By Evan Bleier / June 18, 2019

The Cleveland Browns Did Something Better Than the Rest of the NFL

ESPN ranks the Browns as having the best offseason in the league

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. of the Cleveland Browns. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty)
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. of the Cleveland Browns. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty)

For the better part of two decades, the Cleveland Browns have been a black mark on the NFL.

Blown draft choices, bad hirings and poor free-agent signings have long been hallmarks of Cleveland’s offseason each year.

No more … at least according to ESPN.

A new piece by The Worldwide Leader’s NFL Nation team rated the offseason of all 32 NFL teams with one of four grades: Elite, Above average, Average or Too soon to tell.

The Browns, who acquired All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. via trade, signed Kareem Hunt, traded for defensive back Eric Murray as well as drafted a number of young defensive players to pair with defensive cornerstone Myles Garrett, were the only team to receive a grade of “Elite” from ESPN.

Despite the shored-up defense and new toys for quarterback Baker Mayfield to play with, the Browns still face questions. “With so many big personalities and new faces, how will these Browns mesh under rookie head coach Freddie Kitchens?” ESPN writes. “There’s no question the talent is there for Cleveland to make a run to the playoffs. But it has been a long time since this franchise has faced the level of scrutiny and pressure it will this season.”

The Bills, Lions, Colts, Jaguars, Dolphins, Saints, Jets, Eagles, Steelers and Titans all graded out with “Above Average” offseasons while the Bengals, Chargers, Cowboys, Patriots, Rams and 49ers all took home “Average” grades. The rest of the NFL was characterized as having “Too soon to tell” offseasons.

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