The Cleveland Browns have had one of the best offseasons among the 32 teams in the league, at least in the eyes of one longtime NFL writer.
ESPN staff writer Bill Barnwell ranked the Browns as having the second-best offseason behind only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“The Browns corrected a lot of the mistakes that led to their much-hyped 2019 season falling flat on its face,” Barnwell wrote. “Coach Freddie Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey were replaced by Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry.
“The new brain trust hired Bill Callahan to take over the offensive line, entrusting the weakest part of the 2019 team to arguably the NFL’s best offensive line coach.”
Barnwell also complimented the Browns from improving their offensive line in signing right tackle Jack Conklin and selecting Alabama’s Jedrick Wills with the 10th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft
FB Johnny Stanton
S Andrew Sendejo
C Evan Brown
DT Andrew Billings
CB Donovan Olumba
WR JoJo Natson
QB Case KeenI’m
TE Austin Hooper
OT Jack Conklin
LB B.J. Goodson
S Karl Joseph
DE Adrian Clayborn
CB Kevin Johnson
Resigned WR Rashard Higgins
What a offseason!
— William 📈📈 (@objisthegoat) May 19, 2020
In Barnwell’s story, he also mentioned the signing of tight end Austin Hooper, getting Myles Garrett back from suspension and getting an extra 2021 third-round pick from the New Orleans Saints for trading down 14 spots.
Barnell suggested the Browns should offer Garrett a contract extension.
In 2019, Garrett was on pace for a 16-sack, 29-knockdown season after his six-game suspension for striking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with a helmet.
Garrett had 10 sacks in 10 games before the league suspended him.
Highest pass rush grade: EDGE
1. T.J. Watt
2. Myles Garrett
3. Joey Bosa
4. Chandler Jones pic.twitter.com/qPDQuvzBhS
— PFF (@PFF) February 8, 2020
In 2020, Garrett is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Barnwell wrote about a few things that have gone wrong during the Browns’ offseason.
“As is the case for every other team with a new coach, the coronavirus-impacted offseason left the Browns without their typical practice time,” Barnwell wrote. “They also lost Jarvis Landry to hip surgery, and the LSU product might not be ready for Week 1, leaving them with the likes of Rashard Higgins and Taywan Taylor behind Odell Beckham Jr.”
Barnwell also believes the Browns could add another wide receiver before the start of the season.
“I could see this team using a lot of 22 personnel early in the season with Beckham as the lone wideout, but there were probably opportunities for Cleveland to add a third option given the slow market and deep draft at the position,” Barnwell wrote. “Even now, options such as Taylor Gabriel and Dontrelle Inman are around and not likely to cost much more than the minimum.”
Barnwell explained how he ranked all 32 teams.
“To measure how each team performed, I’m comparing their roster, cap situation and future draft capital at the beginning of the offseason to what they have in mid-May,” Barnwell wrote. “The most important thing a team can do is add talent, so those that made significant inroads in improving their roster will rank highly, while those that saw key people leave without replacements won’t.
“I also considered how each attacked their specific needs, how well they read the market and handled the financial side of their deals, and what they did to create future draft picks.”