The Cleveland Browns have never even made the Super Bowl, let alone win one, but it looks like 2019 may finally be the year that the Dawg Pound gets to bask in NFL glory.
There have only been four NFL teams who have never appeared in the Super Bowl. Two are recent expansion teams, the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, while the other two are long time NFL underachievers.
One of those is the Cleveland Browns, who have had their fair share of close calls, notably in the 1980’s when John Elway and the Denver Broncos stymied them in the playoffs. The Browns have fallen on hard times since their rebirth in 1999, making the playoffs only once and failing to even be above .500 for the vast majority of those seasons.
Things are starting to turn around in Cleveland, however, thanks to an exciting young team headed by potential franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Browns were one of the NFL’s most exciting teams in the second half of 2018, winning a lot of games down the stretch and pushing the eventual AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens hard in their final regular season game.
A splashy offseason has helped raise expectations even more in Cleveland, who are now considered one of the favorites to win their division and get to the playoffs. Browns’ fans are even starting to buy into the Super Bowl talk, and they may not be crazy.
Let’s take a look at five reasons why the Browns will finally win it all in 2019, beginning with their splashy offseason additions.
5. The Browns won the offseason
Winning in March doesn’t mean much in NFL circles, but the Browns were huge winners in the offseason. For the past few years, Cleveland has had a ton of money but very few people willing to take it, resulting in the Browns scraping the bottom of the talent barrel.
That has changed with the arrival of Baker Mayfield, who has brought a swagger to the Browns and made them a marquee destination. Cleveland’s strong finish to the 2018 season emboldened the front office to take some big swings this spring, and they added a lot of talented pieces to the roster.
The biggest trades Cleveland made came with the New York Giants, landing star receiver Odell Beckham Jr to become the new top pass catcher for Mayfield. The Browns also made a savvy move to land pass rusher Olivier Vernon from Big Blue, adding a bookend opposite Myles Garrett on the defensive front.
Cleveland also took a calculated risk signing running back Kareem Hunt in February. Hunt was released by the Kansas City Chiefs after he lied about assaulting a woman in a hotel during the 2017 offseason, but if he is a new man after serving a suspension the Browns landed a potential top-10 running back for cheap.
Sheldon Richardson was another big name addition for Cleveland, giving the Browns yet another weapon along the defensive front. All of that new talent makes the Browns a lot scarier in 2019, giving them that much more of a chance to become winners.