Cleveland Browns: Andrew Berry head-to-head with Eric DeCosta
After years of being outfoxed by the Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome, the Cleveland Browns may match up better against Eric DeCosta.
The Cleveland Browns were consistently outsmarted by the Baltimore Ravens when Ozzie Newsome was running the show, but early returns show that the playing field may be leveling off under the leadership of Eric DeCosta.
When Newsome was running the show, didn’t we always curse the entire NFL whenever it was the Ravens’ turn to draft? For example, in 2018, his last draft, it was, “How the hell did the rest of the NFL let Lamar Jackson slip all the way to where Ozzie could move up and draft him?”
Then the rest of the NFL forgot to draft Orlando Brown, Jr. and the Ravens picked Brown and Mark Andrews in the third round. How do you get the NFL MVP and two additional Pro Bowl guys in one draft? In the 2017 draft, the NFL let Marlon Humphrey slide to 16th overall and Ozzie picked him up, and the SOB became All-Pro and made two Pro Bowls so far. In 2016 it was offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and linebacker Matt Judon.
DeCosta has had every opportunity to learn from Newsome, first beginning as an intern during the team’s initial1996 season and then ascending to the personnel department’s chief decision-maker in 2019.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti loves DeCosta. Bisciotti had planned for years to have DeCosta succeed Newsome. In turn, DeCosta reportedly turned down opportunities from other organizations in order to stay in the Ravens organization.
Of course, the Browns employed a tag team of John Dorsey and Andrew Berry, with Dorsey presiding over the disastrous 2019 season. Dorsey was and is a great judge of talent, but you cannot (1) hire Freddie Kitchens as your head coach, (2) overspend the salary cap allowance by more than $20 million, (3) trade away your first-round draft pick, (4) finish 6-10, and (5) keep your job as an NFL general manager. Jeepers creepers, John.
Dorsey was a master at evaluating talent, especially at the quarterback position, but there is more to the general manager’s job than evaluating talent. Salary cap management is at least equally important, and Dorsey utterly failed at that.
DeCosta had a few boo-boos of his own in 2019, but overall he and the Ravens had a great year.