NFL Free Agency: Free for All. But Not Free — at All.

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A new NFL season is upon us.

With NFL free agency signings slowing down a bit, I thought it would be a good time to step back and review what we’ve learned so far about the 2014 season.

John Elway and Bill Belichick are already engaged in a season-long chess match. So far, the Denver Broncos have claimed Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and DeMarcus Ware, leading us to believe that “offense wins games — defense wins championships,” may be their mantra this year.

Meanwhile, the Patriots gathered Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Brandon LaFell. And according to their former cornerback, Aqib Talib (who claims he does not have a hip problem), the Patriots report fake injuries. Which surprises no one.

Michael Vick will stay in green and white, but he won’t be wearing number 7. Vick may challenge Jets quarterback Geno Smith for the starting job — but says he won’t challenge him for his number. Also, the Jets aren’t happy unless they have a full-fledged quarterback controversy on their hands. And ESPN camped out at training camp.

Mark Sanchez will also stay in green and white, as he heads from the Jets to the Eagles, where he will compete  for the job of backup quarterback to Nick Foles with Matt Barkley. Apparently, the job requirements for backup quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles include good hands (for clipboard holding), playing for USC, and being really, really, ridiculously good looking.

Speaking of ridiculously good looking…in releasing wide receivers Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn, and Domenik Hixon, the Carolina Panthers must think quarterback Cam Newton really is Superman and that he can throw the ball and catch the ball — himself. No one will be more impressed than Gisele Bundchen if Newton is indeed able to pull this off.

The NFC North is playing musical chairs (or musical ends), with Julius Peppers going to the Packers, Jared Allen to the Bears, and the Vikings still deciding which Packer they will sign this season.

Denver running back Knowshon Moreno is taking his talents (and his tears) to Miami.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is still in the NFL, now backing up Colin Kaepernick at the San Francisco 49ers. And making twice as much money — for now.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signed former Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden to ride his bench. And his unicorn.

If you’re a veteran player, prepare to sign a short contract, with one year deals becoming incredibly popular this offseason. There’s a reason they call the NFL “Not For Long.”

And not for long just got, well — less long.

Stay tuned.

XO

Browns fans…stand up. The time is now.

Former Browns RB Trent Richardson  (Photo: USA Today/Schwane)

Former Browns RB Trent Richardson
(Photo: USA Today/Schwane)

Wednesday, September 18th at 6:19 PM (EST), it was announced that the Cleveland Browns traded running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts.

At 6:20 PM, fans in Cleveland rose up out of their seats, went to their windows, and yelled… “We’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!”

And who could blame them?

This is a football town. With a rich football history. Near a college known for producing some of the finest football talent in the league. And it’s appropriately located just north of the football holy land of Canton, Ohio, home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Yet somehow, the football Gods have rained on the Browns and their fans for what feels like forever.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the tragic history of the Cleveland Browns franchise.

1994 – The Cleveland Browns go 11-5 and make the playoffs for the first time in four years.

1995 – Browns owner Art Modell moves the team to Baltimore (replacing the Colts who moved to Indianapolis).

1999 – The Browns reenter the league with a new team and a new stadium. The team retains the Browns name and history, only to set a new record (worst in franchise history) when they finish the season 2-14.

2000 – The Baltimore Ravens (former Browns) go 12-4 and win the Super Bowl.

2001-2004 – The Browns’ former coach, Bill Belichick (fired in 1995), goes on to win three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.

2010 – Though it has nothing to do with football or the Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers star basketball player LeBron James becomes a free agent and in a live broadcast on ESPN, The Decision, reveals that he is not resigning with the Cavaliers and is instead “taking his talents to South Beach…where they will win not one, not two, not three…NBA Championships.” So far, he has won two.

2012 – After more than a decade of mostly losing records under ownership of the Lerner family, the Cleveland Browns are sold to businessman Jimmy Haslam. Art Modell dies. And the Ravens go 10-6 and win another Super Bowl.

2013 – The FBI and IRS begin investigation into owner Jimmy Haslam’s Pilot Flying J corporation for conspiracy and fraud involving fuel rebates.

If ever there were a case for fans rallying together in a hostile takeover of their team…it is that of the Cleveland Browns. They certainly have the hostile part figured out.

My message to Browns fans:

Do not…

KEEP CALM

AND 

CARRY ON

 

Instead…

RAISE HELL

AND 

TAKE BACK YOUR TEAM

Good luck. And God bless.

XO

Disclosure: I am an Indianapolis Colts fan. I directly benefited from the Trent Richardson trade. However, my joy and excitement are slightly tempered by the sincere sorrow I feel for Browns fans. Good people. And great fans. You deserve better. And you will get better. Soon. I hope.

(Photo: Bleacher Report)

(Photo: Bleacher Report)

I’m sorry. I stand in solidarity with you. And I’ll be cheering for you.

Woof!