Just over a year ago, John Dorsey sent shock waves through the NFL when he traded for Jarvis Landry, Damarious Randall, and Tyrod Taylor within hours of each other. A month later, he caught NFL fans off guard by selecting Baker Mayfield number one overall in the 2018 NFL draft and then taking Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick, over the favored Sam Darnold and Bradley Chubb. At that point, it became obvious that Dorsey did not care about what his critics or the national media thought about his decisions. Instead, he values what his scouts, coaches, and fellow front office members believe are the best actions to move the Cleveland Brown’s organization in the direction of winning the first Superbowl in franchise history.
On March 12th, 2019 John Dorsey took another massive step towards achieving that goal. Here are the top three takeaways from the Cleveland Browns trade for Odell Beckham Jr.
Takeaways From the Cleveland Browns Massive Trade
Browns ARE in Win Now Mode
At the NFL combine, John Dorsey stated that the Browns were not ready to “go for it” in regards to the Browns pushing all their chips in on a Super Bowl run, which garnered some attention from the local media in Cleveland. However, the trade for Odell Beckham Jr. paints a different picture entirely, despite Dorsey’s comment. There is a chance that he did not think that he would be able to pull off a trade of this magnitude or maybe he was just being coy in order to not tip his hand. Regardless of his intentions, the Browns are 1000% in win now mode after the OBJ trade and other moves they made this off-season (acquiring Sheldon Richardson, Olivier Vernon, and Kareem Hunt).
The Brown’s offense now flaunts an embarrassment of riches in Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, Duke Johnson Jr., Antonio Callaway, a solid offensive line, and the controversial Kareem Hunt (whenever he returns from his looming suspension). This places their offensive potential at the top of the AFC along with the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, while cementing themselves as the best offense in the AFC North.
Browns Acquire Top Three Wide Receiver in the NFL
According to pro-football-reference.com, Odell Beckham Jr. is currently second all-time in receiving yards per game, behind only Julio Jones. In his five NFL season, Beckham was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 and has been named to the NFL’s top 100 players list four times, including being ranked the 10th best player in 2016 and the eighth best player in 2017. He has made three Pro Bowls (14′,15′,16′) and he was selected as a second team All-Pro by the Associated Press, in 2015 and 2016. He has posted 1,000 yards receiving and at least 13 yards per reception in every season except for 2017, when his season was ended after only four games due to a fractured ankle. There is no doubt that when OBJ is on the field, he is one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL.
Browns are Officially the Favorites to Win the AFC North
When you look at the landscape of the AFC North, it is becoming more and more apparent that it is the Cleveland Brown’s division to lose. When is the last time that anybody has been able to say that with any confidence? But it is true. The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially lost two of their biggest playmakers in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. James Conner did a nice job of replacing Bell last season, however, the Steelers have not yet replaced Brown and Ben Roethlisberger keeps getting older.
Also, while the Browns have bolstered their defense, the Steelers have not made any moves to improve theirs. It is also worth noting the the Steelers only received a third and fifth round pick for Antonio Brown, which is much worse than the first round pick that they originally expected to receive in a trade. While an additional first round pick could have provided them with another starter-quality player, the third and fifth round picks are expected to only add depth to their 2019 roster.
The Baltimore Ravens have lost multiple key players to their two of their sack leaders in Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith, along with a key veteran to their secondary in Eric Weddle. Then, news broke that the New York Jets are expected to sign the C.J. Mosley, who was arguably the best player on their entire defense and a consistent All-Pro linebacker. This is going to create a lot of pressure on sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has been under fire since their playoff loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, due to his inability to throw the football. They could make moves in free agency and the draft to ease the concerns of Ravens fans, but right now they have every reason to worry about their chances of making the playoffs again last season.
Lastly, there are the Cincinnati Bengals who are widely considered as the worst team in the AFC North. A.J. Green was again riddled by injuries in 2018 and franchise quarterback Andy Dalton missed the end of the season, due to a thumb injury suffered in week 11 vs. the Browns. With the coaching change from Marvin Lewis to Zac Taylor, it is expected that it will take the team a couple of seasons to transition from the old regime to the new regime and for the new coach to get the right players to fit his scheme. Anyhow, the Bengals are not expected to threaten the Browns in the 2019 season, especially after being swept by them in the 2018 season.
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