Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ex-Browns Starring for Other Teams

The Cleveland Browns are terrible and don't have any good players, right?  Well, how come they play well for other teams when they leave?  Here's a list of free agents who have left the Browns and gone on to have good careers elsewhere in the NFL.   By my count, last year there were 16 NFL starters in the league who are no longer are with the Browns, plus an additional four who were first string on special teams.  Seven players made the 2015 Pro Bowl (including alternates).  So it seems there must have been some talent in Cleveland, though in many cases it doesn't blossom till the players leave.  Here are the highlights:  

Ahtyba Rubin now anchors a very tough Seahaks

Defensive Line:

Jabaal Sheard, New England Patriots, DE  had 8 sacks for New England.
Frostee Rucker Arizona Cardinals DE a starter for a premier defense last year
Ahtyba Rubin, Seattle Seahawks, NT   Had a great year for Seattle, another top defense
....meantime, the Browns were worst in the NFL in run defense and couldn't sack the quarterback either. 

Jabaal Sheard couldn't play for Mike Pettine but nailed 8 sacks for Bill Belichick (another former Brown). 


DQwell Jackson, Indianapolis Colts ILB,  led the NFL in tackles last year
Craig Robertson, Free agent ILB, improved significantly for the Browns the past two years.  He started 9 games last year, splitting time with Christian Kirksey. 

Tackling Machine D'Qwell Jackson led the entire NFL in tackles last year.  

Defensive Back

Tashaun Gipson, made the Pro Bowl last year.
T. J. Ward, Denver Broncos made the Pro Bowl and earned a Super Bowl ring.
Mike Adams, Indianapolis Colts, made the Pro Bowl
Buster Skrine started for the New York Jets
Johnson Bademosi, Detroit Lions was a Pro Bowl alternate for special teams last year. 

Tight End

Ben Watson New Orleans Saints, hauled in 74 balls for 825 yards last year. Cleveland couldn't recognize his talent.    
Cameron Jordan, Miami Dolphins, had 35 catches for 386 yards. 

Ben Watson is an under-appreciated star as he proved in 2015 with the Saints.  

Wide Receiver

Travis Benjamin, San Diego Chargers, was a Pro Bowl alternate with a career year last year, with 966 yards.  He also is a stud punt returner. 
Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints, after being cut by the Browns had 984 yards from 69 catches last year. 
Charles Johnson, Minnesota Vikings was injured and had only 127 yards last year after having 475 in 2014.  10 career starts. 
Miles Austin had 224 yards for Philly, starting only 1 game.
.....if you add up all the receiving yards from ex-Browns, it totals over 4000 yards in 2015.  

Running Back

Dion Lewis, New England Patriots, amassed 622 yards from scrimmage, in a season cut short by injury (6 starts).
Shaun Draughn San Francisco 49ers, gained 527 yards after Cleveland cut him in mid-season.  


Brian Hoyer led the Houston Texas into the playoffs last year despite struggling at times.
Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Derek Anderson and Thad Lewis are still in the NFL as backups.  
Johnny Manziel also has recently hit the streets, needless to say.    

Offensive Line

Alex Mack, Atlanta Falcons, made the Pro Bowl last year after a slow start, recovering from a broken leg. 
Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs, never made the Pro Bowl but was close to that level last year. 

Special Teams

Phil Dawson still a reliable kicker for San Francisco.
Spencer Lanning punted for the Chicago Bears last year.  
Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay Bucs, still returns punts though he lost his starting running back job.  Fozzie Whitaker, Carolina Panthers, returns kicks and is a situational back.