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Cleveland Browns
Greg Robinson
Browns could bring back LT Greg Robinson
Sat, Jan 19, 2019, 9:25 AM
Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Cleveland Plain Dealer considers free agent LT Greg Robinson a candidate to return.
Analysis: Robinson had a mini-breakout after taking over for Desmond Harrison in the final eight games last year. The Browns should try to bring him back if he's open to a team-friendly deal. Robinson has shown flashes as a starter, but he's best suited for a swing role.
Tyrod Taylor
Ravens possible landing spot for Tyrod Taylor
Fri, Jan 18, 2019, 6:04 PM
ESPN's Jamison Hensley considers the Ravens a potential landing spot for free agent Tyrod Taylor.
Analysis: Taylor had the best year of his career under OC Greg Roman with Buffalo. He would be a strong scheme fit as the backup to Lamar Jackson. The Taylor-to-Baltimore connection makes a lot of sense, but they could stay in-house with Robert Griffin III.
Brian Bulcke
Browns hire Al Holcomb to coaching staff
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 3:16 PM
Browns hired ex-Cardinals DC Al Holcomb as run-game coordinator (defense) and LBs coach.
Analysis: Holcomb reunites with DC Steve Wilks. Wilks was the Cardinals' coach last season while Holcomb was his defensive coordinator. The tandem will go back to their traditional roles as coordinator and position coach.
Brian Bulcke
Freddie Kitchens confirms he will call plays
Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 11:12 AM
Nate Ulrich on Twitter
New Browns coach Freddie Kitchens confirmed he will continue to call offensive plays.
Analysis: It makes sense considering Kitchens' play-calling is what landed him the lead job. That said, he will have a lot more on his plate moving forward, so it is not guaranteed the transition will be smooth. The good news is Kitchens has quality OC Todd Monken to lean on.
Brian Bulcke
Browns expected to hire Steve Wilks as DC
Sun, Jan 13, 2019, 7:20 PM
Ian Rapoport on Twitter
Browns hired Steve Wilks as defensive coordinator.
Analysis: The deal is not done, but it has been confirmed by several reporters. Wilks had a rough one-year stint in Arizona, but his defense performed well during his one season as a coordinator for the Panthers back in 2017. After retaining Freddie Kitchens as their head coach and bringing in Todd Monken at offensive coordinator, the Browns have the makings of a quality coaching staff.
Brian Bulcke
Browns bring in Todd Monken as OC
Sun, Jan 13, 2019, 7:07 PM
Adam Schefter on Twitter
Browns hired Todd Monken as offensive coordinator.
Analysis: Coming off an impressive performance calling plays for the Bucs most of last season, Monken drew some head coaching interest, but he will settle in as the right-hand man for Freddie Kitchens. It is unclear if Monken will get a chance to call plays under Kitchens, but he will at worst be a quality asset for the rookie head coach.
Brian Bulcke
Browns stay the course, hire Kitchens as HC
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, 11:03 AM
Chris Mortensen on Twitter
Browns hired Freddie Kitchens as head coach.
Analysis: Cleveland is staying the course that it was so successful on the back half of this past season, going with Kitchens after he turned around an offense that was not living up to its potential under Hue Jackson and Todd Haley. Kitchens took over play-calling duties in Week 9, and the Browns averaged 23.75 points per game under his direction while Baker Mayfield completely took off with a 19:8 TD:INT mark in those eight games with an YPA average of 8.57. If the Browns simply kept Kitchens around as OC, some other team would have just came and hired him next year, so this was the right move. Kitchens now will be tasked with building a coaching staff. Prior to Week 9, Kitchens had never been an offensive coordinator or head coach at any level.
Brian Bulcke
Browns job down to Kitchens and Stefanski?
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 1:41 PM
Ian Rapoport on Twitter's Ian Rapoport reports Browns OC Freddie Kitchens and Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski are the two finalists for the Browns' head-coaching job.
Analysis: That is Rapsheet's "understanding." Both coordinators are apparently meeting with the team on Tuesday. It stands to reason Kitchens is the favorite after the Browns got to watch him turn around the team's offense "in person," so to speak.
Brian Bulcke
Report: Kitchens contender for Browns HC job
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 12:29 PM
Ian Rapoport on Twitter's Ian Rapoport reports Browns OC Freddie Kitchens is receiving "strong consideration for the head job."
Analysis: In other words, his interview was more than just a courtesy. Per Rapsheet, the Browns have been "making calls to people who've worked with" Kitchens, a sign they are seriously considering promoting him. Kitchens' 2018 performance after replacing Todd Haley was excellent, though he had previously never even called plays at any level. It would be a leap of faith for a franchise that is finally on the rise.
Brian Bulcke
Kitchens interviewing Monday or Tuesday
Mon, Jan 7, 2019, 1:52 PM
Mary Kay Cabot on Twitter
OC Freddie Kitchens will interview for the Browns' head-coaching vacancy on Monday or Tuesday.
Analysis: It's the only interview he is eligible for right now, as the Browns have blocked Kitchens from interviewing for coordinator vacancies. He has not earned any other head-coaching looks. Kitchens was a wonder reviving the Browns' offense in 2018. It would be a shame were he forced to settle for positional coach work in 2019.
Brian Bulcke
CLE won't let Kitchens interview for OC jobs
Thu, Jan 3, 2019, 12:39 PM
Ian Rapoport on Twitter's Ian Rapoport reports the Browns are not letting OC Freddie Kitchens interview for coordinator jobs with other teams.
Analysis: Kitchens is still under contract, and any coordinator job would be a lateral move. Of course, it is possible, if not probable, Kitchens will be out of his Browns job soon. Kitchens is interviewing for the Browns' head-coaching vacancy. If he doesn't get the gig, the Browns apparently want to afford the new boss the opportunity to retain Kitchens. Baker Mayfield and the offense were transformed under Kitchens' tutelage. Even if his arrival on the open market is delayed, he could easily get another coordinating gig.
Breshad Perriman
Dorsey wants to bring back Breshad Perriman
Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 9:43 AM
Scott Petrak on Twitter
Browns GM John Dorsey said he wants to re-sign impending free agent WR Breshad Perriman.
Analysis: He said the same about LT Greg Robinson. Both are former first-round busts who found a home in Cleveland late in the season. Perriman finished the year with 16 catches for 340 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games.
Brian Bulcke
Williams, Kitchens will interview for HC job
Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 8:24 AM
Ian Rapoport on Twitter
Browns GM John Dorsey said interim coach Gregg Williams will interview for the permanent job on Tuesday.
Analysis: OC Freddie Kitchens will also get an interview. Williams is not considered to be a strong candidate for the job, and Dorsey made it clear on Monday he plans to conduct a wide-ranging search. Even so, Williams has to at least be in the running after turning Cleveland's season around.
Breshad Perriman
Perriman gets revenge with TD against BAL
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:12 PM
Breshad Perriman caught 3-of-4 targets for 45 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Ravens.
Analysis: Joining the Browns in Week 7, Perriman found a role in the Browns offense, catching 16-of-25 targets for 340 yards (21.3 Y/R) with two touchdowns. Perhaps no bigger testament to Baker Mayfield's rookie season was being able to keep a flame burning on the former first-round bust. Perriman will enter the 2019 offseason as a 25-year old unrestricted free agent.
David Njoku
David Njoku posts 62 yards in 2018 finale
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:10 PM
David Njoku caught 3-of-7 targets for 62 yards in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Ravens.
Analysis: Njoku never quite had the alpha-flight tight end breakout that many were hoping for this season, but he improved across the board. After catching 32-of-60 targets (53.3 percent) for 386 yards and four touchdowns as a 21-year old rookie, Njoku reeled in 56-of-88 targets for 639 yards and four touchdowns in his second NFL season. Njoku will enter 2019 having the fifth-most receptions for any tight end in league history prior to turning 23-years old. Just scratching the surface on being able to connect his immense athleticism to making the functional and routine plays, Njoku will be once again be a popular breakout candidate for fantasy circles in 2019.
Rashard Higgins
Higgins ends season with 86 yards vs Ravens
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:08 PM
Rashard Higgins reeled in 4-of-6 targets for 86 yards in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Ravens.
Analysis: Higgins improved on his overall numbers for the second consecutive season. Rolling over preseason chemistry with Baker Mayfield, Higgins caught 39-of-53 targets for 572 yards and four touchdowns over 13 games in his third NFL season. Despite his improved play Higgins is a purgatory player for fantasy purposes, meaning that he is good enough to warrant targets in his offense, but still lacks the overall volume and production necessary to be a standalone fantasy asset outside of the deepest formats.
Antonio Callaway
Callaway closes rookie year with 79 yards, TD
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:06 PM
Antonio Callaway caught 4-of-7 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Ravens.
Analysis: Forced to sit out all of his final college season in 2017 due to a suspension, Callaway's absence from the football field showed early in the season when the initial Browns' coaching staff just threw him into the deep end and hope he could swim. Through eight games, Callaway caught 21-of-47 targets (44.7 percent) for 236 yards (11.2 Y/R) and two touchdowns while being credited with five dropped passes. The new coaching staff took a reduced approach and asked Callaway to do less in the offense and he began to come around and flash his true upside. Over the final eight games, Callaway reeled in 22-of-34 targets (64.7 percent) for 350 yards (15.9 Y/R) and three touchdowns while only dropping one pass. Despite his in-season improvement, Callaway will enter 2019 still only as an option in Dynasty formats.
Jarvis Landry
Jarvis Landry had 102 yards, TD to close 2018
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:03 PM
Jarvis Landry caught 5-of-9 targets for 102 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Ravens.
Analysis: In his first season with the Browns, Landry closed the year with 81 receptions for 976 yards and four touchdowns. The Browns used Landry as a true wide receiver and not just funnel him with targets near the line of scrimmage like the Dolphins did. Those results were a mixed bag as Landry had a career-high 11.7 yard average depth of target but turned in his least efficient season to date, catching just 54.4 percent of his targets. It also took away a major strength of his game, which was is ability to create after the catch. Landry managed just 277 yards after the catch in 2018 after career marks of 523, 630, 571 and 400 yards to begin his career. The troublesome part of Landry's season was that as the Browns offense improved, Landry became a less viable fantasy option. In eight games under Hue Jackson and Todd Haley, Landry received 11.6 target per game. Entering 2019, Landry will be a reception-based WR3.
Duke Johnson
Duke Johnson has just 24 yards to close 2018
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 6:59 PM
Duke Johnson rushed four times for 21 yards while catching 1-of-4 targets for three yards in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Ravens.
Analysis: After signing a 3-year contract extension this offseason, the expectation was the Johnson would build off a career-season in 2017 in which he posted 1,041 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns on 156 touches. That was a far cry from the truth as Johnson was sparingly used by either coaching regiment, tallying a career-low 630 yards from scrimmage on 87 offensive touches. Johnson managed double-digit touches in just one game all of 2018. With the Browns adding more offensive weapons this past offseason and Baker Mayfield spreading the ball around, Johnson fell from weekly starter status, even as a FLEX option. Johnson should be able to meet or exceed his depressed totals moving forward, but his 2017 season very well could end up as a career outlier. With so many pass-catching backs available for fantasy purposes, Johnson finds himself near the bottom of that pile entering the 2019 season.
Chubb falls just shy of 1,000-yards as rookie
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 6:57 PM
Nick Chubb rushed nine times for 24 yards while catching 2-of-3 targets for -4 yards in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the Ravens,
Analysis: With just 24 yards on the ground, Chubb finishes his rookie season with 996 yards rushing and eight rushing touchdowns to go along with 20 receptions for 149 yards two more scores. Road blocked by Carlos Hyde for the first six games of the season, Chubb finally got the keys to offense in Week 7 and proved why he was worth the 35th overall selection in this year's draft. From Week 7-16, Chubb's 797 rushing yards trailed only Ezekiel Elliott for the most in the league. Chubb's lack of true receiving output was his only blemish from a fantasy stance, catching 20 passes over his 10 games as a starter. Building off a stellar rookie campaign, Chubb will surely find himself as at worst a 2nd-round pick in fantasy circles come 2019.