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Browns one of the highest but not THE highest “urgency” rating according to NFL Network

Four teams ranked higher than the Browns by the NFL’s official media

Cleveland Browns v Buffalo Bills Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Fans of every team with a quality roster will say that their team has a lot of “pressure” and should have a sense of “urgency” for the upcoming season. In a league where things can change with one injury, it seems the Los Angeles Rams “F Them Picks” is the preferred plan for most fans.

The Cleveland Browns, in some ways, have taken the Rams advice going into the 2023 NFL season. Trading a boatload of assets for QB Deshaun Watson, paying all of their top players, trading for WR Elijah Moore and DE Za’Darius Smith and spending in free agency on players like DT Dalvin Tomlinson, DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and safety Juan Thornhill.

With a high salary cap number starting next year, the Browns are under pressure in 2023 but, according to the NFL Network, do not have the most pressure. In fact, Cleveland doesn’t have the most pressure in the AFC North and the fourth most pressure in the AFC:

Urgency 9.0 Cleveland Browns

But he (Watson) remains a talented, proven player who’s just now heading into his age-28 season. Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry has done a nice job building up talent around the QB, and Watson will undoubtedly be helped by a full offseason program and training camp without storm clouds of legal issues and league discipline hanging over his head. I expect Watson to play at a high level and make the Browns a contender in the AFC this season. But if — after all this — Watson flops or is merely a league-average QB? Heads might roll in Berea.

The Browns 9.0 “urgency rating” falls behind the Buffalo Bills (10.0), the New York Jets (9.8), the Philadelphia Eagles (9.6) and the Cincinnati Bengals (9.4).

For the Bills, Eagles and Bengals, winning has become consistent but they now need to take that next step to either make (Bills) or win (Eagles, Bengals) the Super Bowl. For Cleveland and New York, it is about becoming a winning team with some semblance of sustainability. Being a contender for the AFC Championship is the lower-end goal.

The tough thing in the AFC is how talented the conference is. Many teams in the AFC would be placed just below Philadelphia if they were in the NFC. A lot less pressure in that conference.

Do you agree with the NFL Network’s placement of the Browns urgency for 2023?