We are still five months away from seeing who the Cleveland Browns are in 2023. Until at least the first preseason game, fans and betting lines will base their belief about the team on what they saw last season.
The 7-10 Browns of 2022 are significantly different than the roster that would currently start the 2023 season. Different doesn’t always mean good but GM Andrew Berry is hoping that his over a dozen moves this offseason trend in that direction.
Part of the offseason cycle is grading moves. Much like is done immediately following the NFL draft, NFL free agency gets grades quickly. So far, we have seen a lot of cautious love sent Cleveland’s way.
Sports Illustrated is the latest national organization to give the Browns free agency haul a positive grade:
The Browns improved defensively with the free-agent signings of Tomlinson, Okoronkwo and Thornhill. The arrival of Moore, who was traded by the Jets last week, will give Deshaun Watson a playmaker downfield. Cleveland got better on both sides of the trenches, and the additions will assist the team’s two most important players in Watson and Myles Garrett.
Grade: B plus
It is interesting that SI has the Cincinnati Bengals with an ‘A-’ grade primarily because of the addition of OL Orlando Brown. The Baltimore Ravens at a ‘D+’ makes sense given the lack of activity and the Lamar Jackson drama. The Pittsburgh Steelers moves, while not a lot of them and none very splashy, earned them a ‘B-’ grade.
Overall, Cleveland has a long way to go to get to the Bengals level on the field and the Ravens/Steelers level of consistency. A solid offseason that did not involve over spending or trading away even more big draft assets (a slide down in the Elijah Moore trade is not that) is a good start for Berry and company.