Browns fans celebrating the team’s flurry of trades should thank the man who was run out of town last year: Sashi Brown.
Brown was the General Manager who has been lambasted for building the Cleveland roster that went 1-31 the last two years. He was fired for the team’s failures, and particularly for trading away the draft picks that became Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson.
But Brown’s strategy was always about building for the future, not about winning in 2016 and 2017. And Brown is the one who left the Browns with the most cap space in the NFL, and the most draft capital in the NFL. Having extra cap space and draft picks is why the Browns were able to trade for quarterback Tyrod Taylor, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Damarious Randall.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was on board with Brown’s long-term approach, until one day last year he decided he wasn’t, and fired him. Haslam replaced Brown with John Dorsey, who is now drawing praise for this week’s trades.
Dorsey, however, should be thanking Brown. Dorsey inherited a bad team, but he inherited a good situation: No G.M. in the NFL has more cap space and draft picks than Dorsey, all because of the way Brown spent the last two years building for the future.