5 Biggest Needs Cleveland Browns Have Yet to Address This Offseason

Cleveland Browns v Carolina Panthers

The Cleveland Browns lost their starting QB from 2014 to the Houston Texans, and their best wide out Josh Gordon, was suspended for the season for again violating the NFL drug policy. Bold 2015 draft moves that will impact the NFL football lines at Mybookie.ag.

Oh and in case you didn’t hear, one of their first-round picks from a year ago, a guy that could get the QB spot in 2015, is still in rehab.

Let’s just say it hasn’t been a great offseason for the Browns.

The team has made some pickups, getting former Chiefs wide out Dwayne Bowe to take the spot of Gordon as the teams best WR, and they also got QB Josh McCown as a mentor for QB Johnny Manziel, who reports say will be out of rehab in April.

There’s still plenty of things to do, and today we look at five needs for the Browns they have yet to address this offseason.

1. Don’t let this QB thing linger – The team seems committed to Manziel, and while the club inked both McCown and Thad Lewis, the club in the long run wants to go with ‘Johnny Football,’ this despite him having six of the worst quarters of football you’ll ever see last season. Look for the Browns to still tickle the draft board come the second day of the draft with picking a QB that will only add more intrigue to the position.

2. The Club Needs Another WR – Okay so they got Dwayne Bowe, but what Bowe they are getting is going to go a long way into how many more WR’s they need on this roster for whatever QB is throwing them the football. The team still has undersized Andrew Hawkins, Miles Austin and Travis Benjamin to go along with Bowe, but they need more than that to be competitive.

3. More QB Pressure - At times last season QB’s from opposing teams could order a pizza, get it delivered, and eat it before the Browns would find a way to reach him. With that the club will need to get more from their D-line, as well as their linebackers who need to find a way to get heat on the QB. For now, the QB’s for other teams are just too good and have way too much time to throw.

4. They Need a New Nose – The Browns had big issues at the Nose Tackle spot last season, and teams seemed to be able to run the ball right up the gut when they wanted to. They lost Ahtyba Rubin, who was no big loss the way he played last year. They do need to look long and hard at the draft to see if there’s a player in the middle that can help out, and possibly take up two players with this size and strength. That person didn’t exist last season.

5. Stop Messing with Pettine – The Browns coach did a nice job in his first season, getting a team that had no business winning seven games to a 7-9 record. The club had wayyyyyyyyy too much off the field issues with GM Ray Farmer getting involved in personal decisions, and it made offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan hightail it out of town. If Farmer wants to coach, he should coach. If not, leave Pettine alone.

Browns Lose TE Jordan Cameron to Miami in Crazy Turn of Events

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In a bizarre twist of events, former Browns Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron is signing with the Miami Dolphins instead of returning to the Cleveland Browns, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Despite reports by several national reporters that the Browns had reached an agreement on a two-year deal with the Cameron, the two sides had never actually finalized the agreement, and the Dolphins swooped in.

Within a couple of hours, at about 8:45, he signed with Miami, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.

When reports first surfaced at about 6 p.m. by Yahoo Sports, NFL Network and ESPN that the Browns had reached agreement on a two-year deal with Cameron worth $15 million, a source told Northeast Ohio Media Group that no deal had been struck at that time.

Browns Ink QB Thaddeus Lewis

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The Browns have signed quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports.

Lewis, 30, has two previous stints with the Browns and spent a year with the Houston Texans.

He’s also played for the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills.

The former four-year starter at Duke made his first NFL start in the Browns’ 2012 season finale at Pittsburgh and completed 22-of-32 passes for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception. In 2013, he started five games for the Buffalo Bills and finished with 1,092 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Lewis (6-2, 200) began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent with the Rams, where he primarily played on the practice squad. The Browns initially acquired him off waivers near the start of the 2011 season.

WR Josh Gordon Fails Another Drug Test; Faces One-Year Suspension

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Browns wide out Josh Gordon is in trouble once again, as Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the troubled wide out has failed another drug test, and now faces a year long suspension for 2015.

As Schefter reports, things were not good between the Browns and Gordon when 2014 wrapped up.

Gordon ended the season in controversy when, on Dec. 27, he was suspended for the final game for violating team rules. Gordon would have been suspended for all of last season were it not for a new drug testing and punishment policy the NFL implemented last season that allowed him to return after missing the first 10 games.

Gordon entered the NFL after being dismissed from Baylor for a failed marijuana test. He later told the Houston Chronicle: “It was against school policy, of course, and I was [suspended] in the summer. I’ve definitely put that part of my life behind me. I don’t plan to ever go back there. It was a difficult time, but I learned from it, and I’ve moved on.”

The wide out wasn’t much of a factor in the final few games, and ended the year with 24 grabs for 303 yards.

Haslam Says Browns Need To Find a “Really Good” QB to Compete in 2015

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam stressed Thursday night that the Browns are on a mission to find a championship-caliber quarterback and that they have no idea if Johnny Manziel can be their man, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Everyone knows this, you can look at the teams whether they’re in the final eight, the final four or the final two, you’ve got to have a really good quarterback,” Haslam said at the 15th annual Great Cleveland Sports Awards at the Renaissance Hotel. “And our situation as Coach (Mike) Pettine says is still muddy and we don’t know who our quarterback is going to be next year and what I would say to our fans is, we’re going to continue to work really hard to find that quarterback who can make us a championship team.”

“I think Pett said it well and I think Flip said it well today, we don’t know yet,” said Haslam. “We’re going to work until we find the right person, and I’m not slighting Connor (Shaw) or Johnny, we have two quarterbacks, or Brian (Hoyer), if he were to come back, I’m not slighting any of them. We’re going to work hard until we get a quarterback who can help us win and win consistently, which we’ve stated since Day 1 is our goal. And it’s not easy, but we understand it’s the mission and we’re going to work hard at it.”

Haslam echoed general manager’s Ray Farmer’s postseason comments that a first-round quarterback is on the table for the second year in a row.

“Yeah…we’ve got to get a quarterback and we’ve got to get it fixed,” said Haslam. “Now that’s not to say Connor, who in the last game played really well, hadn’t worked with the first team any against a really good team on the road, played well and that’s not to say Johnny can’t do it but they both have to prove it that they can do it over a period of time.”

As for Hoyer, he said, “I think every option is open on the table for us in terms of who’s going to play next year.

Browns Lose OC Shanahan and QB Coach Loggins in Offensive Shakeup

Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan sat down with the owner Jimmy Haslam Wednesday after news broke that he wanted out of Cleveland, and Haslam granted his request to be released from his contract, a source told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer Thursday morning.

Quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, who was in favor of drafting Johnny Manziel, is also leaving, a source confirmed. Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, who first reported Loggains was leaving, said he’s been fired.

As reported Tuesday, Shanahan decided he wanted out of Cleveland because of friction between coaches and the front office. Specifically, some coaches, including Shanahan, felt that the coaches weren’t being heard on player evaluations or needs.

Coaches were also upset that a high-ranking member of the Browns front office text down to the sidelines with opinions on playcalling.

Hoyer with the Upper Hand to Be the Browns Starting QB in 2015

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Browns general manager Ray Farmer, who indicated in November that Brian Hoyer’s hometown, feel-good, comeback story won’t factor in, stressed that the decision to stay or go will be Hoyer’s, meaning the Browns will make a pitch to keep him, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Brian Hoyer did some good things for us this year, and at the end of the day his future is in his hands,” said Farmer. “He has decisions that he needs to make.

“If he wants to be back, that leverage is definitely in his court to make that happen. Assuming that we could agree to that deal, then that opportunity’s available. If we can’t come to that agreement, then he obviously would not be back. There’s a lot of work to be done in that regard.”

Hoyer reiterated what he’s been saying all season: Now that he’s established himself as a starting quarterback, he won’t go quietly to the bench, not here or elsewhere. If the Browns aren’t willing to give him starter’s money — or at least some hefty incentives for starting, he’ll try to find a better gig elsewhere.

“Once you’ve played, you don’t want to sit on the bench,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot going into the decision that I make.”

“From a business perspective, people don’t always see eye to eye,” said Farmer. “Your value for how you see something versus my value of how I see it doesn’t always come together, and that’s how things don’t happen. That’s something probably for Brian’s agent and I to work out. Brian will have, obviously, a lot of input in that. We’ll have the conversations as to how we think Brian can help our roster moving forward in the next upcoming week or so.”

Haslam On the QB Position – “We’ve Got to Figure it Out”

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam admitted Sunday that the Browns might have to find another quarterback to take them to the next level, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Clearly quarterback’s an important position in the NFL and we’ve got to figure it out,” said Haslam after the Browns’ 20-10 season-ending loss to the Ravens. “If you look at the Browns and where they’ve struggled, they’ve struggled with the quarterback, so we know that’s a position like others that we’ll have to address. (GM) Ray (Farmer) and his team will go to work on that tonight and tomorrow.”

Asked if he’s ready to say that Johnny Manziel isn’t his quarterback of the future, Haslam said, “That’s a comment for another day, and it’s certainly not a comment I’m going to make. That’s a comment for Ray and Mike to make. But I think they’ve done a good job this year. I think we’re a better team. But we understand. Listen, this is a tough division. Think who’s in the division — the Steelers who have won two Super Bowls in the last eight years.”

Haslam indicated that the other teams have their quarterbacks, and the Browns might still be on the hunt.

“The Ravens have been in the playoffs seven out of eight years, and Cincinnati, depending on what happens, could win the division three years in a row,” he said.

“We’ve got to be able to compete, but if you think we’re 2-4, not good enough, but besides the Cincinnati game, we were in every game, and I think we went toe-to-toe with Baltimore twice, beat Pittsburgh badly once, lost another time, beat Cincinnati badly once and really in our only really disappointing game got blown out two weeks ago.”