John Dorsey Putting in Work
The Browns announced a pair of signings earlier this week, which was music to my ears. Following the overhaul of the roster a few months ago – general manager John Dorsey acquired a solid free agent and re-signed a reliable pass catching running back. Not to belabor the point (but I will) – I am finally glad to see a front office acquiring and keeping talent as opposed to letting them walk out the door. Let’s look into these signings a bit more.
The Browns added a fourth member to the linebacker corps and a good one at that. Coming off a Super Bowl championship, Kendricks should help this franchise with his pass rushing ability. I am eager to see how the rotation will go for this unit. Will the newcomer supplant the team’s lone Pro Bowler from a season ago (in Joe Schobert)? Could the Browns put all four linebackers on the field at the same time? One thing is certain – depth was much needed for this group, and it was the only spot of the team that this was previously not the case. It’s a shame to see Tank Carder being released as a result, as he was a tremendous special teams’ athlete. However, upgrading the roster is the name of the game.
It was announced that running back Duke Johnson signed a three year contract extension, keeping him on the roster in a short-term window. While the Browns have Nick Chubb and Carlos Hyde already in the running back room (a pair of capable backs), nothing is given at this position. Injuries and underperformance should be accounted for – thus by having three options here, the team is hedging their bets that at least one guy will work out. Historically, offensive coordinator Todd Haley utilizes a single back a.k.a. “bell cow” in his offense to carry (and catch) the load. I am not sure this will be the case in 2018, as Johnson ought to be on the field as a receiver, while either Chubb or Hyde will be getting carries. Whether that is the actual scenario or not, I am excited to see how the team’s offense shakes out.
Conclusion: The signings continue for the team, and still might not be over (as there is over a month until training camp). However, the infusion of talent and the reports that the locker room is drastically better than it was a year ago continue to give me faith that I will enjoy games in the fall. I hope to make it out for camp next month, but more importantly to not hear about player X getting arrested or suspended for something avoidable.