I am a big sports fan. We all are big sports fans, for the most part. Ask my wife though. I am extended well beyond the simple bounds of what Cleveland sports teams have to offer. This weekend I watched the Tribe drop three in San Francisco. I watched the U.S. Men’s National Team blow a 2-0 lead in the Gold Cup, losing to Mexico 4-2. Even the entertaining UFC event that I watched last night had a pall cast over it as Nate Marquardt “failed his medical” and couldn’t fight in the main event. Point being, I need the NFL to go ahead and use that positive progress, sign their deal and start free agency.
Regardless of what the Browns do in season, they have largely been entertaining to follow in the draft and free agency. The Browns can’t lose any games during free agency. We just get to plug holes in the roster in our minds as our total win predictions climb in our dreams every night. Last year when the Browns brought in guys like Sheldon Brown, Scott Fujita, Chris Gocong and even Tony Pashos, the roster never looked better than it did before a game was played. Nobody ever imagines for a second that the player that was just signed to an NFL contract will be unable to play at his highest level during the year. When NFL free agency is taking place, they aren’t real people. They’re more like the Madden version of themselves with injuries turned off.
Granted NFL free agency would be largely over by late June in any other year, but that’s why this year is such a big opportunity. If the NFL got football started now, it would be like NFL Christmas. All those restricted free agents from a year ago would be unrestricted free agents with the rules we expect to be signed. While we know that the only way to field a truly competitive football team for the long haul is through the draft, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do some really great things to supplement the roster in free agency.
This is Cleveland and this is football. We aren’t looking to sign a big name like Terrell Owens or any of the premier quarterbacks. Most of us just want to see some depth along the offensive line, linebackers and defensive secondary. OK, maybe a receiver would be nice too just to have some security in case Massaquoi, Robiskie, Cribbs, Mitchell, and newcomer Little can’t get the job done.
And regardless of who you think is right or wrong with regard to the NFL labor struggle, wouldn’t it be nice as fans to see an owner have the opportunity to pay a player big money to pay in Cleveland? Now that we are this far into the lockout, I couldn’t care less about the millionaires and billionaires. How about a little something for this sports-weary thousand-aire?