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Browns described as ‘a sneaky contender’ by NFL Network

A full year of Deshaun Watson, upgraded roster “deserve more attention”

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Cleveland Browns fans don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to hear anything positive about the team until the team has a chance to prove something on the field but that won’t come for a few more months. It makes sense as Cleveland fans have heard about their team making “great moves” and “having a great offseason” for a long time.

When Pro Football Focus says something positive, Browns fans are even more skeptical.

Perhaps when the NFL’s own media puts a positive spin on the team it will be more meaningful. The NFL Network posted five storylines that were being “overblown” and three that “deserve more attention.” In that list, Cleveland being a “sneaky contender” was noted as the latter:

If Watson can play anywhere close to the way he did during his Texans career, when he went to three straight Pro Bowls, the Browns will win. There’s no need to make excuses for his 2022 play, but strictly from a football perspective, I expect a vastly improved performance.

The roster is in good shape, with their offseason moves precisely geared at targeting weaker spots and avoiding short-term fixes. That’s a sounder approach, and they still managed to do well in the draft despite lacking first- and second-round picks.

Fairly, the piece also notes that if Deshaun Watson and the team struggle, “major ramifications” could be coming which will also make the team a big storyline worth watching.

Here in June, the only thing any team can be is “on paper.” While the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and a number of other of teams were good last year and should be good again in 2023, we have no proof that their winning ways will continue. It is much easier to assume those teams will keep winning than it is to assume Cleveland will actually contend for a championship.

Do you put more stock in the NFL Network’s media over any other national media?