Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry is always active. Whether it is in NFL free agency, the NFL draft, trades, adjusting contracts, bringing in players for workouts or churning the bottom of the roster, Berry rarely sits on his hands.
The 2023 offseason was no different. In free agency, the Browns added multiple starters to their defense and key backups on both sides of the ball. Coverage units on special teams even got reinforcements.
The NFL draft was limited (due to the Deshaun Watson trade) but Berry used a pick to acquire WR Elijah Moore and the selection that became WR Cedric Tillman.
Despite all the movement, Cleveland did not acquire a single running back worth being noted, brought back a linebacking group that struggled greatly (and was injured) last year while only adding Matthew Adams (a special teamer) and didn’t even bring in a single kicker to compete with Cade York.
After two preseason games, York’s concerns linger from last year, Jerome Ford has a hamstring injury that could impact the start of the season and recover from injuries has kept LBs Anthony Walker Jr. and Sione Takitaki off the field.
It is interesting that running back, linebacker and kicker are three of the least valued positions in today’s NFL. Berry and the Browns have mostly proven that despite paying Nick Chubb and drafting Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and York pretty early.
For 2023, at least the start, the minimization of the need for depth at running back and linebacker and the unwillingness to challenge York, even now, could come back to bite Cleveland. Thankfully for the Browns, they have two more preseason games to square things away, get healthy and prepare for Week 1 versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
For now, it is right to question the team’s decisions at these three positions but we won’t know for sure that it is a problem until the regular season starts.
Do you think the Browns should have done things differently with these three positions? Share in our comment section what you would have had them do? Anything you think they could do right now to address the issues?