There’s no shortage of optimism for NFL fans in the spring, and nothing says hope springs eternal like a brand new free agent acquisition. The player your team just signed is totally going to be the difference this year; you just know it!
In 1985, Smith was the draft’s No. 1 overall pick. The Buffalo Bills in the season prior were 2-14. The Browns last season were 1-15.
“He is going into a similar situation, the first player picked, a team statistically the worst in the league,” Smith said. “Big shoes to fill. He needs to hit the ground running but not ignore the process. There are going to be frustrations. There are going to be times he needs to talk to someone with experience who can help in his ability to grow. That type of maturity must take place each and every day and in it he must become more confident each and every day. I understand he will be spending most of his time in Cleveland this offseason. That is smart. Get acclimated to the job.”
The Browns failed to re-sign Terrelle Pryor after his breakout year and appear unlikely to get Josh Gordon on the field this fall. Their current starters are the underwhelming duo of Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt, and while the team has eight other receivers currently under contract, their depth chart looks like a list of randomly generated names.
Cruz could head to Ohio and help DeShone Kizer find his place in the league, but signing with the Browns has traditionally been the last gasp in a veteran’s career.