One day after being hired away from the Kansas City Chiefs to become the new general manager of the Cleveland Browns, John Dorsey is already making his presence felt.
In above that was long overdue and not too surprising, Dorsey cut underachieving free agent bust WR Kenny Britt early Friday.
Signed to a four-year $32.5 million deal after notching 1,002 receiving yards with the Los Angeles Rams, the 29-year-old Britt became a much maligned target of both the Cleveland area fans and media in catch 18 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns, as he was expected to replace Terrelle Pryor, who left Cleveland for the Washington Redskins.
Call it a opening salvo or whatever cute cliche you want, but clearly Dorsey is not messing around as he is already seeking ways to trim the fat left behind by former Executive Vice President of Operations, Sashi Brown.
To his credit, Brown did put the Browns in excellent shape to turn things around fairly quickly in creating more than $100 million in cap space, and amass five picks in the first two rounds, including the top overall pick, and what is looking like a top-10 pick via the Houston Texans, along with three second rounders, two of which are via the Philadelphia Eagles and the forementioned Texans.
However, per owner Jimmy Haslam’s mandate, don’t expect Dorsey to make the same mistake of passing on the next Carson Wentz, DeShaun Watson or Dak Prescott. Based on his stellar track record in the draft and free agency, teamed up with Hue Jackson’s offensive prowess, here is what a prospective Dorsey-Jackson team may look like in 2018.
2018 NFL Draft:
Select QB Josh Rosen out of UCLA number one overall.
Select either RB Saquon Barkley, WR Calvin Ridley or RB Bryce Love with the Houston Texans pick.
Select the best available offensive tackle with the first pick in the second round, which will likely be Oklahoma’s Orlando Brown.
With the second pick in the second round, take the best cornerback or safety to pair opposite Jabrill Peppers or Briean Boddy-Calhoun in former Glenville standout and Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, Iowa’s Joshua Jackson or heavy-hitting safeties such as Stanford’s Justin Reid, Alabama’s Ronnie Harrison or Marcus Allen out of Penn State.
With the third second round pick, take 6’3, 220-pounder Cortland Sutton out of SMU, perhaps one of the real gems and instant impact players in the draft. This pick is based on the assumption that Cleveland went with Barkley and that Ridley is off the board.
Based on the five picks, Cleveland get’s it’s franchise quarterback in Rosen, a feature and multi-purpose tailback in either Barkley or Love to replace pending free agent RB Isaiah Crowell, a defensive back to address their suspect secondary and replace Joe Haden and a potential No.2 stud WR to pair opposite Josh Gordon and replace the disappointing Britt.
With the release of Britt being his first personnel move as Browns new general manager, here are some potential moves that Dorsey may also make:
Cut QB’s Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler.
Cut WR’s Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis and Sammie Coates
Let RB Isaiah Crowell leave in free agency.
Acquire Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith via trade. (2019 2nd round and conditional 3rd).
Re-sign WR Josh Gordon to an incentive-laden, performance based two-year $22 million contract. Contract will have stiplulations for drug use and performance incentives with only $8 million guaranteed.
Sign free-agent WR Jarvis Landry to a five-year $95 million deal.
In the event that Cleveland decides to not retain Gordon, and move on from him, sign free-agent WR Allen Robinson to a 4-year $55 million deal.
Depending on the direction they go in the draft on defense, sign CB Trumaine Johnson/Johnathan Joseph and S Kenny Vaccaro to multi-year deals.
Bring in a new assistant head coach/offensive coordinator. Names to keep an eye out for are; Edgar Bennett, offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, Harold Goodwin, offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals, Jim Bob Cooter, offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions. Other names to watch for: Tom Clements (Green Bay) and Mike McCoy (Denver Broncos).
Retain defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and the 4-3 defense.
Based on the moves above, Dorsey begins to put his stamp on the Browns immediately in cutting ties to the failed Brown analytics regime in Kessler, Hogan, Higgins, Louis and Coates, letting Crowell walk, retaining Gordon on a team-friendly, incentive-loaded contract. He also shows some much needed aggressiveness in free agency in trading for a proven QB in Smith from his old team Kansas City–who is ready to turn over the reigns to Patrick Mahomes–surround him with some weapons in Cleveland in the form of Landry–possibly Robinson, if Gordon relapses or is cut–and bolster a much-beleaguered secondary with either Johnson, Joseph and Vaccaro.
The key to everything is landing a veteran quarterback such as Smith, who can play until either Rosen or Kizer–who will now be third string–are ready to take over. With Smith under center, and a set of new weapons such as Barkley/Love and targets such as tight end David Njoku, Corey Coleman, Landry, Robinson and Gordon, along with rookies such as Ridley and Sutton, the 2018 Browns offense will be one of the most revamped and dangerous ones to watch in 2018.
Jackson will finally be able to coach with a new AHC/OC taking pressure off of him calling plays, while Williams defense will get some much needed help on the back end.
Sounds like a winner to me.