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When a team hits rock bottom, it’s a sign that they need to press the reset button. The Detroit Lions saw this in 2008 when they became the first team to go 0-16. After drafting their future franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick in 2009, the team would steadily improve over the course of the next three seasons before making the playoffs in 2011.
Almost a decade later, the Cleveland Browns would become the next 0-16 team. The 2017 season didn’t go the way the Browns had hoped and would result in change with John Dorsey replacing Sashi Brown as the leader of the front office. In his short time with the Browns, Dorsey has completely changed the roster and has made a flurry of moves that could bolster a roster that couldn’t find a win last season.
The flurry of moves started on March 9th, when Dorsey made several trades which all started with the Browns acquiring wide receiver Jarvis Landry for a 2018 fourth round pick and a 2019 seventh round pick. The next shoe to drop would be the Browns trading their third round pick for Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The day would be capped off with the Browns trading away quarterback DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers for defensive back Damarious Randall.
The next day, Cleveland would shock the world again by trading a former first round pick. Defensive tackle Danny Shelton would be traded to the New England Patriots for better draft position. The next two days were quiet. However, this would be the calm before the storm.
The first move Cleveland would make on Tuesday was signing former Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Chris Smith to a three year, $12 million dollar contract. This would be followed up with the signings of offensive tackles Donald Stephenson to a one year, $2.5 million contract and Chris Hubbard to a five year, $37.5 million contract.
The next day, Cleveland would come right out of the gates and sign half back Carlos Hyde to three year, $15 million dollar contract, but that was only the start. Next would be tight end Darren Fells to three year, $12 million contract. This would be followed up with cornerback Terrence Mitchell reconnecting with his general manager in Kansas City with a three year, $12 million deal. They’d round out the day with cornerback TJ Carrie joining the Browns for four years, $31 million.
With plenty more to come, it seems that the Browns are righting the ship. Though they suffered a huge set back with the retirement of future hall of famer Joe Thomas, they are sure to address that loss in the near future. While Cleveland will need possibly another year to build up the team, this is a step in the right direction and could see the Browns become more than what people expected following their fall to rock bottom.