Well, there’s no where to go but up.
As the site does every year, ESPN.com ranked the NFL’s 32 teams according to their future prospects for the next three seasons.
According to ESPN’s prognosticators, the Browns’ future is grim, as the piece placed the club dead last in the article. (You can read the full story here, but only if you’re an ESPN Insider.)
Field Yates, Louis Riddick, and Mike Sando wrote the analysis of the Browns. The team ranked 29th in 2014 and 30th in 2015.
As the article explained:
After averaging the results from the panelists, each of the five categories was weighted to create the overall score -- roster (30 percent), quarterback (20 percent), draft (15 percent), front office (15 percent) and coaching (20 percent). The result is a comprehensive rankings based on how well each team is positioned for the future.
The trio bestowed the Browns with an awful score of 45.4 points, nearly nine points below the next highest team, the 49ers. Predictably, the Browns’ worst category was quarterback (40.0). The team’s best category was coaching, a solid 58.3.
Yates began the analysis with the “positive” spin:
The Browns' high category score ranks lower than any other team's, reflecting how far this organization has to climb in the future. But in Hue Jackson, the team has added a capable offensive mind who arrives after strong work with Andy Dalton as offensive coordinator in Cincinnati. Jackson's ability to identify the team's next starting quarterback could prove to be his most important chore, but the former college QB has shown he has the chops to select the right guy.
Next comes the negative dump on the Browns’ quarterback situation.
Riddick did the honors, as usual:
When the 2016 regular season begins, the Browns will likely introduce to the world their 25th different starting QB since 1999. And at the present juncture, there's little confidence that any of the three QBs on the roster -- Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown and Cody Kessler -- will emerge as a long-term franchise QB. While it is unfair to blame the current regime/coaching staff for past failures, until the combination of Jackson and EVP of Football Operations Sashi Brown puts someone on the field who doesn't bring back memories of Spergon Wynn or Johnny Manziel, the QB position will continue to be a serious detriment to organizational success.
Sando rounded out the analysis with an original remark about the Browns’ constant change in regime.
That is the critical question — will the Haslams stick with the current regime? If the owners show patience, maybe ESPN will rank the Browns higher next year.