Dear Mike Holmgren,
So far I think its safe to say that the fans are on board with your leadership. The moves you have made this offseason seem to be well thought out football decisions. Firstly, I love that you have shown a sense of urgency in this offseason. This team needs to become respectable, and fast. Despite this, you haven't taken any significant risks in free agency and seem content to get good players at a good value. For this, you should be applauded. These fans have been starved for a "credible" leader at the helm of the Browns since the team returned. I think you might be it.
You paid Josh Cribbs, and we love it. While Cribbs now makes a huge amount of money for a kick returner, this guy is the heart and soul of this team. He singlehandedly took over that Steelers game last year. Aside from his fantastic leadership in the locker room, this guy is an elite talent. We fans love Josh Cribbs, pleasing him was the right move.
Bringing in Tony Pashos was a good call. We love our offensive lineman here in Cleveland as much as any fans. If you think this guy can replace the awful play of John St. Clair at right tackle, by all means go right ahead.
Ditto for the Scott Fujita acquisation. He seems like a guy who gives you great effort on the field and a great guy in the locker room. With the departure of Derek Anderson, having another classy guy on the team is a great move.
The Seneca Wallace trade didn't exactly knock our socks off, but we know you just want a capable backup who doesn't need a whole lot of reps in practice to be ready in a pinch. We know you aren't going to start this guy. I like that you gave up practically nothing to get him, and that he could contribute sporadically as a Wideout or Wildcat back.
Given Derek Anderson's comments, I'm pretty sure even the most star-eyed DA supporters now feel that cutting him was the right move, both for the roster and the wallet.
I can't say that we are too thrilled that you are showing interest in Jake Delhomme. I know he has experience. I know he went to the Pro Bowl. I don't think the Panthers would have cut their most successful quarterback in franchise history in favor of Matt Moore if they thought Delhomme could get it done. You saw the press conference. The team clearly hated to let him go. Teams don't make a decision like that if they think he just had a bad year.
It seems clear to me that you have no love for Brady Quinn. I hope it is something you saw on film and not just a desire to put "your stamp" on this team by bringing in "your guy." I trust you will do what is ultimately in the best interests of the team, but the wise man once said "trust, but verify."
I think the fans as a whole would prefer that the team find a quarterback with some youth and upside. If you are convinced that Brady Quinn isn't the guy, go ahead and trade him. The fans will back you, but you had better deliver. Derek Anderson is right: We are ruthless.
I am just a regular old fan of the Cleveland Browns, Mike. Do you want to know what I want you to do? We'll let me lay it down for you:
Since you have no interest in Brady, trade him to the Bills. The are willing to hear offers for Donte Whitner. With the likely departure of Brodney Pool this team has a need at Strong Safety and Whitner is an excellent one. He is young, talented and a local kid who wants to come home. If you could get the Bills to throw in a 3rd round pick, it would be gravy in my book.
Second, Sign Troy Smith to be your quarterback. He is a talented athletic quarterback who has a strong arm and I believe good decision making skills. He was a star at Cleveland Glenville High School and Ohio State. He would be an instant fan favorite and I think is the kind of guy who can handle the pressure of being the Cleveland Browns' quarterback. He recently expressed several times that he wants to come home to Cleveland and play. Not to mention he could be had for just a 5th round pick. Better than Spending a 3rd rounder on Dan LeFevour or someone else.
Third: Draft Eric Berry in the first round. I don't care if you have to trade up with the Chiefs. This guy looks like money in the bank and could instantly help our secondary at Free Safety or Cornerback. Since the draft is deep at cornerback, I think we could get great value at the 2nd round spot. One of the second tier CBs will most definitely be there, especially if Joe Haden falls down a little bit. If Jerry Hughes is there though, hes a great option from what I've seen.
Use the rest of the draft to find us depth in the trenches, a TE and if there's a sleeper you like at Wide Receiver. This team has plenty of needs. So we need to find two or three early contributors in the third round or later.
Anyway, just a concerned fan's perspective. Thanks for (never) reading this.
Jaws, Concerned Browns Fan.