Free Agency Inactivity Coming Back To Hurt The Browns

By Brian Murtaugh

The Cleveland Browns will have some huge decisions to make over the next week as teams around the NFL will be looking to cut their rosters down to 53 active players. Cleveland has been hit by the injury bug harder than most other teams, but will be forced to move on with or without many of their starters as the regular season opener draws closer.

One of the biggest positions that will require the most overhaul is the offensive line. Starting left guard, Eric Steinbach, is likely going to miss several weeks if not the entire season due to a disk injury in his back. Jason Pinkston is currently in position to take Steinbach’s position as the starting guard, but will add to Cleveland’s concerns as the team will look to protect Colt McCoy and open holes for Peyton Hillis. John Greco will also be in the mix as a bit of a utility lineman as the team will likely rotate in certain players in red zone packages.

Cleveland will also be weak at the wide receiver position as the team has already cut two players in anticipation of the active roster deadline. Starting wideouts, Mohammed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs, have been sidelined for most of the preseason and have not gotten an extensive amount of work in with Colt McCoy.

The Browns have been completely inactive throughout most of the free agency period of the 2011 season and now the team may be regretting their decision to stay with their undrafted rookies and veterans. There were plenty of players on the free agency list that could have helped this team and added a significant amount of depth for the upcoming season. Now, as the injuries continue to pile up, the Browns will be forced to play their young starters and may ultimately suffer in the win/loss column for their decisions.

It will be interesting to see if Cleveland will be active as more teams begin to cut talented players for the upcoming season. Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren have always preached their willingness to find players that will help the team win games, but have not really shown that ability throughout their two years with the organization.

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