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Browns NFL free agency was about ‘specific roles’

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Two new coordinators, 11 new players and six players retained from last season and yet somehow the Cleveland Browns did not have a “splashy” offseason. While some of their signings got decent-sized contracts and the trade for WR Elijah Moore was exciting, none really lead NFL free agency headlines.

Instead, GM Andrew Berry has seemed to have a very focused offseason. He may not be done, based on a recent Browns rumor/report, but Berry’s moves have filled specific needs:

  • Juan Thornhill, Dalvin Tomlinson and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo give the team starters on defense that were required for new DC Jim Schwartz
  • Ethan Pocic’s return was a bit of a surprise but an important one while Jordan Akins gives the team a second tight end, Marquise Goodwin gives the Browns a pure speed threat and Moore provides them a young, quick, fast receiver that can do a lot of things on offense
  • Even new special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone saw additions that were specific for his part of the team

According to Terry Pluto, Cleveland’s NFL free agency was purposeful in that way:

Most were acquired for specific roles. It was not about creating free agent sizzle and attention. It was finding players who will fit into the plan for 2023. We’ll see how it works.

As Pluto notes, all that matters is how it all works on the field but we have more than five months to find out about that. For now, we can see the Browns NFL free agency plan in the works. No splashes. No huge trades. No “sell the future, all in” moves.

Cleveland fans have seen the splashes fail regularly over the years. The 2023 offseason for the Browns has been a little bit different. Good players who do specific things well shouldn’t feel like a novel concept but, around these parts, it does.

Are you glad that the team went for specific roles versus big-name splashes?