What is the first thing the Browns need to do once (at it appears that day will come next Monday) the free agency period begins? SPEND MONEY! Let me repeat that – spend money, not throw it away, or pretend that it’s free and spend frivolously. No, what the Browns need to do is spend money in a calculated effort to make this team better.
“Well duh,” you say. I just want to point out the fact that this has not always been the case since the Browns return, though Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren have thankfully put a stop to that prior trend.
So what should the Browns do first? Before I continue, let me first say that this next bit of logic has been borrowed from Rick over at WFNY, but it makes great sense! Restructure Joe Thomas‘s deal. Like the article points out, Thomas has another year left on his rookie contract, so now is the time to lock him up for another five, six, maybe even seven years.
Thomas has been great for the Browns, everyone knows that. The guy is a four-time Pro Bowler and a surefire Hall of Famer (something the Browns haven’t had too many of since the return in ’99) if he can keep up his productivity for the next four years or so, which I can very well see happening.
The next thing the Browns need to do is fill the roster, preferably with undrafted rookies. The Browns have holes, notably at running back, linebacker , free safety, and defensive end, and I won’t even begin and try to figure out (nor pretend to know) which guys will resign with their current team. We all know the “buzz” names out there, but let’s just see how the initial resigning period shakes out before we begin to speculate.
The one thing we do know is that the undrafted rookies, running backs like Derrick Locke or Noel Devine, could be nice third down change-of-pace runners. Outside linebacker Mark Herzlich could be a nice addition too. There are also a number of safeties available as well. By no means will the rookie route fill all the gaps, nor would we want that to be the case, but if the Browns can do their due diligence and find a contributor or two I’ll take it.
We are all entering an odd time for the NFL, as no one has ever been a part of something like this. It promises to be a frenzied period full of transactions, so let’s enjoy it. At least we have football back (well, maybe…).