Not many people around Berea are satisfied with how things went for the 2021 Cleveland Browns.
But it wasn’t nearly as awful as some might come to believe.
It might have been more palatable if Kevin Stefanski and his troops won 8 games in 2020 and 11 this season.
Signs would be pointing up all around, even if there were locker room murmurs of discontent.
Well-represented on the AP’s All-Pro Team 💪
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 14, 2022
But since the win total went down in Stefanski’s second season, folks are listening harder for those murmurs.
Might there be some moves coming that are difficult to justify, except for murmur control?
Sure there could, but the moves predicted here are bold for another reason.
Here are 3 bold offseason predictions for the Browns based on nothing but this writer’s gut.
1. Strengthening a Strength
Jadeveon Clowney showed the Browns what top-notch pair of defensive ends can do for a pass rush.
In the process, he magnified the talent deficit lining up between Myles Garrett and himself.
So naturally, Andrew Berry’s biggest and quickest free agent signing is… an offensive tackle.
And not just any offensive tackle, but in true Berry fashion, one of the top available players.
Rookie offensive tackle Jedrick Wills during strength and conditioning phase of training camp. Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Browns. pic.twitter.com/CWd7hIR0pd
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) July 31, 2020
Robinson is only 26 years old, which makes him more desirable than the 30-year-old Armstead.
And it also provides an optimum environment for Baker Mayfield or any young draft pick to work behind.
2. Popular Brown Hits The Trade Market
Lockdown corners might be the most important position players after the quarterback.
Andrew Berry will certainly extend Denzel Ward, keeping him in Cleveland for the next few seasons.
And Joe Woods has Greg Newsome III penciled in at the opposite corner for the rest of his rookie contract.
Cleveland has an excellent slot corner in Troy Hill and AJ Green made great strides as last season went along.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 25, 2022
Greedy Williams also bounced back from injury to enjoy a solid season and remind everybody of his potential.
But all he has is potential if he is on the bench, and he won’t even have that if he gets injured along the way.
Maybe the uncertain quarterback situation puts off free-agent receivers and the team has other draft priorities.
But Berry will find his wide receiver-1 in exchange for the services of the young and talented Greedy Williams.
3. Linebacker Room Turnover Complete
Anthony Walker signed what was essentially a one-year deal with 2 voidable seasons to follow.
Cleveland is set to take a dead cap hit of $1.163 million on Walker this year, and another half-million in 2023.
It is an unusual arrangement for a team with no financial woes, unless there is a gentlemen’s agreement in play.
Walker’s 113 tackles in 13 games probably earn him another Browns contract for more money and years.
JOK is reviewing all areas of his game to become an even more productive LB for his second season.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 16, 2022
Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah will see more action next season and Malcolm Smith will re-sign as veteran depth.
That leaves little room for the pair of 2019 draft picks on the roster, especially if Berry drafts or signs another linebacker.