By Dan Williams @Dan_Wi11iams on April 11, 2014
The Cleveland Browns were one of the most active teams this offseason. Changes to the front office, coaching staff and roster have given the Browns a new look from top to bottom. While the majority of moves made have been deemed positive, there are some areas where Cleveland has fallen short. Here's a look at those mistakes.
A staple in Cleveland for eight seasons, D'Qwell Jackson was underrated in the NFL but beloved by Browns fans. When it was reported that he and the Browns were unable to come to a contract restructuring, he was released. Although the Browns were able to sign skilled veteran Karlos Dansby, they are still seeking help at inside linebacker. Dansby is coming off a Pro Bowl season and could be an upgrade, but Jackson was a consistent performer.
This offseason, the Browns released Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell, leaving Brian Hoyer as the only quarterback on Cleveland's roster with NFL experience. Hoyer's experience is limited, but he was able to start in three of the Browns' four victories. There is still a strong chance that the Browns will sign a veteran QB to compete with Hoyer, but time is running thin and the mere mentioning of names is about as far as the process has gone.
This offseason, Cleveland fired former coach Rob Chudzinski after one season. The events that ensued included an overhaul in the front office and a coaching search that led into late January. After multiple potential candidates dropped out of the race, Cleveland settled on Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The Browns may have made a mistake by not waiting for Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's season to end.
Although the Browns' defense heads into 2014 with a number of capable players, the cornerback position is still questionable. Buster Skrine has the tools to succeed as the team's No. 2 corner, but he's had trouble in coverage with teams avoiding Haden. There wasn't an abundance of top-notch corners available this offseason, but the Browns may have made a mistake by failing to nab a veteran to start opposite Haden.
In a surpassing move, the Browns chose to use the transition tag on center Alex Mack rather than franchise tagging him and paying an extra million to retain him in 2014. Mack signed an offer sheet with Jacksonville, and now the Browns have five days to match the offer. If the Browns fail to match, they will not receive any type of compensation for losing Mack. If Mack is lost, the Browns will have to make finding a replacement a priority.
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