The Browns officially announced the following today:
- The NFL made the trade with Minnesota official. Za’Darius Smith is a member of the Cleveland Browns.
— CWEB (@cweb) May 16, 2023
- The Browns have signed Chris Westry, a cornerback from Carolina, originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Kentucky by the Dallas Cowboys. Chris had spent time with Carolina, Baltimore and Dallas.
We have signed CB Chris Westry.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 16, 2023
- Cedric Tillman signed with the Browns today to a 4 year, 5.625 million dollar contract. In the fifth year he will be an unrestricted FA. His signing bonus is $1,091,136 and his cap hit is $1,022,784.
We have signed WR Cedric Tillman to his rookie contract.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 16, 2023
Smith’s a Brown!
The trade for Smith was analyzed in depth, but today it was made official by the league. Smith will now be a member of Schwartz’s impressive defensive line. Smith has the capabilities to line up as a lineman OR rush/cover as an OLB. This could be the FA signing that helps the Browns with their defensive woes from the past.
Regardless of what happens next year, the Browns gave up little to get a Pro Bowl caliber player who can help them win now.
The only concerns? Injury and disgruntlement! He brings a high dose of each of these from both his prior stops with the Packers and Vikings. He left one North (NFC) to play in the other North (AFC).
If he does leave BUT puts up a monster year, the Browns get a nice compensatory pick if he chooses to bring his talents to another NFL city. And maybe a few playoff wins?
Westry is an interesting signing.
Zeke Barrera USAToday/Cowboyswire
Westry was with Dallas as an undrafted FA but was placed on IR in August, 2019. He missed the entire season. In 2020, he played in 2 games when he wasn’t manning a spot on the practice squad. Then he signed with Baltimore and played in two games until an injury sidelined him for….the season, again!
Carolina signed him then promptly cut him in 2022. He did NOT play a down in 2022.
So what do we make of the 6’4” 195 pounder from Kentucky? An injury prone player or another body to motivate the group we have? Not sure what this is about.
This from his NFL draft outlook in 2019:
Chris was a two year starter as CB for Kentucky freshman and sophomore years. But he was benched in the latter half of his junior year and was a bench/role player his senior year.
- Was not a starter this season
- Posted just 8 passes defensed over the last three years
- Doesn’t bully receiver with his length often enough
- Below-average patience from press
- Struggles to stay in front of receiver’s release
- Sticky hip flip to turn and run from off-man
- Opens hips too early allowing space vs comebacks
- Inconsistent digestion of combo routes
- Ridiculously long prospect at a full 6-foot-4 with almost 34-inch arms
- Explosive athlete with rare long speed
- Ran 4.31-second 40-yard dash with a 38-inch vertical leap at pro day
- Above-average foot agility for his length
- Adequate change of direction ability in space
- Can overwhelm small receivers in the vertical plane
- Hard to throw over skyscraper frame in trail coverage
- Durable playing in all 51 career games
- Paces with speed from side shuffle in cover-3
My take? Tall, skinny, and wasn’t a starter in his last 2 years in college? What is going on? Late bloomer? Maybe thought the world OWED him something but has been humbled? Two things you can’t teach…height and speed. He’s got them both!!
Cedric will be a steal!
Credit: Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics
I love this draft pick. Seriously! Why? Tall, fearless and smart! Owns the Volunteer record for most consecutive games with a TD catch. Elected to come back for his 5th year due to COVID. And he graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. His dad was an ex-WR with Denver and Jacksonville. In fact pops was on the inaugural roster for the Jags.
Will love to watch him in camp!
Busy day for the Browns this Taco Tuesday. But it’s “put up” time. I think many fans are done with the “potential” piece this team carries around like an honorary badge! Put in the work, play your heart out, and win games! That hard to do?
In business they say, “Sales cures all ills.” Let’s remove the SALES and replace it with WINNING. I’m tired of all the bravado after drafts. I’m tired of all the people criticizing or reveling in 5th and 6th round picks! They are 5th and 6th rounders for a reason!!
Win the damn games!
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