5 Questions About the Cleveland Browns' Wide Receiver Situation
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If the season began today, the Browns WR group would likely consist of Greg Little, Mohamed Massaquoi, Josh Cribbs and Benjamin plus two more (more on that later). So without further ado…
1. Will the Browns Bring in a Free-Agent WR?
Plaxico Burress last season as a member of the New York Jets.
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Post-draft, Browns President Mike Holmgren said the team may still add a free-agent WR before camp. He said then that he would nevertheless be comfortable rolling with the current group. At this point, the hometown reporters universally suggest bringing in a vet WR is not in the cards.
2. Will Norwood or Mitchell Lose Their 53-Man Roster Spots?
Cleveland Browns WR Jordan Norwood.
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Can former Arena League star Rod Windsor, Lions practice squad cast-off Owen Spencer or undrafted rookies Josh Cooper, Bert Reed or Jermaine Saffold take the 53-man lineup spots away from Jordan Norwood and/or 2010 Round 6 pick Carlton Mitchell?
Mitchell appears to be in more trouble than Norwood. Norwood contributed more last year with 23 receptions for 268 yards than Mitchell, with three receptions for 31 yards. Norwood looks to have a shot in the slot. As for Mitchell, nobody in Berea is saying anything spectacular about any of the other guys, so he's got their mediocrity going for him.
3. Will Mohamed Massaquoi Turn into a Starting-Quality WR in His Fourth Year?
Cleveland Browns WR Mohammed Massaquoi, a 2009 second-round draft selection.
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Well, Pat Shurmur likes to say the biggest leap is between the first and the second. MoMass is on his fourth. Cleveland fans would be shocked in a great way if he makes the leap.
Nolan Cromwell is giving him particular attention in camp. Holmgren's been pumping it up. The forecast is that it's theoretically possible that MoMass pulls off a showstopping leap in production, but realistically unlikely. And this is the question that may very well decide the team's 2013 draft priorities.
4. Will Greg Little Catch the Damn Football?
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5. Is Mike Holmgren Gambling the Whole 2012 Season on the WR Position Group?
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For now, it appears he is.
The Browns targeted several wide receivers in free agency. They were outbid by the Washington Redskins for both Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon. The Tennessee Titans spoiled their plans to draft Baylor's Kendall Wright.
They wanted to add high-talent to the WR corps. They know there's that need. I just wonder if they know how hot in Cleveland it's really gonna get if this crap shoot rolls snake eyes. Mike Holmgren says he doesn't sit in hot seats anymore. He must be pretty confident in that five-year contract, going into his third season in Cleveland.
If the Browns lose in double-digits in 2012, it marks the fifth straight year—the most double-digit loss seasons in a row in franchise history. A new low. Three of those would've been under the guidance of Holmgren.
So Holmgren's confidence—both with regard to the team doing well and to his professional relationship with Randy Lerner—better be well-founded. It's gonna need to be to stand the heat outside his office door. If he's wrong. If he's right, well, let the fun begin.