Andrew Berry and the Cleveland Browns front office have to be exhausted after this offseason.
It’s been one of the more stressful ones in recent memory considering the monumental shift at the quarterback position.
Plus, a slew of controversy continues to follow the organization regarding Deshaun Watson.
Every team makes tough personnel decisions in the spring and early summer.
Cleveland is no exception.
Some of those moves end up being the right ones to make.
Others, well, not so much. For now, let’s take a look at some of the guys the Browns are right to go the other direction from.
Disregard the personal feelings on Watson.
Once the Browns acquired him, Baker Mayfield had to go.
From potential franchise quarterback to near-impossible to trade, the Mayfield whirlwind in Cleveland is over.
Subpar play with an injured shoulder doomed his 2021 season.
Plus, reports like in the tweet below have since surfaced of a divided locker room coupled with poor locker room behavior from Baker.
It seems a breakup was inevitable for Baker Mayfield and the Browns. 😳 pic.twitter.com/HICNiBRMCq
— theScore (@theScore) July 10, 2022
His Pro Football Focus numbers read like a roller coast over his four-year career in Cleveland.
Mayfield played through multiple non-throwing shoulder injuries last season.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) July 6, 2022
Mayfield also finished fourth-to-last in touchdown-to-turnover ratio last season per Statmuse.
Numerous head coaches and offensive coordinators, in addition to a number of injuries, are tough for any quarterback to overcome.
However, Mayfield’s insistence on playing through his injury and hurting his own team in the process is hard to ignore.
The distracting off-field podcast and social media appearances during the trading process only made the decision to move him that much easier.
Let’s say Watson doesn’t pan out and Baker wins playoff games in Carolina.
The upside for the Browns, of course, is Watson leading them to a Super Bowl.
They clearly think he can, otherwise they wouldn’t have made the trade they did.
Cleveland couldn’t fix the mess between Mayfield and the organization, so trading him is the right play.
You’d be hard-pressed to find many Browns fans upset over the departure of Austin Hooper.
Simply put, he never lived up to expectations in Cleveland.
Some of that can be pinned on bad quarterback play.
However, there were multiple inexcusable drops from Hooper.
Many, such as the one in this Tweet, came in crucial situations.
Austin Hooper is still out there doing 2020-Austin-Hooper things. These may not be easy catches but the #Browns made Hooper the 3rd highest paid TE in 2020 NFL to handle these balls. Good TEs make these catches. At this point I'd rather see what Njoku can do. #HandleTheseBalls pic.twitter.com/Ukxk8LclMr
— Lt. Roberto Shenanigans (@Rob_Shenanigans) October 4, 2021
The steady decline from Hooper on the field paired with a jam at tight end for Cleveland didn’t make the front office decision to move on daunting.
The Browns are confident rolling the dice with David Njoku and Harrison Bryant as the featured tight ends.
Njoku has disappointed at times as well.
However, they feel the potential upside this season from him is there.
With a secure contract extension, a big season could be coming his way.
— Titan Up the Dawg Pound Podcast (@titan_dawg21) July 2, 2022
Another promising prospect turned disaster.
Well, disaster might be a bit harsh, but things between Cleveland and Mack Wilson didn’t end with sparkles and glitter.
Wilson saw the field on 88% of Cleveland’s defensive snaps in his rookie season in 2019 per Pro Football Reference.
— Browns Replay (@BrownsReplay) November 3, 2019
That dropped all the way to 21% in 2021.
Moving into almost exclusively a special teams role, the writing on the wall became clear.
He’s a versatile player who is still in the younger stage of his career.
The chance to blossom didn’t seem to be destined in Cleveland.
Perhaps things will work out in New England for Mack.
With the emergence of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah last season, Cleveland’s front office made the right decision to trade Wilson.