Free Agency

What they’re saying: Browns earn rave reviews after moves to start league year

We've had a few days to catch our breath since the start of the new league year saw some big-time changes in Cleveland. Let's take a step outside of Northeast Ohio to see how the national media reacted to the moves made by Browns general manager John Dorsey in the last week.

"With​ apologies​ to​ Antonio Brown and​ the Oakland Raiders,​ the​ Browns have just​ pulled​ off the​​ year's biggest trade. ... The addition of Beckham gives the Browns the most exciting offense in the AFC North (especially now that Brown is gone from Pittsburgh) and one of the most intriguing collections of offensive players outside of Kansas City."

"The Odell Beckham trade will understandably get all the attention, but what the Browns did on defense should not be ignored. They gave Sheldon Richardson the long-term deal he craved for so long. ... It couldn't be a better situation for Richardson to avoid double teams next to Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi and Olivier Vernon. Emmanuel Ogbah could be the best third defensive end in the league. New defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has a chance to rebuild his coaching stock quickly after his miserable year in Arizona and those sky-high expectations in Cleveland will absolutely be warranted, in large part because of the defense."

"It's a stunner of a deal and, frankly, an incredible steal for the Browns. They lose a potential stud and former first-round pick in terms of Peppers but their offense is suddenly LOADED. ... This is suddenly a filthy offense the Browns are trotting out onto the field as they hope to contend for the division title."

Take a look at a selection of photos of new Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr., including ones from his time with new teammate Jarvis Landry back when they both attended LSU.

"Suddenly, the Browns look as if they have one of the deepest skill-position groups in the league. ... This is the official end of the Browns' rebuilding period. For the first time in a decade, pressure will be on them to win regularly."

"Armed with a hill of draft picks and more cash than a handful of minor nations, (Browns general manager John) Dorsey has overseen an accelerated roster rebuild that turned the Browns from the biggest laughingstock in sports to a team now viewed as a Super Bowl threat. Typing that sentence still feels pulled from a separate reality, a sliding-doors otherworld where all the ugliness Browns fans endured has been replaced by a surging hope for tomorrow -- and today. ... The low-cost Beckham trade was a masterstroke that now gives the Browns the juiciest receiving corps in the AFC. The same could be said of their defensive front after Dorsey acquired pass rusher Olivier Vernon from the Giants before inking free-agent defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to pair with starry Myles Garrett and the underrated Larry Ogunjobi."

"The Browns are now the AFC North's sexiest team and odds-on division favorites -- and no, Hell hasn't frozen over and pigs still don't fly. This club has simply, and quickly, laid an appealing foundation built on personality, pomp and, most importantly, a lot of talent."

"The trade definitively signals that the Browns -- just a year removed from a winless season in 2017 -- are legitimate contenders for a playoff berth, if not a Super Bowl appearance."

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