The big moves by the Cleveland Browns this offseason are getting the attention, but the Indianapolis Colts are quietly building just as strong a roster
Two teams with very different strategies are building very strong rosters. John Dorsey of the Cleveland Browns has gone out and made some huge moves in an attempt to rebuild the downtrodden franchise he took over.
Dorsey hit some big picks in the draft such as Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward. He’s also gone out and made some splashes in free agency with Sheldon Richardson and Kareem Hunt — not to mention the trade for Odell Beckham, Jr.
Those moves have the Browns being looked at as a contender in the AFC, and rightfully so. However, Steven Ruiz of USA Today’s For The Win says it’s the Indianapolis Colts who should be considered the threats in the AFC outside of the ever-strong New England Patriots that it.
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"“The Browns, just two years removed from 0-16, have become a trendy pick to not only win next year’s Super Bowl but to reign over the league for the next decade. Cleveland could very well make a run through the playoffs. The Browns are that talented. But if you’re looking for a team that could pick up where the Patriots (eventually) leave off, you should be looking at the Colts.” — Ruiz, For The Win"
Unlike the Browns, the Colts are working at a much more ‘under the radar’ pace. Their general manager, Chris Ballard, has loaded up on draft picks and made some bargain moves in free agency. His best move was easily adding three second-round picks to move from No. 3 to No. 6 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. With the added picks, he landed linebacker Darius Leonard while still managing to hit on guard Quenton Nelson at No. 6.
Ballard also picked up tight end Eric Ebron in free agency last season and watched him pull in 13 touchdowns. This year, they were linked to stars such as Le’Veon Bell, but instead, they picked up Devin Funchess to play wideout opposite T.Y. Hilton and landed Justin Houston — who many thought would go to Cleveland because of his connection with Dorsey during their Kansas City days.
What people didn’t realize there was Houston also had a connection with Ballard, who also worked in Kansas City — alongside Dorsey.
Both strategies are working, and each team is building strong rosters around very capable quarterbacks. With that being the case, it’s highly likely that we are about to start seeing some big showdowns between the two clubs as they look to become powerhouses in the AFC.