse violation. Gordon’s decision to enter rehab, however, puts his comeback on hold indefinitely.
“After careful thought and deep consideration I’ve decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility,” Gordon wrote. “This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person. I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, the Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process.”
The draft is just as risky, without a sure-fire option at the top of the board. While DeShaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, DeShone Kizer, Patrick Mahomes and wholesale nba jerseys and Davis Webb are intriguing talents, there isn’t a consensus superstar in the bunch — and questions persist on whether any of them are capable of thriving in Year 1. With question marks surrounding the entire class, the Browns are better off developing one of their own instead of taking on another young quarterback at this point.
Once again, I know that’s an unpopular opinion in the microwaveable quarterback age, but it takes time for young signal callers to grow into the position — and the Browns would return to Step 1 with a rookie at the helm. I’m beginning to think Cleveland realizes this, which is why we are starting to hear a different tone from the team when it comes to Osweiler.
The former Washington wide receiver is among the elite prospects at his position for the 2017 NFL Draft. Between a breakout season on the field (1,150 yards, 17 touchdowns) last year, and a NFL Scouting Combine-record 4.22 40-yard dash set a few weeks ago, Ross is positioned well for the draft among top receivers, along with Clemson’s Mike Williams and Western Michigan’s Corey Davis.
The Ravens are among the NFL clubs that are in need of draft help at the wide receiver position. The Ravens hold the No. 16 overall pick in the draft, and he’s projected to be selected by the Ravens in the mock drafts of NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Charley Casserly. NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranks Ross as the No. 22 player available.