NFL free agency is well underway, and many of the top available players have been scooped up. The Redskins kicked things off during the legal tampering period with the Landon Collins deal, the Browns traded for Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants have no direction, and the Jets signed Le’Veon Bell in the dead of night.
It’s been a mess so far, and that’s just the way we like it. The Browns are easily the NFL‘s biggest story right now, primarily because they’re now favorites in the AFC North and they’re suddenly being viewed as Super Bowl contenders. The team has gotten a ton of offseason hype, but will it translate to wins?
On Friday’s “Pick Six Podcast,” Will Brinson and Brady Quinn discuss the Browns’ suddenly huge expectations. Quinn immediately notes that the Browns have been in this position before — and fallen on their face. Wins need to be earned over the course of a season, and offseason winners don’t always go on to do well the next year. Freddie Kitchens has a lot to prove, and Steve Wilks is a new defensive coordinator. The Browns were 1-31 coming into last year — expecting a turnaround into Super Bowl contenders is something that is utterly insane.
Quinn adds that there are three types of teams: Cellar dwellers, purgatory teams, and winning teams. The Browns now must make the jump from purgatory to a winning team — the most difficult jump — to usurp the Steelers or Ravens.
Looking at it from the Giants’ angle, the plan is … unclear. They’re transitioning to a running team that will lean on Saquon Barkley, but more importantly, the Giants got rebuilding pieces. It may not seem for a ton for a guy like Beckham, but the Giants appear to want to build their team in a different way that doesn’t lean on wide receiver.
The Antonio Brown trade was the other that made waves, and that situation couldn’t be more different. Brown forced his way out of Pittsburgh and was traded to the Raiders, whereas the Beckham deal was seemingly unexpected. The Raiders are going in a different direction, and they signed Brown to a new contract, and also picked up Trent Brown and LaMarcus Joyner. This comes a year after they eschewed re-signing Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack claiming they didn’t have the money to do so.
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