Welcome to Cleveland, Brad Childress.
On Friday, the former Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings and the George Constanza look a like of the NFL inked his name to become the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns. This move made by Head Coach Pat Shurmur is something that had to get done this offseason, allowing Shurmur to control and manage the game not just the offense. Bringing more minds into the system is an essential part of the equation that Cleveland is trying to develop for next season, and Childress style as an OC will be noteworthy.
From his days with Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia and then on to the roller-coaster ride of Brett Favre in Minnesota, Childress enjoys spreading the field, something Cleveland lacked all of last season which eventually resulted in a 4-12 record. Childress now has some decisions to make with the offense, most notably at the QB position.
Mike Holmgren already declared in the end of season press conference, that Colt McCoy would see some competition for next year’s starting position.
What are Cleveland’s options?
As of now, the Browns are most certainly eyeing Green Bay’s backup QB, Matt Flynn. Flynn is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March as long as the Packers decide not to franchise him which is highly unlikely though. Yet, when Flynn is signed a compensatory 2013 draft pick will be given up to Green Bay, but if the Packers would like some more for Flynn then he will be franchised in a sign-and-trade deal.
Similar to the way Matt Cassel departed from New England for Kansas City, this could be the way Flynn parts way from frozen Wisconsin.
The question is, what is Cleveland willing to give up?
With 3 picks in the first 37 selections of the 2012 draft, Green Bay could be asking for the 22nd or 37th pick. And I don’t feel as if Holmgren would risk that much, unless Flynn goes unrestricted. Also the new man in Miami, Joe Philbin, will have the best opportunity to snag Flynn considering he is a product of his offense in Green Bay.
The rumor which has been circulating in all NFL mock drafts is that Cleveland takes a risk with the No. 4 pick and selects Robert Griffin III out of Baylor University. I don’t know if Cleveland pulls the trigger on that one considering the holes at WR and possibly RB and could be much bigger. If Flynn doesn’t fall Cleveland’s way I believe keeping McCoy as the future is the the most prominent answer considering he shows great signs of talent and some weapons at his disposal will improve his playing ability. Yet, remember I don’t have a say, only an opinion.
Childress will also be taking a long glance at the WR core, one of the worst in the NFL. As I said in my previous column, Justin Blackmon and Alshon Jeffery are the biggest targets at this position and Cleveland has the best possibility to select one with either the 4th or 22nd pick. Michael Floyd and Kendall Wright are also talented prospects who could find a team in the 1st round come April, yet players I believe to be highly overrated from the likes of Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, and Mike Mayock.
Peyton Hillis’ future in Cleveland is unknown at the moment, yet he has stated he would like to remain in northern Ohio if the franchise feels it is in their best interest. Depending on the Hillis contract situation, Trent Richardson out of Alabama will be highly respected in Childress’ options for next season as well, considering he is the the clear cut top back on every big board.
There’s plenty of work cut out for the Cleveland’s front office this offseason (obviously), at least it has been already started.
But, before the mind games begin, the Super Bowl is upon us.
About the Author
Written by Corey Rioux
A wise man once told me, "Sports are modern-day mythology." I tend to disagree. Proper grammar is optional. You can read my columns here: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/author/c_rioux23/ You can follow me on twitter at: @CoreyRioux You can contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org