The Cleveland Browns might not have hit their lofty expectations but they did accomplish some very important goals in the 2021 season
There’s a saying that the NFL season is a marathon and not a race. Well, the same can be true when it comes to team-building. So for those who are upset with the Cleveland Browns sitting at 7-7 heading into Week 17, just remember that this thing is barely getting started.
Sure, there was a lot of excitement as they won 11 games and took out Pittsburgh in the playoffs in 2020 but that was only year one under general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski.
Year two might have gone in the wrong direction but the franchise is still far better off than it was just a few seasons ago. On top of that, they did achieve three very important goals this season that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Cleveland Browns accomplishment No. 3: Interior line was locked up
Before the season began, fans were clamoring for the front office to extend Wyatt Teller. The breakout star of their offensive line from 2020 proved to be a complete mauler as he played with a contagious mean streak.
With him in the final year of his rookie deal, there were fears he could be lost if not locked up. It may not have happened early, but in November Teller and the Browns came to terms on a new four-year deal keeping him in Cleveland for his prime.
If that wasn’t enough, the very next day, they agreed to a three-year extension with left guard Joel Bitonio. Those moves were huge for the organization that relies so heavily on the ground game.
Both Bitonio — who is the longest-tenured player on the team dating back to 2014 — and Teller are excellent at clearing space for the running backs and will each be doing so throughout the next several seasons.