The Browns’ 2013 season has just been “Bannered”



While the cat is away the mice will play.  The cat is owner Jimmy Haslam.  He is away dealing with his own issues around the investigation by the Justice department into Flying J/Pilot.  The mice include both team president Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi.  The mice just stole the cheese and traded it to the Colts.


There are several things that stink like 10 year old limburger about this deal.  The Colts will likely end up with a record of 10 or 11 wins.  That severely dilutes the value of the first round pick the Browns got in exchange for RB Trent Richardson.  That means that the pick will be in the 20’s.


Before the 2012 draft the Browns tried to trade for QB Robert Griffin III with the fourth and 22nd picks overall but were rebuffed by the Rams.  Just because they have two first round picks does not guarantee they can trade up to get the best QB.  The first pick is most likely to go to Jacksonville who will not trade it because they need a QB worse than the Browns do.


Based on the Banner/Lombardi draft of 2013, there is little evidence that these two could pick a good player if they knew exactly what those teams in front of them were going to do.  The 2013 draft looks bad because the team drafted players with lingering injuries or that have not developed as they hoped.  The only productive pick in the draft was the first round for Barkevious Mingo who made his first appearance last Sunday.  He has been out with an injury as well.


In addition, Banner has no history of successful involvement in the draft.  He has been known as a numbers cruncher.  Lombardi has been known as a draft guy but has a track record that would choke three horses and a herd of buffalo.


Team management has decided to dump the 2013 season to get a high draft choice.  The fans now understand that and are not happy about it.  There is another issue as well.  How does Banner expect to resign C Alex Mack and other priority free agents on the team?  How do they expect to bring in free agents to supplement the draft given their propensity for throwing seasons away?  The answer is clearly they do not and could care less.


Banner and Lombardi are out to prove they are the smartest guys in the league.  Usually when someone thinks he is the smartest guy in the room he is not even in the running.  For the second time in two tries, the Browns are lead by a group that wants to prove they can do it their way.  Mike Holmgren had that same attitude.  His tenure led to disaster.  Only time will tell how this regime will do.  I will believe it will succeed only when I see it.



That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.


Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at  Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.  You can hear the previous shows on and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  

He also edits .  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.


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