The Cleveland Browns kick off training camp on Tuesday, July 27th, officially marking the beginning of what could easily be the most anticipated season in franchise history. The Browns have Super Bowl aspirations, but it’s a long time until February. Until then, here are five main plot points to monitor over the next month.
5. The offensive line depth
The Browns had the NFL’s best offensive line in 2020, despite some starters missing a good amount of snaps, and key backups going down with injuries as well. The importance of quality depth in this position group cannot be overstated, so it makes sense that the team currently has at least 12 players who belong on an NFL roster. Unfortunately, not all 12 can make the team, and the future of the room has to be taken into account as well as the present.
Chris Hubbard was perhaps the most valuable backup at any position last season, and he’s recovering from a knee injury but should be good to go early in the campaign if not for Week 1. Hubbard is entering the final year of his contract and is unlikely to return in 2022, so it could make sense to perhaps trade him for draft capital if a younger, cheaper player under team control proves himself. That player could be someone like playoff hero Michael Dunn or ‘Prospect X’ Drew Forbes.
It probably isn’t likely that Hubbard gets moved, but that doesn’t mean the battle for the final three or four spots on the line isn’t intriguing. Hopefully, the Browns won’t be down to their fourth-stringers at left guard and left tackle in the playoffs again, but just in case…