The Cleveland Browns have been one of the, if not, the worst franchise in American sports since the 20th century. They have never been able to win much, and often are clowned for their treacherous draft choices. In 2018, they decided to trade a couple of picks to the Miami Dolphins in order to acquire star WR Jarvis Landry. He was brought in as a culture changer, and since, has been able to do that. The Browns got a win in the playoffs last year, and suddenly had one of the scariest offenses in the league. That is, until this past season got underway.
We all know the Baker Mayfield story was this season. Had high expectations, played through a major injury, and got nowhere near the expectations he or his team had. Landry was unable to stay healthy this year, as he had in the past. The Browns offense just wasn’t clicking this year, and they now find themselves in a lot of financial trouble.
The importance of Landry
This past week, Landry took to Twitter stating that he “would like to stay” and that “the ball is in Cleveland’s court.” The Browns would save $15 million in cap this season by cutting Landry, as they owe him $16.4 million. Many people see him being cut, but for me, the Browns are moving in the wrong direction by doing this. It looks like they are going to stick with Baker Mayfield this year, but how good is he supposed to perform if his WR1 is Donovan Peoples-Jones? With a running back room unable to stay healthy, these receivers are nothing but a liability. We all know what Landry is capable of. He is a great route runner, speedy, and has some nice hands. $16.4 million is a lot of money, it’s just what Cleveland’s WR room without him is, is what scares me. If the Browns want to win now, they have to create targets that Mayfield knows he can depend on. Without that, you’re heading towards yet another rebuild. There is no doubt that it was a quiet year for Juice, but with a full offseason to get healthy and work with Baker, there’s no reason his numbers shouldn’t rise.
The risk IS worth it
To be honest, most people don’t see the logic for Cleveland bringing him back without a pay cut. But if they are unable to sign or trade for another star wideout, why not? Sure, it’s going to be a big risk financially, but it would look a whole lot uglier without him, and if he would take a pay cut, even better. He’s had 80+ receptions in two of his four seasons with the Browns, showing that they can lean on him. Not only will this be a huge decision for Cleveland’s front office, it will be a huge decision in what they expect from this team in the future. Landry was an immediate culture changer, and he backed it up with his play all but this season. Again, if the Browns have little confidence to bring in a receiver with equal or better talent, why not? We can’t forget what this man has done when healthy.
Top Photo: Cleveland Browns