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Super Bowl 2019: Browns connections in the Super Bowl, and Cleveland’s roster makeup

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Which players or personnel on New England or Los Angeles were formerly on the Browns? Also, a look at Cleveland’s roster makeup.

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-Opening Night John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, the Cleveland Browns typically have at least one former player represented in the Super Bowl. Outlined below are players, coaches, or front office personnel who were formerly members of the Browns on either the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams. The parenthesis represent the time span they were with Cleveland.

At the end of the post, we will post a quick year-by-year look at the Browns’ roster make up following the end of the season.

Former Browns on the New England Patriots

  • QB Brian Hoyer (2013-2014) - Hoyer made 16 starts with the Browns over two seasons, which is the most he’s had after being with 7 different franchises during his career. He was doing a great job leading the Browns in 2014, but after a few weeks of struggles and QB Johnny Manziel waiting in the wings, the whole thing went to hell. For the past year and a half, he has been the Patriots’ backup, should anything happen to QB Tom Brady.
  • DT Danny Shelton (2015-2017) - The former first-round pick made the transition to being a 4-3 defensive tackle last year and was effective against the run. However, GM John Dorsey didn’t see Shelton as part of their future and was able to get a third-round pick for Shelton in a trade with New England. Shelton has only been a role player for the Patriots. He played in 13 games with just 1 start, registering 21 tackles. He has been inactive in games this postseason.
  • CB Jason McCourty (2017) - After spending his entire career with the Titans, McCourty signed with the Browns last offseason and was one of the team’s bright spots during a winless season. He was having a Pro Bowl caliber season for the first half of the year before his production tapered off. GM John Dorsey was going to release him this offseason as the team moved in a different direction at cornerback, but the Patriots came calling to re-unite McCourty with his twin brother. The move paid off for New England, as McCourty started 12 games in the regular season, logging 70 tackles and 1 interception. He also started this postseason and will be ready for the Super Bowl.
  • Head Coach Bill Belichick (1991-1995) - After leaving Cleveland, Belichick has found long-sustained success in New England. Even with the reported “rifts” we heard about a couple of weeks ago, here he is, at yet another Super Bowl.
  • Football Research Director Ernie Adams (1991-1995) - Adams worked as an offensive assistant with the Browns during Bill Belichick’s time in Cleveland. That was his last time in a coaching gig; he’s been on the administrative staff with New England since 2000.

Former Browns on the Los Angeles Rams

  • No connections. This is surprising, because all the years I’ve been doing these posts, there have been a couple of connections; if not the players, then the coaches. If I missed somebody with ties to the Browns, let me know in the comments section.

Browns’ Year-by-Year Roster Breakdown

You can see the Browns’ roster composition in this PDF file. The longest tenured players on the Browns are OG Joel Bitonio, LB Christian Kirksey, and LS Charley Hughlett, all from the 2014 season. Probably the most alarming thing is that there are no first-round picks on the chart from 2014-2016. The team’s success rate with 6th and 7th round picks hasn’t been very good either.