I don’t know if it would make some people happier if I just claimed that the Browns aren’t trying to win. I won’t do it. Despite Chuck Booms claiming Randy Lerner wants to wash out the fan base so he can move the team to London (Yes, he really said that this morning and if he was joking it wasn’t even half way) I am not one who thinks this front office is just in it for a paycheck.
So, what are they doing?
That’s a more than fair question. It is something that I’m constantly trying to figure out, by the way. I think sometimes I get a bad rap as someone who “co-signs” for everything the Browns are doing. The way I look at it, I’m just trying to figure out what the intentions are. For me, that starts with the basic assumption that the Browns desire to get better and do the what they think is best to accomplish that goal. If we’re starting anywhere else in the conversation, we just don’t have much to talk about.
So don’t mistake this as me saying I agree with everything the Browns are doing. I don’t. I thought it was a bad idea to come into last season with that group of receivers. At the same time, it was important to understand that the Browns thought that the group was going to be good enough just by switching offenses and adding Greg Little. I was the one who suggested that Brian Robiskie maybe should have been cut during training camp. I think that’s a pretty big disagreement with the team. Even worse was allowing Pat Shurmur to go into his first season without an offensive coordinator, but I don’t want to rehash every single time I’ve ever disagreed with Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert.
The important thing is that I don’t think they’re trying to tank. I don’t think they’re satisfied to just collect their paychecks. I think they enjoy their paychecks, but isn’t that all the more reason they’d want to set up their next ones?
That is the perspective I come with when looking at the lack of free agent signings. When Matt Flynn goes to the Seahawks for $10 million guaranteed, I assume that Tom Heckert really didn’t believe in Matt Flynn, or at least didn’t think he was a marked improvement over Colt McCoy. That’s not to say that he’s right about it, but to think that he’s in it to punish Browns fans just isn’t one of the possible conclusions for me.
There’s a fine line between trying to understand what the Browns are attempting to do and agreeing with it all. Trying to understand what their goals are seems constructive. Assuming they have a devious plot to alienate Browns fans and move the team to London doesn’t.