The Cleveland Browns may have found a way to escape the basement by finally doing what contending teams do. The Browns struck a trade Friday afternoon with the Miami Dolphins for wide receiver Jarvis Landry. According to Bleacher Report, the Browns will send two draft picks to the Dolphins. While this is great news for Josh Gordon and the Browns, it may force Kirk Cousins to give the Browns a second look.
It’s been reported that Cousins has narrowed his choices of teams down to the New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, and the Minnesota Vikings. While the Vikings are fresh off a 13-3 season in which they advanced to the NFC Championship Game, they lost their offensive coordinator to the New York Giants. Meanwhile, the Jets are in search of playmakers, the Cardinals are losing players left and right, and the Broncos are cap-shedding. With all that, it seems the Browns may give Cousins the best opportunity.
Yes, the same Browns who went 0-16 in 2017 and 1-15 in 2016. However, these are not the same Browns. No, they haven’t played a single game yet, but look at their determination this offseason. The Browns hold the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, they have over $100 million in cap space to spend and they have nowhere to go but up.
While it’s speculated that the Browns will draft Saquon Barkley with the top pick, and maybe a defensive player with the fourth, it’s the quarterback position that still haunts them. Looking at the prospects, there isn’t one who stands out as the next Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, or Jared Goff, but Cousins can change the fortune of the Browns — and himself — with a simple signature.
Sure it will be a tough road ahead, but the Browns will provide Cousins with weapons he’s never had in his career. Josh Gordon came back last season with a chip on his shoulder. The only problem was, he didn’t have a quarterback with the same chip. Now they have Landry on the opposite side and the Browns’ offense just became potent. Think about Cousins under center, Barkley behind him, and on his wings he has Gordon and Landry. It is an impressive scenario.
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The Vikings can offer Cousins weapons in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, but the Browns can offer him a chance to be a savior of sorts. Cousins must tap into his own ego for a second and think of the praise he will receive even if he gets the Browns to six or seven wins in 2018. What’s more is that the AFC North is ripe for a takeover. The Steelers are not as powerful as they used to be. The Bengals are treading water, and the Ravens are in dire need of playmakers.
The 2018 NFL Draft is where the Browns were supposed to make up ground. The Draft is a few weeks away and the Browns are already making positive headlines. What’s going to happen when they use those two picks in the top four on franchise-turning players?
The Browns made the first big step with the Landry trade, now Cousins must take a leap of faith. The Browns are heading in the right direction at the right time. All they need is for someone like Kirk Cousins to believe in them.