Cleveland Browns: Is the right tackle job really a competition?
By Joel W. Cade
Shon Coleman will win the starting right tackle position coming out of camp. There are several off-the-field reasons for this.
First, Cameron Erving has played so poorly the past two seasons, it would be difficult to see him gaining the coaches’ trust after switching positions. Sometimes poor baggage is just too much to overcome. His play in Week 17 showed a lot of promise. But it may be too late for Erving given prior years of incompetence.
Second, if Erving were to play well enough to win the position (I believe he will), his contract may deter the Browns from giving him the position. After next season, the Browns must decide on his fifth-year option. Should they pick it up, they will have to pay him the average salary of the players ranked 3-25 for his position. It would also keep Erving through the life of Coleman’s rookie contract.
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The decision to invest in Erving or Coleman will have to be made this training camp. An investment in Erving means a financial investment as well as a vote of no confidence in Coleman. Will this Browns front office be willing to pass up on one of their own picks for a former regime’s pick? Not likely.
Given that Johnson was drafted in April means the decision has most likely already been made. The Browns will be moving forward with Coleman. Erving will be showcased to increase his trade value to teams who may experience injury or need a tackle coming out of camp.
Erving can and will have a successful career in the NFL. Unfortunately, it may not be with the Cleveland Browns.
On the flip side, Coleman will need to continue to develop to be good starting right tackle. This season will be a lot of growing pains for him. He still needs to learn to play with a lower pad level and leverage. His pass blocking needs improvement. He will most likely be learning on the job at right tackle.
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Start praying for Browns’ quarterbacks now.