CLEVELAND- The Browns are 0-9 and look like a team in danger of losing the loyal fan base. Fans in Cleveland are tired of the phrase wait until next year.
Next year could bring the same sad news that the Browns can’t contend with winning teams to sign big free agents. However, signing Kevin Zeitler and J.C. Tretter last season proved one inescapable fact: Owner Haslem, Head Coach Hue Jackson, and the front seem desperate to build an immediate winner.
The issues at quarterback are still present with this young group consisting of DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan. The Browns have a golden opportunity to sign Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2018. The Redskins are not expected to keep Cousins since they keep using the franchise tag on him.
Some fans may quickly dismiss the notion of signing Cousins in favor of developing Kizer. Others will simply laugh at the notion of winning a bidding war against Denver, Minnesota and San Francisco. However, the Browns should have at least $46 million cap space. The Browns will likely have more cap space than that since they will likely release Kenny Britt. Isaiah Crowell will be a free agent unless the Browns re-sign him quickly.
If Cousins signs with the Browns, he will need elite receivers. Josh Gordon may sign a one year, $6.5 million deal to stay in Cleveland. Cousins would be greatly helped by the team signing Jarvis Landry, the subject of trade rumors involving the Browns early this season.
The Browns need upgrades one defense. Fortunately Malcolm Butler and Trumaine Johnson could enter free agency. Butler will have many teams vying for him. Johnson never made the pro-bowl so it would be easier to sign him. It is doubtful the Browns will sign both since it would take out a lot of cap space and the 2018 draft is expected to have many excellent corner backs.
What the Browns could look like in 2018:
Kirk Cousins- 4 years, $52 million ($13 million per year)
Jarvis Landry 4 years, $38 million ($9.5 million per year)
Josh Gordon (re-signed)- 3 years, $15 million (5 million per year)
Trumaine Johnson 2 years, $14 million ($7 million per year)