The Cleveland Browns might just be in the best position they have been in for quite a while. With the 2018 NFL Draft on the way and the Browns holding the No. 1 and No. 4 picks, they have a chance to pull off a trifecta of sorts. Their first order of business once the season is over is to persuade Kirk Cousins to give the 0-16 Browns a chance. Yes, with the top pick, they could land a future face of the franchise; however, no quarterback actually screams Aaron Rodgers. So what will the Brown do?
Their best option is Cousins in a free-agent signing and then drafting a defensive stud like Minkah Fitzpatrick (Safety) out of Alabama or a top DE in Bradley Chubb out of NC State to pair with Myles Garrett. If the Browns can get Cousins, the smart move is to go the route of the Jacksonville Jaguars and build a top 10 defense.
But everything hinges on Cousins.
According to Sporting News, Cousins has said that he would give serious consideration to the Browns. That alone should be enough for the Browns to throw whatever they have to the disgruntled Washington Redskins signal-caller. But the questions is, what’s in it for Cousins besides money? Cousins can get paid anywhere, most likely a team like the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, or Arizona Cardinals, where a playoff berth is not that far off. So why risk all that for the Browns?
With the Browns fresh off a 0-16 campaign, the reality of snagging Cousins might seem a little far-fetched. But it all depends on how Cousins is built. If he’s as competitive as some of the game’s greats, then reviving a franchise like the Browns could be viewed as a challenge. Despite their record of the last two seasons, the Browns have been quite competitive. The only thing that’s been missing is a leader in the huddle. Kirk Cousins is exactly what the Browns need — and the Browns are what Cousins needs.
It sounds strange, but let me explain.
Cousins signs on as the quarterback. The Browns then can use the top pick on a defense that was ranked 7th against the run and 14th overall. When you go winless, those numbers often get ignored. What Cousins must look at is the offensive side of the ball. The Browns struggled due to lack and weapons and leadership. The Browns averaged 107 yards on the ground, but think how dangerous they would’ve been if defenses respected the pass. No more eight-man fronts for Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell.
With Josh Gordon back and with the No. 4 pick in the 2018 Draft, the Browns can select Calvin Ridley from Alabama or they can either trade for a player like Odell Beckham or sign a free agent such as Jordan Matthews, Allen Robinson, or Jarvis Landry. The window is open with the Browns having over $100 million in cap space to spend.
Once again, this all comes down to Cousins and how he sees his future in the NFL. Does he chase the money and the chance at a stable situation like the Vikings, or does he take a risk and become the savior of the Browns? For the Browns sake, let’s hope it’s the latter. With Cousins onboard early, that will change the entire landscape of the Browns 2018 season.