During each NFL offseason franchises face tough decisions that can move them closer to a Super Bowl or relegate them to mediocrity. The Cleveland Browns, however, seem to have an uncanny ability for making decisions that keep them near the bottom of the league.
Of course, there is a new regime in town and this will be their first full offseason with their whole staff. Last season, they conducted the draft with the scouting department left behind when former general manager Tom Heckert was fired. They also will be looking for yet another new head coach.
There is understandably widespread skepticism about whether or not this front office can move the team in the right direction. Even owner Jimmy Haslam said the they need to prove their worth before people will trust them.
“We understand there will be skepticism until we get it right, and candidly, we deserve it,” Haslam said during his press conference announcing the firing of head coach Rob Chudzinski, via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com.
This offseason, Haslam, CEO Joe Banner, general manager Michael Lombardi and assistant general manager Ray Farmer will navigate what is the biggest offseason since the team’s return to the NFL in 1999.
If the correct decisions are made, they can build upon a very talented core group and propel the Browns into contention. If they follow in the footsteps of front offices before them, then the Browns could be set back another three to five years.
Here are the five biggest decisions the Browns will face in this pivotal offseason.