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For Browns fans there is an advantage to being a pessimist. You are either right or pleasantly surprised.
The joy by most of the Browns fans over the movements of GM Ray Farmer in the 2014 NFL draft has been over shadowed by the shock of star WR Josh Gordon’s probable suspension. It is hard for those of us that do not have an addiction to drugs to understand how a guy that has so much God given talent can throw those gifts away for a temporary high.
The best case scenario for the Browns is that somehow the suspension of 12 calender months is reduced. There is little chance in my opinion that Gordon will be available all season. The most the Browns can hope for is that Gordon will be available for the last 8 games of the season. That is probably optimistic.
The re-injury of WR Nate Burleson arm is an issue as well. While it should be healed by the beginning of the season, the fact that it broke again is cause for concern. Usually bones that have sustained a break are stronger after healing.
Farmer has been aware of both situations for awhile. And yet there was no attempt to add a wide receiver with a pick in the first 3 rounds of the draft. Farmer said in his press conference last night that he was “not concerned” about the WR depth chart. The current starters would be the seldom used ex-Bengal Andrew Hawkins and the often broken Burleson with “Mr. Dropsey” Greg Little and the under-sized Travis Benjamin coming off an injury as well. That is not at all what Johnny Manziel thought he was getting into when drafted Thurday night.
Yesterday the 49ers traded a 4th round pick to the Bills for WR Stevie Johnson. He is 27 years old and a legitimate #1 receiver on the Browns roster.
There are only a couple of wideouts available in the draft that have the potential to develop into a #1 guy. That list includes Martavis Bryant of Clemson, and Devin Street of Pitt. Both guys have holes in their game that need to be corrected but both have size and reasonable speed.
There will be June 1 cuts as well. But Farmer and the Browns need to be focusing on the WR issue to have any chance of getting beyond the 4 or 5 win threshold. Right now without Gordon that is looking like a probable outcome of the 2014 season.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think.
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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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
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The NFL Giveth and the NFL Taketh Away. by Bill Smith