It’s safe to say John Dorsey failed with the Cleveland Browns
The year was 2017, and the Cleveland Browns had just finished a historic perfect season under head coach Hue Jackson. Unfortunately, the perfect season was 0-16, which has only been done twice in the NFL. While the Browns had plenty of chances to win games, it was very unwatchable football. As bad as some of the teams in years past were, they still found a way to win three to four games.
Shortly after that season the Browns fired general manager Sashi Brown and brought in John Dorsey. Fans were sick of the Brown way of hoarding picks and trying to find the best deal instead of just buying talent like many in the NFL do. Boy, did Brown’s fans get what they want in Dorsey. He came into Cleveland and was willing to spend and trade anything for talent, not to mention talent with troubled pasts.
While fans were so excited to see signings like Sheldon Richardson and Kareem Hunt, the bottom line is you can’t just buy wins in the NFL. Not to mention all the assets he gave up to land Odell Beckham and Olivier Vernon. In case you forgot here is the list — the Browns gave up Kevin Zeitler (a tremendous guard), Jabril Peppers (a vastly improved safety), and a first and third-round pick.
Fans were pumped at the time, but let’s have a serious reality check. Vernon has been injured (no shock), and Beckham has been a slightly above-average receiver. Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins (when not in the Freddie Kitchens dog house) have been much better performers. Not to mention the hole the Browns had in 2018 and 2019 at right guard and safety after trading away talented guys. Peppers hurt the most because he would fit so well in this Joe Woods defense.
Not only did Dorsey take risks that never paid off in Cleveland, but he also appeared to be stubborn. He was more concerned with having the power of the entire roster than hiring an experienced coach heading into 2019.
That stubbornness really showed when he traded rising star Genard Avery for a fourth-round pick. Yes, Avery was drafted in the fifth round, but he was really starting to shine before shipping him out. Third-round pick Chad Thomas was supposed to be the replacement who is now without an NFL team.
I’ll admit, I was on the “no questions asked” when Dorsey did something train. As a fan that had seen awful rosters for 18 years, it was so refreshing to see someone be aggressive. But now that the experiment is over, I can admit I was wrong, and his time in Cleveland was not successful.
The resume usually doesn’t lie, and Dorsey jumped ships too many times to not realize he was an issue.