Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chud Nation: An End of an Era in Believeland

Up on the lake, we said goodbye to some old faces,
and welcomed some new faces over the last couple of weeks.
As the 2013 NFL Draft approaches (23 more days), lets take a minute and look back at what the Cleveland Browns have been up to since the beginning of the March, as well as how they did in the NFL free agency sweepstakes.

A warm welcome to the new guys:

March 5th: Browns name Ray Farmer assistant GM, change Mike Lombardi's title to GM.
  • Another piece to the puzzle was added to an already loaded front-office. The pieces are set for the guys in suits, now can they do what their predecessor's couldn't, put a "winning" team on the field.
March 12th: Agreed to terms with LB Paul Kruger on a five-year contract.
  • Here's hoping Kruger, is finally that missing piece to the Browns defense for so many years, a guy that can GET TO THE QUARTERBACK! With the Ravens a season ago, he had nine sacks.
March 14th: Agreed to terms on a 2-year contract with LB Quentin Groves and DL Desmond Bryant.
  • Not as big of a splash as the Kruger deal, these two guys should provide depth, as the Browns transition back into a 3-4 defense scheme.
March 15th-23rd: Sign RB Chris Ogbonnaya on a two-year contract and TE Gary Barnidge on a three-year contract. Signed TE Kellen Davis and DB Chris Owens to one-year contracts.
  • Ogbonnaya has been with the team the past couple of season's, provides some depth in the backfield, as new Head Coach Chudzinski loads up the tight end position, with Davis and Barnidge.
March 26th-28th: Sign QB Jason Campbell to a two-year contract. Sign P Jake Schum.
  • The Browns sign a veteran QB in Campbell (albeit, he's only a year or two older then Weeden) to come in and provide some competition for the starting QB position. I really like this move and I won't rule out Campbell being the Week 1 starter for the Browns in the fall. As for Schum, if he can punt it longer then 30-35 yards, he's an improvement from the last guy we had. I'd rather see him sitting on the bench all season long, we all know we've seen enough of the punter over the years to last a lifetime.
Ending an era:

  • Phil Dawson, departure marked the end of an era up in Cleveland. With Dawson gone, after a 14-year run, he was the last remaining player off the 1999 squad, the first put together after a three-year suspension of operations, following the original franchise's move to Baltimore in 1995.  What can you say, the dude did everything he could for the Browns, the majority of the team's offense over the year's with his "golden" leg. He's at the point of his career, where he is chasing a Super Bowl ring, and the 49ers provide him the best chance of that, and besides I was getting a little tired of seeing him kicking 50+ yard field goals right down the middle of the uprights, haha.
  • Josh Cribbs, another guy that will not be returning to Cleveland in the fall. A return specialist for the Browns since 2005, Cribbs provided the fans of Cleveland with some highlight reel returns, on his way to setting a number of franchise records, as well as a couple NFL records. As much as he did on special teams, he never quite found a spot on the offensive side of the ball for the Browns for as much as he was being paid for, so with that it was finally time to go somewhere else in 2013. Rumor has it, he's heading out to the desert to play for the Cardinals.
  • Colt McCoy, joining his Texas Longhorn buddy out in San Francisco this fall, the Browns ended up trading away Colt McCoy as of yesterday, for a couple late-round draft picks in this year's NFL Draft (how did we get anything for him?!?). Like the ones before him, McCoy, following an outstanding college career down in Austin, didn't pan out as that franchise starting QB the Cleveland Browns were hoping for when they drafted him. Just 21 starts under center (albeit some impressive wins in 2010 at New Orleans and vs. the NE Patriots), and one-punkish hit from former Steelers LB James Harrison, the franchise moved on with QB Brandon Weeden last season. The trade to the 49ers, puts McCoy once again, in a back-up role, behind raising-star QB Colin Kaepernick.