The Cleveland Browns pulled off a blockbuster move last offseason to land Deshaun Watson and there’s a belief the team could take another “big swing” to help out their quarterback.
The Browns roster is built to win now, with multiple key pieces locked in on hefty deals and Watson entering his second season with the team. With wins becoming a necessity for those in positions of power in Berea, Albert Breer of the MMQB believes the Browns will make some significant moves this offseason to bolster their title hopes.
“You know, I think they could have like a big swing or two in them,” Breer said during a January 25 appearance on Afternoon Drive on The Fan. “I think they have to really find out about Kevin Stefanski and get more out of Deshaun Watson. There is a lot on the line this offseason for a lot of people in that building.”
The Browns finished another highly-anticipated campaign on the outside looking in on the postseason with a 7-10 record. That was good for fourth in the AFC North, which featured two playoff teams in the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, the latter of which could make a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance with a win Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
DeAndre Hopkins Mentioned as Option for Browns
Watson’s first season with the Browns was tumultuous, much of that stemming from the 11-game suspension he was dealt after more than two dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions. When he finally took the field on December 4 against the Texans, it had been 700 days since his last regular season game.
“I do think to some degree, you give Deshaun Watson and you give the coaches a mulligan on how the end of the year went because it was such a weird year,” Breer said. You chalk it up to the guy who hadn’t played football in almost two years. There’s just there’s a lot that goes into play in the game at that position. I don’t think you get the same sort of mulligan next year.”
So what would a “big swing” look like for the Browns as they look to build their offense around Watson? Breer brings up a familiar name in DeAndre Hopkins, who is expected to be shopped by the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.
“I certainly could see where they maybe take a swing and free agency, or you try to do something creative. You know, like a DeAndre Hopkins or someone like that, where you try and to get somebody in that will help you get a little bit more clarity on where your coaching staff is and where your quarterback is within the offense,” Breer said. “I don’t think there’s a Davante Adams out there for them and they probably don’t have the draft capital to go and do it. But I think we could see a relatively big swing on somebody to help Deshaun Watson.”
Watson finished his condensed six-game regular season with 1,102 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions, with the Browns going 3-3 over in his starts.
Browns GM Andrew Berry Confident in Ability to Make Moves
The Browns gave up a lot to land Watson, sending their 2022 first-round pick, 2023 and 2024 first-round picks, a 2022 fourth-round choice, a third-round pick in 2023 and a fourth-round pick in 2024 to the Texans. They also gave Watson a fully-guaranteed five-year, $230 million deal upon his arrival in Cleveland.
The Browns will need to get creative with their cap space this offseason and are missing some major assets in their war chest. However, general manager Andrew Berry expressed optimism about the idea of making impactful moves this offseason.
“We will have more than enough in terms of resources, picks, dollars and cap space to fortify the roster in the areas that we need to,” Berry said in his season recap press conference on January 9.
We’ll see have to wait to see just how big the Browns are willing to go with their next move.