As every Cleveland Browns fan will tell you, winning the offseason is meaningless. Making big moves, trades, and signings to bring in big names is only interesting for headlines and discussion points.
Unfortunately, nothing else can be done at this point in the offseason besides these moves. Even if players started producing workout videos to show fans how much effort they put into their training, it doesn’t mean anything until they get on the field.
Still, from a local perspective, it is interesting to see how the national media sees the Browns. Being so hyperfocused on one team can sometimes skew what is going on in the entire league. The national media, with all its failures (which local media have as well), can help provide some perspective.
Early, Cleveland’s offseason was high up on the “Improvement Index” and that continued throughout the offseason. SI’s MMQB had the Browns at 17th in their early power rankings but really liked what they have done in free agency so far. Cleveland’s roster was ranked in the top 10 as well.
Interestingly, Pro Football Focus is not as high on what the Browns have done so far. While some joke that Cleveland’s front office is run by PFF’s grades and analytical numbers, Chris Collingsworth’s group has the team ranked 21st in their power rankings:
21. CLEVELAND BROWNS
• Biggest loss: QB Jacoby Brissett
• Biggest gain: S Juan Thornhill
Deshaun Watson’s abilities will now be put to the test.
The Browns shored up their defense by adding safety Juan Thornhill, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and edge Ogbonnia Okoronkwo to a unit that already has Myles Garrett. This defense may be a force.
Like most in the media, PFF is not betting on Watson returning to his old form until they see it.
Based on the majority of comments we get on these types of posts, especially on social media, it seems that Browns fans and PFF are (finally?) on the same page, neither are buying the Cleveland hype.