Trolling for wide receivers
Don’t get too excited about the two wide receivers the Browns signed the last couple of days.
One can’t stay healthy and the other is the true definition of mediocre.
But considering the plight of the Browns’ receiving corps these days, especially with Josh Gordon facing a one-year banishment, any body that is vertical in training camp can’t hurt.
But again, let’s not get too excited about Miles Austin and Earl Bennett, whose signings swell the wide receivers roster to an astonishing 14.
Congratulations to General Manager Ray Farmer for really, really, really trying to make up for his lack of movement on the receiver front in the recent college football draft.
All he’s doing now is throwing as much stuff as he can against a wall and hoping some of it sticks. He has whipped out his credit card and gone shopping in the department of ya never know (unless you try).
The Miles Austin the GM signed is nowhere near the Miles Austin who was a two-time Pro Bowler for the Dallas Cowboys five years ago. That is comparative ancient history in the National Football League.
Austin, who turns 30 late next month, is a shell of that player. He has missed 11 games in two of the last three seasons, all with hamstring problems. Why else would the Cowboys let him go?
He is an injury waiting to happen. The only way he has any chance of making this club and becoming a solid contributor is by staying healthy. That seems to be his biggest obstacle.
And why would the Chicago Bears cut the 27-year-old Bennett loose? Try only 185 receptions and just 12 touchdowns in five seasons. He epitomizes mediocrity. The Browns have lots of mediocrity at the position already on the roster.
These moves smack of desperation by Farmer, who appears to be crossing just about everything on his person in hopes of getting lucky.
Chances are the fans will get excited about Austin, remembering how much of a factor he was with the Cowboys. But a sobering look at the last five years tells a much different story.
Bottom line: These latest moves are rooted in desperation. It could have been avoided if Farmer had taken either Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans off the club’s draft board with the No. 4 pick.
Well, there’s always next season.
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This just in: The Browns have released wideout Greg Little.
Mistake. Why? The Browns misused him.
Going out on the limb a little here, but Little will never be a quality NFL wide receiver. That’s because he was being played out of position.
Yes, he was drafted to catch the football, but he also has running skills that were never tapped. If you watched him closely in the short time he was in Cleveland, he almost always ran well after making the catch. When he made the catch, that is.
Little is a running back playing out on the flanks. We never got a look at him running the ball from a pro set.
He was a running back in high school and rushed the ball 166 times for 805 yards in three seasons at North Carolina. For some reason, the Tar Heels coaching staff thought he was a better receiver. He wasn’t. Stone hands.
The next NFL team that picks him up and sticks him at wide receiver will be making the same mistake and his career will ebb to its conclusion.