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Cleveland Browns Offseason

It has been a busy offseason for the Cleveland Browns so far, but not so much because they have made big splashes in free agency. It all started on January 3rd when we fired our general manager Ray Framer and head football coach Mike Pettine. Farmer caused a bit of controversy last year when he came under hit for sending texts to the coaching staff discussing play-calling during games.   He was suspended the first four games without pay and the team was fined $250,000.  While this seemed excessive to me, it just shows how disorganized this franchise is. Pettine didn't last long as head coach, but of course no one in Cleveland does.  In two seasons with the Browns Pettine went 7-9 in 2014 and then fell to 3-13 last year. On January 14th we hired Hue Jackson as coach.  Hue is pretty widely regarded around the league, but I can't help but remember the disaster that was his Oakland Raiders squad in 2011.  He didn't last long, only a single season despite starting out 7-4 on the year.  The team collapsed down the stretch to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs. Jackson is bringing back on Ray Horton as defensive coordinator.  Horton was our defensive coordinator back in 2013, and has served in that position in the NFL since 2011.  He was also with the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans.  Horton has been in consideration for some head coaching jobs in the league. The big loss in free agency this year was Alex Mack.  He opted out of his deal and then ended up signing a three year, $28.5 million deal with Atlanta.  He would have made $24 million with us, so he gets a pay bump and goes to what in theory should be a better team.  Can't blame him. We all know Johnny Manziel is going to get cut, it's just a matter of when.  I have a feel it's comin
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2016 Browns Schedule

So we don't know the exact schedule for the upcoming 2016 NFL season, but we do know who the Cleveland Browns will play.  That's thanks to the system the league uses as described at Wikipedia. Let's take a look and offer some early predictions on how this team should do under first year coach Hue Jackson.  I've also included last year's record for reference. Cincinnati Bengals (2x) 12-4 Pittsburgh Steelers (2x) 10-6 Baltimore Ravens (2x) 5-11 Buffalo Bills 8-8 Miami Dolphins 6-10 New England Patriots 12-4 New York Jets 10-6 Dallas Cowboys 4-12 NY Giants 6-10 Philadelphia Eagles 7-9 Washington Redskins 9-7 San Diego Chargers 4-12 Tennessee Titans 3-13 The handicappers Boyd's Bets have win total predictions for every NFL team.  Surprise, surprise they have us with the fewest wins in the league at 4.5. I can't say I'm that shocked.  Our team is a mess and looking at the schedule it's not favorable.  I think we play in one of the most challenging division in football. The Steelers and the Bengals are both going to be solid.  It's tough to imagine that the Ravens will stay down for long with John Harbaugh at the helm. There there is our schedule.  The AFC East has improved.  You know the Patriots are always going to be the Patriots and be a very good team.  The Bills and the Jets though are both bouncing back and the Dolphins have made a lot of big moves in free agency.  I'm not circling any of those games as a win for us. The NFC East is the same way, not a single team is slotted for less than 7.5 wins.  Sure, there might not be any one of those teams that dominates, bu
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Franchise Tag Options

I know it's a little early to start looking at who the Cleveland Browns can tag, since teams can use the franchise tag starting on February 16th, but what else do we have to talk about after the season? Here's how the tag works. We can throw it on an unrestricted free agent.  We have to use it by March 1st.  If we can't reach an agreement by March 9th then the player hits free agency. If the Browns slap the franchise tag on a player, they can still negotiate with other teams, but if that other teams signs them to an offer sheet, we have five days to match.  If we decide not to match then at least we get two first-round draft picks as compensation.  Not a bad deal. Let's take a look at the options.  We have four free agents that are possibilities. Travis Benjamin - WR $14.5 million Benjamin is no Calvin Johnson.  There is 0% chance the team would pay Benjamin this kind of money so he's not going to be tagged.  He might try to test the free agent market to drive up his value, but the Browns have already been close to an extension with him. Craig Robertson - ILB $14.1 million Since Robertson is a backup there is literally no chance Cleveland tags him. Mitchell Schwartz - OL $13.7 million With the franchise tag all offensive lineman are created equal, so this price is pretty steep for Schwartz.  Will Cleveland us it anyway?  Maybe, but they shouldn't.  He's never made a Pro Bowl.  Never been an All-Pro.  If Cleveland wants to overpay for his service they can still get him back for quite a bit less than this. Tashaun Gipson - S $10.7 million There have been quite a few safeties tagged recently.  The Bills did it on Jairus Byrd in 2013, the 49ers tagged Dashon Goldson in 2012, and the Raiders applied theirs to Tyvon Branch in 201
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