by Ken Carman
Listen to Ken on The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima, weekday mornings from 6 am-10 am
I got caught.
On Friday, after the news broke that Terrelle Pryor was headed to Washington, I got caught.
Caught by that terrible feeling that gripped me during the 2016 NFL playoffs. Those graphics that popped up during games, about former Browns players and how great they were playing on playoff teams.
I remembered how angry I got, even when I tried my best to not be angry, when I saw just how great Alex Mack was playing, and hearing about how the Browns let him walk, even though there wasn’t a chance in Hell that he was staying. Anything less than majority ownership wasn’t keeping him.
All I could envision were those graphics, those .gifs, and those internet jokes about the Browns when Terrelle Pryor put up a great season with Kirk Cousins. I got caught by those old feelings.
The Browns have had a nice free agency period. They paid one of their own, and one of the few that fans know right now has tremendous upside in Joel Bitonio. They signed Kevin Zeitler. Which was even nicer when we knew that they had him targeted since at least Christmas.
Kenny Britt is a bit of a risk, but has rebuilt himself and his image in Los Angeles, and I couldn’t help but think that Gregg Williams might have had some hand in it, knowing his previous relationship with a player. But, that’s only speculation. Oh, and they got a nice center, too.
Pryor, though, is a sticking point.
A big strong wide out with good numbers on a bad offense. But I know, and you know, and most of us know, that what the Browns offered Terrelle Pryor was better than Washington. They tried in earnest to keep him at a fair price for both sides, and in the end they knew EXACTLY what his market was, and what it wasn’t.
We know this in our heart of hearts, and we know that the Browns conducted good business.
I ask though; are we going to remember this in December? If Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen can convince Kirk Cousins to stay and he plays well with Pryor, are we going to remember that it was Pryor who walked away from more guaranteed money and years?
Nobody did with Mack, and he, unlike Pryor, never said he wanted to stay in Cleveland long-term.
The Browns did do good business, but I’ve grown sincerely annoyed with the same old narratives with them.
They spent money on a draft pick, and had to take Brock Osweiler with it. Worst comes to worst and all they have to do is maybe give him a shot to compete. Even if they cut him, the Browns have the cash to cover the hit. They’re under no obligation or dead cap money after this year, so they don’t have to worry about long term ramifications.
If it’s just money, which they have plenty to burn, and it’s an extra pick, aren’t I to believe it’s good business to set up a trade in the draft, an extra pick, or something to another team to bring in a QB?
Right? Most Browns fans would agree, right?
Then why do I have to watch Hall of Famer Bill Polian, stumble his way through two minutes of painful analysis of a deal to which he doesn’t understand the complete parameters?
Because it’s the same old Browns?
The Browns got themselves a nice pick this weekend, drastically improved their offensive line (on paper) and used some of the money they have with historically huge cap space wisely. Of course, it could all go straight to hell. That’s a given. Just because it’s different, though, doesn’t mean it’s bad.
What the Browns are trying is wildly different from what other teams, and what traditional football people like Polian are used to.
I can’t even help but be skeptical. It’s something that’s really never been publicly done in pro football, by a team that’s been losing for nearly 20 years. I hope they do well, but there’s a big difference between “hope” and “faith.”
So, am I supposed to think I’m missing something when I see the positive for both Houston and Cleveland in the Osweiler trade?
Both teams addressed a need. Houston is a playoff team that needs to shed Brock and his contract. The Browns need picks. Just like in business, the best deals done are mutually beneficial. I know it’s pro sports and we’re supposed to think that a team is a winner and a loser, but both teams did well. “Football Guys” have a problem with that, I guess.
By the way, I’m sick of “Football Guys.” You know who’s a football guy? Brian Daboll. You want another football guy? Jim O’Neil. Here’s another for you, Mike Lombardi. All Football Guys. They might have done poorly here, but they’re football guys!
Which brings me right back to Pryor … scratch that. It’s not as much about Pryor as it’s about me, and the Browns.
I know they did well this Free Agency period. Damnit I know it, but if it’s December, and that old Browns scenario plays out again, it’s going to be Hell on earth, and I’m going to have to see all those stupid graphics and .gifs again.
Now, more than ever, it feels as if it’s us against them. The same old “Football Guys” drawing up the same old narratives about the Browns that could be anything but the same old.
It’s time though for something different than the same old result. Winning, is the only way we’ll win this argument.