CLEVELAND, Ohio – With the NFL Draft this weekend, Browns fans have lots of questions about their team.
Hey, Terry: I believe at some point in the next few years, the Haslams will begin talking about the need for a new domed stadium – especially if Deshaun Watson helps get the Browns to the Super Bowl. If so, would you prefer it to be built near downtown or in a suburb? – Tim O’Hara.
Hey, Tim: If the Haslams want to build it with all their own money, I don’t care where they do it – as long as it’s in Cuyahoga County. Their money, their choice.
But when public dollars are involved, forget it. A football stadium has maybe 12-18 dates a year (with concerts, etc.). I know, Lucas Oil Stadium (a dome) in Indianapolis has become a hub for amateur sports events, but that’s an exception. I don’t see that happening in Cleveland. Nor does Northeast Ohio need to make such a huge financial commitment to a new stadium.
The team that needs a roof/dome is the Guardians with their 81 home games. But that’s not part of the new renovation deal at Progressive Field. As for Watson and the Super Bowl? I guess that now becomes the expectation after the huge deal with Houston.
Hey, Terry: How much long-term competitiveness have the Browns lost with the traded draft picks and huge salary for Watson? It seems to me they have thrown away the future. – Scott Paulot
Hey, Terry: How is the salary cap looking with the big contracts in the future? – Tyler Hatcher.
Hey Scott and Tyler: Let’s review the trade. Houston sent Watson and a sixth-round pick in 2024 to the Browns. Cleveland gave up the following six picks:
1. Three first-rounders: 2022, 2023 and 2024.
2. A fourth-rounder in 2022.
3. A third-rounder in 2023.
4. A fourth-rounder in 2024.
That’s a lot. It’s why the expectation for the deal is a Super Bowl. That’s especially true when you add in the fully guaranteed $230 million contract – the largest guarantee in NFL history.
As of now, the Browns have no first-round pick until 2025. The argument in their favor is the Rams last had a first-round pick in 2016. They have traded them all since. They don’t have one until 2024. They won a Super Bowl.
Can the Browns make this work? Only if Watson is indeed an elite QB – and the front office finds big-time players in the lower rounds. It’s hard to acquire first-round picks unless you have future ones to trade in return.
As for the cap, the Browns are $27 million under the salary cap for 2022. That’s because several players have low first-year salaries on their new deals. Denzel Ward and Watson are both at $1.035 million (NFL veteran minimum) this season. But in 2023, the Browns are more than $7 million OVER the cap. That means they will have to make some contract moves. These numbers are from overthecap.com.
Hey, Terry: I’m of the opinion that the Browns are getting ahead of the curve with the extensions of so many young core pieces considering where the salary cap is headed. The rest of the league is a bit upset they’re not going to be able to kick that can down the road much longer. Thoughts? – Jim Holt
Hey, Jim: I like the idea of the long-term deals given to Myles Garrett, Joel Bitonio, Wyatt Teller, Nick Chubb and Ward. You want to keep those guys. Making Watson the second-highest paid QB (average salary of $46 million) on that fully guaranteed contract bothers me. He has to be great.
Your point about the salary cap taking a major leap upward in the next few years could be right and be a savior for the Browns. Not sure what the rest of the league thinks.
Hey, Terry: Will the Browns draft a kicker? – Mike Toth.
Hey, Terry: Our special teams have not been very special since Phil Dawson and Josh Cribbs. Special teams are one third of the game. What can we expect from them in 2022? – Michael Kushaney
Hey Mike and Michael: The Browns signed free agent Jakeem Grant, who has been a very good punt and kickoff return man. That should help.
The kicker is the key. They have brought back Chase McLaughlin, but no job is promised. They have drafted two kickers recently: Austin Seibert (fifth round, 2019) and Zane Gonzalez (seventh round, 2017). Seibert failed. Gonzalez has been OK. He’s with Carolina, his third team. The Browns gave up on him early in his second season.
Before that, the last kicker drafted by the Browns was Dan Plocki, an 11th-round pick in 1989 out of Maryland. He never kicked in a regular-season game.
Some of my friends at cleveland.com think I’m obsessed with Browns kickers since they gave the boot to Phil Dawson after the 2012 season. That’s true.
Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises has grabbed on to the need for a kicker. He studied where kickers have come from and makes a strong case for the Browns drafting LSU’s Cade York in the late rounds. Chardon native and Oklahoma kicker Gabe Brkic is also a possibility.
My former Akron Beacon Journal sports editor Larry Pantages is convinced Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba is the answer. Larry could be a bit biased, as his son William is an associate athletic director at Wake Forest. That said, Sciba is a big-time college kicker.
Draft a kicker? Absolutely.
RECENT TERRY PLUTO COLUMNS
Browns Scribbles: The 2018 draft and how it impacts today
Can Kent’s Dustin Crum be a surprise for a team drafting him?
CSU HOOPS: Dru Joyce III leaving, five players staying.
Terry’s Talking Guardians prospects and farm system
Browns head into a challenging draft with no first-round pick.
The Cavs had a great season, now what comes next?
Guardians ownership update. Why does Hedges play? – Hey Terry
Taking a look at new Browns, are they any better?
Of course the Browns were tanking, but did they do anything wrong?
#domed #stadium #Browns #kicker #NFL #Draft #Risking #future #Hey #Terry