- Browns young receivers such as Anthony Schwartz ‘need to step up now’ to answer questions (Beacon Journal) - Amari Cooper is the No. 1 receiver on the Browns’ roster. That’s the extent of the knowns when it comes to the Browns’ wide receivers a little more than a month before training camp. How the room shakes out behind Cooper, who was acquired from the Dallas Cowboys in March, is arguably the team’s biggest offensive question mark. The Browns aren’t waiting until August to necessarily figure out the answers.
- Browns shore up backfield, bring back D’Ernest Johnson with one-year contract (ESPN) - Running back D’Ernest Johnson agreed to terms Saturday on a one-year contract with the Cleveland Browns worth up to $2.43 million, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said. Johnson, who did a nice job filling in last season when Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were out injured, will get $900,000 guaranteed.
- Joel Bitonio remains underrated despite years of great play (Browns Wire) - Veteran guard Joel Bitonio leads the way for the Cleveland Browns offensive line. The four-time Pro-Bowler has been a rock for the Browns since being drafted in 2014 out of Nevada. Despite the accolades and another contract extension, Bitonio made the “All Underrated Team.” His versatile skill set is impressive.
- Alex Van Pelt impressed at ‘dynamic’ playmaking ability from Deshaun Watson (clevelandbrowns.com) - The early returns from Deshaun Watson have been promising to see from the perspective of Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. Van Pelt, who’s entering his third season in his role with the Browns, has worked closely with Watson as the Browns acclimate him into an offense that is being retooled to fit his skillset. Van Pelt has been only able to watch Watson work in the regulated tempo of organized team activity practices, but he’s still been encouraged at the variety of throws Watson is capable of executing.
- Seattle Seahawks linebackers Cody Barton and Jordyn Brooks have ‘big shoes to fill’ (ESPN) - Past watched present at Seattle Seahawks practice on Thursday. K.J. Wright was in attendance for their fifth organized team activity, albeit merely as a visitor. Wright is one of the most important players from the most successful era in franchise history, but the Seahawks are starting a new chapter at linebacker. And they’re more eager to see fourth-year pro Cody Barton join Jordyn Brooks in the starting lineup than you might realize.
- Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott still feels he has ‘something to prove’ after injury-hampered season (NFL.com) - Just four weeks into the 2021 season, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott suffered what was later revealed to be a partially torn PCL in his knee, an injury that would have ended the season of many players. When asked about the difficulty of playing every week with such an injury, the 26-year-old only said he believes it was just what is expected in football, and he had never considered sitting out.
- NFL sophomores ready to ascend to star status in 2022 (Bleacher Report) - Six rookies from the 2021 NFL draft made the Pro Bowl in their first season. They should be joined by a handful of budding stars from their draft class as certain sophomores continue on their developmental curve.