NFL teams look to improve rosters through free agency

By Dan Thompson ’18

Every season, NFL teams make a choice. They either look to build on their success from the previous season, or they look to improve their roster after a disappointing year. This can either be done through the draft or free agency. This years free agency class has been one of the best in recent past with many new teams getting and the mix and signing big time NFL names.

One of the most interesting team this offseason has been the Cleveland Browns. The Browns had the NFL’s worst record last year, going 0-16 and joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to go winless in a season. They have the first overall pick and the fourth but this didn’t make them shy away from free agency.

On March 10, the Browns went out and picked up three players in a single day. They signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor who ended the longest playoff drought in all sports for the Bills, Jarvis Landry a perennial pro-bowl wide receiver, and Damarious Randall a young cornerback with athletic potential and experience with a winning team in the Packers. This talent coupled with their first and fourth picks in the draft has led to some serious talk about improvement for the Browns.

“Jarvis Landry is one of the best wide receivers in the league, I think he can definitely help the Browns improve their record next season,” Alex Settos ’18 said.

A team with a very different situation in this years free agency mix was the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams were a playoff team last year going 11-5. They had the NFL’s best offense led by do it all running back Todd Gurley and young talented quarterback Jared Goff. Having a young team, the rams had plenty of cap space to go out and get players.

So far, the Rams have signed one of the best young corners in the NFL in Marcus Peters, one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL in Ndamukong Suh, and most recently speedy receiver Brandin Cooks from the New England Patriots. With these additions, some are saying that the Rams are now the best team in the NFL.

“The Rams didn’t lose any players from last season, all they did was add to an already great roster. I don’t see how they are not the best team in the NFL next season,” Zack Bloom ’18 said.

Not every team has the money to go out and get three major talents like the Browns and Rams did but there were still plenty of other big names to switch jerseys next season. To name a few, The Vikings signed former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, Vikings former quarterback Case Keenum went to the Broncos, and former Jaguars wide receiver was sent to the Bears.

While it has never been proven that free agency is the best way to build a team, it is fun for the fans to their favorite players on new teams with new careers ahead of them.

“This has been one of the best offseasons ever. I can’t wait to see what all these players do on their new teams next season,” Stephen Niver ’18 said.


The Cleveland Browns Are Trying to Change Their Franchise For The Better

By Ryan Burg ’18

In the NFL, free agency officially started Wednesday, March 14. Many teams have been talking to free agents and teams around the NFL to propose trades. One of those teams are the Cleveland Browns, and they made three big trades in one day.

The Cleveland Browns are an organization that has been struggling for many years. They went 0-16 last season and 1-15 the season before that. Many people don’t know how and why they are as bad as they are after having three first round picks in the 2017 draft.

This year the Browns wanted the big change, from being a joke in the NFL, to being a top contender. The Browns first saw the potential in wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Landry was on the Miami Dolphins and was their number one receiver before the Browns acquired him.

Last year Jarvis racked up a total of 112 receptions for 987 yards, an average of 8.8 yards per reception. The Browns saw that he would be a key piece to the team. The browns traded the 123rd pick in the fourth round in the 2018 draft, and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 draft for Jarvis. Jarvis and the Browns organization agreed for 1 year $16 million.

The Browns have also struggled with their quarterbacks for quite sometime now. They thought the rookie Deshone Kizer, who was picked 52 overall in the 2017 NFL draft, out of University of Notre Dame was the answer to their problems. In the 2017-2018 season Kizer did not live up to the Browns expectations.

The Browns traded their number 65 pick, which is the first pick in the third round in the 2018 draft, to acquire QB Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills. The Browns and Tyrod Taylor agreed to a two year $30.5 million contract. Last season Taylor had 14 touchdowns, four interceptions, 2,799 passing yards, and ended with a quarterback rating of 89.2.

The third and final transaction of the day that The Browns made was for the former Packers cornerback Damarious Randall. The Browns decided that they needed a better secondary and took a chance on him. Last year Randall had 47 tackles with four interceptions with one of those going all the way for a touchdown.

The Browns sent DeShone Kizer and picks in the fourth and fifth rounds of the 2018 draft for cornerback Damarious Randall and fourth and fifth round picks in the 2018 draft.

Currently the Browns have the first overall pick (again) and the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft and many are wondering what are they going to do next for the franchise. The Browns look very different than last year, and many fans are hoping that their record is too.