Let's look at the changes that have been made and see if the Browns are much improved or not:
2013 - Weeden, Campbell
2014 - Manziel, Young
Advantage: Edge to 2014. The jury is out, but it would be hard for 2014 to be worse than 2013. It might be a big edge if Manziel can replicate what he did in college.
2013 - McGahee, Ogbonnaya, & Baker
2014 - Tate, West, Crowell, Lewis (returning from injury), & FB Pressley
Advantage: 2014, clearly. This could be a savage running attack.
2013 - Gordon, Bess
2014 - Burleson, Hawkins
Advantage: 2013, but was Gordon a one-year wonder? Hawkins has to be better than Bess.
2013 - Lauvao, Cousins
2014 - Bitonio, McQuistan, Pinkston (returning from illness)
2013 - Jackson, Robertson
2014 - Dansby, Kirksey, Robertson (b/u)
2013 - Ward, Skrine
2014 - Whitner, Gilbert, Skrine (nickel), with Desir, Trufant, & Hughes in reserve.
Advantage: 2014 in both quality and depth.
The Browns figure to be significantly improved from last year. The cupboard is no longer bare; the depth chart will change at QB, RB, WR, OG, ILB, CB and S, in all cases for the better except one. The Browns are in the second-best salary cap position in the NFL. The Browns also added picks in the 1st, 4th and 6th rounds next year. With two first-round picks, they are in prime position to package picks to move up to the front of the '15 draft if there is a player they really want.
There has been some doom and gloom from some circles, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.