National bias shows in laughable ranking for Browns GM Andrew Berry

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Jeff Lange/USA TODAY NETWORK / USA TODAY

When the Cleveland Browns traded for Deshaun Watson in 2022, they knew they would take a massive PR hit. Any team that added him following 24 accusations of sexual misconduct knew that would be the case — and there were a lot of teams trying to land him.

Reports stated 13 teams were actively trying to trade for Watson, who was being shopped by the Houston Texans. Cleveland went from being a long-shot to the winner of the sweepstakes when they upped the ante and offered a fully guaranteed $230 million contract. They were bashed mercilessly for this, even though at least one team stated they would have matched that if given the chance.

Since trading for Watson, however, the Browns haven't gotten the player they hoped for. He's appeared in just 12 games and has been wildly inconsistent. Despite that, they were 11-6 in 2023 and fought through multiple serious injuries — including the loss of Watson and star running back Nick Chubb.

They stayed afloat due to the depth added by Berry, which is why he's considered one of the top GMs by those in the NFL. He still isn't popular though, evidenced by a ridiculously unfair GM ranking. Dallas Robinson from PFN released a power ranking and while it was solid work overall, he proved he made up his mind on Berry due to one move — and one move alone.

Despite praising a roster that he says had no weakness and calling their depth chart one of the best in the league, Robinson has Berry coming in at No. 17. Here's how his breakdown begins, which sounds amazing.

"Andrew Berry has constructed a Cleveland Browns roster essentially without weaknesses. Cleveland is among the forward-thinking franchises in the NFL. The Browns’ tactics in free agency, trades, and the draft — and their willingness to consistently prioritize cash spending over cap — have given them one of the best top-to-bottom depth charts in the league." — Robinson, PFN

From there, he bashes Berry and Jimmy Haslam for trading for Watson and paying him the massive contract. He ends it by saying "Berry will take the fall if Watson continues to faceplant on the field." While that's normally true for a GM who misses the way Berry did on Watson, it's also proof that the Cleveland GM is one of the best in the business.

Berry mortgaged the future on a player who has yet to pay off — and still has a roster that Robinson admits has almost no weakness. So Berry created one of the best depth charts in the entire NFL even after shipping off major draft assets and has been winning without their franchise quarterback playing like a franchise quarterback.

Any other general manager would be praised for this. Berry, however, is being bashed. Again, the criticism for adding Watson is warranted. Adding him is a move that never should have been made but Berry was far from the only GM trying to make the trade. Plus, they're 8-4 when Watson starts, so this idea that Berry is on thin ice seems far-fetched.

Throw in the way he's worked around this situation to build a deep roster and the smart money would be on him remaining in Cleveland long after Watson, especially since he's reportedly closing in on a long-term extension.

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