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The View From Pluto: The Browns 'Preemptive Strikes' Hit Their Target

The Browns sent a third round pick to Buffalo for Tyrod Taylor, who led the Bills to the playoffs last season
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The Browns sent a third round pick to Buffalo for Tyrod Taylor, who led the Bills to the playoffs last season

The Browns reshuffle

The Browns stunned the NFL this past weekend, making a flurry of trades within 36 hours. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the Browns were bold in the moves they made before the free-agency period opened.

"These were a bunch of preemptive strikes," he said.

Getting real about free agents

Pluto says new General Manager John Dorsey took a realistic view of free agency, knowing no good players on the market would want to come to a team that's won four games in three years and has gone through 28 quarterbacks. So, Dorsey knew he had to make a trade to get a quarterback. 

Grabbing Taylor

Enter Tyrod Taylor. The Buffalo Bills were looking to move on from the quarterback who's set to make $16 million this season. He led the Bills to their first trip to the playoffs in 18 years. Dorsey traded a third-round pick for Taylor.

"So now John Dorsey and the Browns don't have to sit there and figure out which free agent quarterback they can get; they have one before free agency begins." 

Pluto says Taylor is a good fit for the Browns for several reasons. First, Taylor is equipped to play in bitter cold Cleveland weather.  Second, he knows what it's like to play for a bad team. He also brings stability. He threw just four interceptions last season. The Browns threw 28.

"He's been in a bad situation in cold weather and he made them better," Pluto says. He also only missed two games in three years due to injury.

Drafting a quarterback 

Pluto says the Browns will still select a quarterback with their No. 1 pick in next month's draft.

"I like Josh Rosen from UCLA, others like Sam Darnold from USC or Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma. The Browns can pick whoever at No. 1 and not have to play him right away."

Also of note, the Browns added Miami receiver Jarvis Landry.

"Miami didn't want to pay him. He's not a big-play receiver, but he's a first-down machine."

Pluto says the trades aren't "franchise changers, (but) if you're a Browns fan and suddenly your team could win four or five or six games, and you could actually watch the games and watch some level of professional play without all these mistakes, that's progress." 

The Browns also traded quarterback DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers after his abysmal rookie season. 

Terry Pluto on the one thing the new-look Cavs are still missing

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Amanda Rabinowitz
Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. Her days begin before the sun comes up as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition, which airs on WKSU each weekday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio’s sports scene.