Could the Cleveland Browns Possibly Know What They're Doing?
While teams around the league generously shelled out large amounts of money on free agents, the Cleveland Browns sat idle and let the market die down.
On Sunday afternoon, they signed free agent linebacker Scott Fujita of the Saints, and offensive lineman Tony Pashos of the 49ers. The following day they struck a deal with President Holmgren's former team the Seattle Seahawks, bringing backup quarterback Seneca Wallace to Cleveland in a trade for a 2011 conditional draft pick.
From the outside, these moves seemed less than impressive, signing three veterans who haven't been regular starters for the majority of their careers. The moves in the end however, may wind up being absolute genius, this is what a real front office does.
For Cleveland fans this is a new concept, and it's understandable that passing on names like Julius Peppers, Dunta Robinson, Aaron Kampman, Antonio Cromartie, and Karlos Dansby would fire up the masses.
Paying top dollar for veteran players though, when Cleveland has 11 picks in the upcoming draft just doesn't make sense. The rebuild won't happen in one year, progress will be made, but this is indeed a five-year plan to greatness.
It's common sense that the more needs Cleveland can fill in free agency, the better shape they'll obviously be in for the draft. Browns' GM Tom Heckert and Holmgren's ultimate goal here is to fill all the holes, so that they can draft the "best player available". So what may seem like uneventful signings in all reality are filling the gaps.
This way, they can stock the team with the 11 best prospects available, instead of filling positionally and reaching in the process.
"The best-case scenario is to get some of your needs done in free agency and then worry about the draft and then take the best available player," Heckert said.
"Because that's the last thing you want to do is force a pick in there just because of a need. That's our goal, to hopefully build this team where you don't have to do that. You can draft the best player that's available and then you don't have to worry about reaching for somebody."
Right from the horse's mouth, so have patience Browns fans, Phil Savage is no longer running the show. Between Holmgren, Heckert, and Eric Mangini, the Browns have 100 years of football experience combined.
Believe it or not they just may know more than we do, for once we may just have to sit back and watch, and let the professionals do the job that Randy Lerner has hired them to do.
In Holmgren We Trust.
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