Andrew Berry

Mayfield, Wide Receivers Central To Browns’ Offseason Plans

Especially if he is able to be fully healthy at the start of next year, Baker Mayfield will play a large role in determining if the Browns can rebound from a disappointing 2021 season. Even if that’s the case, though, the team could still look very different by that time. 

[Related: Browns Plan To Keep Baker Mayfield]

Both head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry have expressed confidence in Mayfield: “It’s easy to forget… what we’ve seen with Baker over the past several years. Obviously he had his most productive season in this offense under [Stefanski in 2020]” Berry said recently. That’s one of the reasons ESPN’s Jake Trotter writes that bringing Mayfield back on his fifth year option “seems to be the most likely outcome”, another being the lack of realistic trade targets. With that said, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal adds that “acquiring someone to push” Mayfield, such as Mitchell Trubisky or Marcus Mariota, is a strong possibility as well. Mayfield will have a price tag of just under $19MM in 2022.

Meanwhile, the wide receiver position is setting up to be an area of focus. With veteran Jarvis Landry in danger of being a cap casualty – he has no guaranteed money left on his deal, leaving Trotter to write that it “feels like he has played his last snap with the Browns” – rebuilding the pass-catching corps is sure to be a priority. While the Browns should have the cap space to target at least one experienced wideout, there is a growing sense of expectation they will use the draft as a means of acquiring a true No. 1. Mel Kiper’s first mock draft has Cleveland taking Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson, while Dane Brugler projects them taking Treylon Burks from Arkansas.

The two reporters are also in synch when it comes to the team’s defensive needs. Defensive tackle in particular looks to be a key area of focus, given the pending unrestricted free agency of 32-year-old Malik Jackson and the recent arrest of Malik McDowell. Trotter adds that edge rusher could also be a need, depending on what happens with Jadeveon Clowney in free agency. Just like receiver, the defensive front figures to see a significant overhaul in the coming months.

For a team that generated so many expectations heading into the 2021 season, the Browns clearly face a number of key roster decisions heading into the offseason to be able to meet them in the future.


Browns GM Discusses Baker Mayfield’s Injury, Potential Extension

Much has been made of Baker Mayfield and his lack of an extension. Fuel has been added to that fire recently, as the Browns have gone 2-5 in Mayfield’s last seven starts, and Cleveland has been limited to only 30 points over their last three games (with the QB tossing three touchdowns vs. three interceptions). However, Browns general manager Andrew Berry provided the former first-overall pick with a vote of confidence today, and he said the signal caller’s various injuries shouldn’t impact the team’s ability to win games.

“Baker’s our quarterback,” Berry said (via ESPN’s Jake Trotter). “He’s healthy enough to win games for us. If he’s ready to go, he’s going to be our starter.”

While Berry refused to speak specifically about Mayfield’s potential extension, he did acknowledge that the team would (naturally) consider the player’s entire body of work vs. his recent struggles.

“With Baker, from a long-term perspective, you try to take a big picture,” Berry said. “With any player, it’s about the body of work over several years. We’ve seen Baker play good football here and play good football this season…There will be plenty of time to think about how we’re going to build the roster next year. Right now, we’re focused on doing everything in our power to maximize this current season.”

Mayfield’s fractured shoulder issue did require one missed game, a narrow Week 7 win over the Broncos, but he has otherwise played through that issue — an ailment that will almost certainly require offseason surgery. The QB also exited the Browns’ Week 10 loss to the Patriots with a knee injury, but that hasn’t forced him to miss any games (and Mayfield has refused to use the knee injury as an excuse for his recent play).

“We all know Baker is incredibly physically tough,” Berry said. “He’s had stretches where he has played well.”

Latest On Browns, Odell Beckham Jr.

Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did not practice today due to a “personal matter,” per the team’s official report. Meanwhile, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters that he and GM Andrew Berry are discussing Beckham’s status with his agent (Twitter link via’s Mike Garafolo).

It certainly seems like OBJ wants out of Cleveland, following yesterday’s social media posts from OBJ Sr. and pal LeBron James. The Browns considered trading him to the Saints before Tuesday’s deadline, but ultimately decided to keep him.

Beckham is also dealing with a shoulder injury, a recurring theme throughout his career. Via one injury or another, he hasn’t enjoyed a healthy season since 2019. Meanwhile, the drama has been non-stop over the last three years.

[Baker Mayfield is] either hating on Odell or he just doesn’t want him shining,” Odell Beckham Sr. wrote on Instagram yesterday, right around LeBron’s #FreeOBJ tweet.

Beckham, 29 on Friday, has four 1,000+ yard seasons to his credit, but has yet to approach his gaudy 2015 and 2016 numbers with the Giants. Technically speaking, he’s tied to the Browns through 2023. But, in reality, it’s more of a year-to-year arrangement. He’s set to count for more than $15MM against the cap in 2022 and 2023, but his deal has no remaining guarantees.

If the Browns wind up releasing OBJ during the season, he’ll be subject to the waiver wire as a post-deadline cut. From there, teams would have 24 hours to claim the wide receiver and the remainder of his contract.

AFC Notes: Colts, McCown, Harbaugh

The Colts pulled off a rare blockbuster trade this offseason, shipping out their first-round pick in exchange for All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Now, we have more details on exactly how that deal came to be. It all happened quickly, as the deal came together in less than a week, sources told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Buckner’s agent met with 49ers brass back at the combine, where they made it clear the big man was looking for at least $20MM annually on a contract extension. San Francisco apparently decided right then and there that they weren’t going to be able to pay that, and needed to look for a trade.

La Canfora reports that a handful of teams were in the mix, but Colts GM Chris Ballard was the most aggressive in his pursuit. Ballard was willing to talk contract details immediately, and of course the defensive tackle ended up getting a new pact worth more than $21MM annually. La Canfora also notes that Indiana’s low three percent income tax played a role in Buckner’s eagerness to join Indy. The Colts have had one of the best defenses in the league this season, in large part due to Buckner’s continued elite play.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • It was a very quiet trade deadline this past week, and the Browns were one of the many teams to stand pat. That doesn’t mean front office head Andrew Berry wasn’t working the phones, and he revealed recently during a call with the media that Cleveland came close on a couple of deals. “We did explore a number of different possible transactions. I’d say maybe a couple of things got perhaps within striking distance but either moved away from us or we moved away from it for various reasons,” Berry said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Berry also indicated that the uncertainty around the 2021 salary cap due to COVID-19 played a large part in the lack of trades. At 5-3, the Browns were in position to be buyers at the deadline for the first time in many years, so it would’ve been exciting to see them add a piece.
  • Here’s something we didn’t see coming. The deal Josh McCown recently signed with the Texans is actually for two years, meaning he won’t be a free agent at the end of the year as was initially assumed, La Canfora writes. While it’s a bit surprising considering McCown is 41 and was only on the Eagles’ practice squad until last week, it does make some sense considering the circumstances. Houston is headed into a period of great uncertainty as they look for a new head coach and GM, and McCown will be a steady veteran presence for this rocky transition. La Canfora’s piece makes it clear that the offer was made as a ‘culture’ signing, with McCown essentially serving as another coach for DeShaun Watson moving forward. McCown, who had been participating with the Eagles remotely while living at home in Texas, “agonized” over the decision to leave Philly’s organization, sources told La Canfora. Pretty much everybody seems to believe McCown is going to become a coach whenever he eventually hangs up his cleats, and La Canfora confirms that he is still “very much on the Eagles’ radar as a potential quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator soon after he retires.”
  • Speaking of things seemingly everyone believes, Adam Gase is nearly universally thought be on his way out as the Jets head coach. Whenever he’s officially fired New York’s head coaching search will become very interesting, and one name that is bound to come up again is Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh has been rumored as a Jets candidate in each of their last three coaching searches, but Rich Cimini of isn’t sure it would be a great fit. Although he notes New York interviewed Harbaugh in 2009 and were interested in 2014, he thinks a coach of Harbaugh’s pedigree would likely want to have personnel control over whatever team he heads to. Considering the Jets just recently hired GM Joe Douglas and aren’t planning on firing him any time soon, that arrangement wouldn’t really gel. All that being said, Cimini does point out that Douglas knows John Harbaugh from his time with the Ravens, so perhaps we shouldn’t totally shut the door on this one.

Browns Announce Front Office Moves

New Browns GM Andrew Berry announced a series of additions, promotions, and title changes on his player personnel staff today.

The entire list can be found here, courtesy of the team’s official website. Some of the moves, like the hiring of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as vice president of football operations and the addition of former Colts GM Ryan Grigson, have been reported previously.

Grigson, though, finally has a formal title: senior football advisor. He and Berry have a long-standing professional relationship, but Berry said his familiarity with Grigson is not the reason he was brought on board. “[Grigson] is here because I think he is very good,” Berry said. “He has a very established track record as a personnel evaluator from his time in St. Louis at the time, Philly and then obviously, Indianapolis. General Manager experience, rebuilt the Colts into a winner very quickly, Executive of the Year. And that is something that is valuable to me.”

Adofo-Mensah, who spent seven years with the 49ers, will be a part of all roster and strategy decisions and will also assist Berry with day-to-day operations (he is essentially the assistant GM). “I think [Adofo-Mensah] brings a nice blend of both an insider and an outsider perspective to football,” Berry said. “He is humble, high integrity, a continuous learner, true growth mindset and he has fantastic interpersonal and people skills … I think he is really a perfect fit to add to the mix.”

Meanwhile, former assistant director of scouting Glenn Cook, who has been with the Browns since 2016, has been promoted to vice president of player personnel. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the player personnel department, and as Ian Rapoport of tweets, Cook will also be in charge of college and pro scouting. He will be assisted by Dan Saganey, the new director of player personnel.

Of course, there are also a number of new-age, analtyics positions. Nate Sterken will serve as the new lead data scientist, Andrew Jackson is the data architect, and Ken Kovash is the vice president of player personnel process and development. Berry has been lauded for the work he has done in his first few months on the job, and his roster looks like one that could compete for a playoff spot in 2020. Today’s moves are another step towards his putting his stamp on the organization.

Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

When we ran down the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, we found that less than half of the league’s current coaches have been in their positions for more than three years. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there have been plenty of changes in recent years.

A handful of general managers have gotten to take their coats off and stay for a long while. Among coaches, Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003. Here, you’ll see that five GMs have been with their teams since before ’03 (Belichick, of course, is also on this list). Two of those five – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, and Saints, have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

Here’s the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs, along with the date they took over the job:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  7. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  8. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  9. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  10. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[7]
  11. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  12. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  13. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  14. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  15. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  16. Ryan Pace (Chicago Bears): January 8, 2015
  17. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016
  18. Bob Quinn (Detroit Lions): January 8, 2016
  19. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016
  20. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017
  21. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017
  22. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017
  23. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017
  24. Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers): July 19, 2017
  25. Dave Gettleman (New York Giants): December 28, 2017
  26. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  27. Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders): December 31, 2018
  28. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  29. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019[8]
  30. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020[9]
  31. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  32. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 28, 2020


  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.
  8. In 2018, the Ravens announced that DeCosta would replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for Ozzie Newsome after the conclusion of the season. The Ravens’ ’18 season ended with their Wild Card loss to the Chargers on 1/6/19.
  9. Technically, the Redskins do not have a GM, as of this writing. Rivera is, effectively, their GM, working in tandem with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith. Smith may receive the GM title in the near future.

Browns Execs On Garrett, Vernon, OBJ

Even after the initial waves of free agency and the NFL Draft, the Browns’ work is far from done, GM Andrew Berry says.

We have four or five months until the fall until we start playing games and then probably another six (weeks) until the trade deadline, so there are plenty of opportunities to continue to improve the roster and we’re going to be on the lookout for that over the next few months again if opportunities present themselves,’’ Berry told SiriusXM recently (via Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer). “We’re always going to look to be opportunistic across the roster and if there’s something that makes sense, we’ll see if we can attack and improve the team.’’

With lots of notable names left in free agency and on the trade block, Berry has lots of options. Could those options include a certain former No. 1 overall pick? Here’s what Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski have to say about that and more, via Cabot:

Berry on Olivier Vernon, whose presence could take the Browns out of the Jadeveon Clowney running:

Olivier is a good football player, and we like having good football players on the roster. He’s a talented defensive end. He is here and will continue to be here.”

Berry on a potential extension for Myles Garrett, who had his fifth-year option exercised for 2021:

We do see Myles as a long-term member and pillar in our organization. Great player, great person. Obviously, he did make a mistake last year that he’s learned from. But our confidence in and faith in Myles has not wavered and we’re looking to seeing what he does this year and certainly for years to come.’’ (via 105.7 The Fan)

Stefanski on Odell Beckham Jr., who is firmly in the team’s plans:

We’re a better team with him on the field…Odell is one of the guys I was fortunate enough to sit down with before all this stuff kind of went sideways, so we sat down and talked about a bunch of things. One of the things we talked about is how he’s going to factor in this offense, and I showed him a bunch of tape from the previous Vikings year, I showed him tape from his Giants years, and just my vision for what he’s going to be capable of doing in this offense.” (via 92.3 The Fan)

AFC Notes: Brady, Browns, Chargers

There’s been a lot of Tom Brady talk over the past week, and it’s hard to determine what’s real. While there was one report that Brady was planning on moving on, it appears to still very much be up in the air whether he returns to the Patriots next season. One thing is for certain though, and that’s that there are a number of potential suitors who are interested should he not go back to New England. One interesting factor is that Brady will apparently have to take less money if he wants to stay with the Pats, as Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports that New England will “almost certainly not be the highest bidder” when free agency opens.

The Patriots are apparently waiting for the new CBA situation to play out, as that would impact how they would structure any potential Brady extension. But as Howe points out, that “doesn’t explain why the Patriots haven’t at least initiated significant discussions” with Brady’s reps. Howe also writes that the two sides “haven’t had any talks of substance” about a new deal. Buzz started to heat up at the combine this past week, and we should know a lot more about Brady’s future soon.

Here’s more from around the:

  • Andrew Berry is running the Browns’ front office now, and he’s getting paid handsomely. Cleveland gave the 32-year-old around $3.3MM a year to be their new GM, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. La Canfora writes that figure has a “lot of his peers around the league excited,” since it’s a big number for a first-time GM. Executive salaries across the league are increasing, and it sounds like they could take off even more in the coming years. As La Canfora points out, the Browns are still paying Berry’s predecessor John Dorsey, who they fired earlier this offseason.
  • The Eagles have had a mountain of injuries the past few years, and they parted ways with director of high performance Shaun Huls at least partially as a result. Huls is now landing on his feet, as the Browns are hiring him to the same role, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). Huls had spent the past seven seasons in Philadelphia.
  • The Chargers are becoming the latest team to emphasize the importance of analytics in their front office. Los Angeles hired Aditya Krishnan away from Cleveland to become their director of analytics, according to Seth Walder of (Twitter link). Walder notes that the Chargers didn’t have any analytics employees prior to hiring Krishnan, and it’ll be interesting to see if this is the start of a new department to report to GM Tom Telesco. Krishnan had previously served as an analyst with the Browns.

Latest On Browns’ DE Olivier Vernon

Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon came to the team last year as part of the trade that brought WR Odell Beckham to Cleveland. Vernon is under contract through 2020, but his future with the Browns is uncertain at the moment.

Advanced metrics were reasonably fond of Vernon’s play during his first year with the Browns — though he posted just 3.5 sacks — but he is due a hefty $15.25MM salary next season. Mary Kay Cabot of says the Browns are not going to pay him that much, so he will either be released or asked to take a pay cut.

And the Browns do have plenty of leverage to demand a pay reduction. Vernon will almost certainly not fetch a deal on the open market that would pay him $15.25MM next year, and Cleveland can clear that entire figure off its books with no dead money penalty by cutting him. Plus, although Vernon did earn a Pro Bowl nod with the Giants in 2018, he has not played a full 16-game slate since 2016. He has missed at least four games in each of the past three years due to various injuries.

But cutting Vernon would leave a noticeable void in the team’s front seven, so a reworked deal may be the best course of action for both sides. If the Browns do part ways with the Miami product, Cabot says Everson Griffen, who recently opted out of his deal with the Vikings, could be a potential replacement. Griffen and new Cleveland HC Kevin Stefanski are obviously familiar with each other from their time in Minnesota.

In other Browns news, Cabot says she expects new GM Andrew Berry to use his extra draft capital to pursue trades for big-name players and that the team will scour the trade and free agent markets for offensive tackles.

Browns Hire Ryan Grigson

Ryan Grigson has joined the Browns and is currently serving in an advisory and consulting role with the team, per Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). Mary Kay Cabot of adds that Grigson will likely be hired on a full-time basis after this year’s draft.

Grigson is best known for his tenure as the Colts’ general manager from 2012-16. He earned Executive of the Year honors following his first year at the helm, which saw Indianapolis make the playoffs after going 2-14 the year before (though much of that was due to the presence of rookie QB Andrew Luck, who was a slam-dunk choice for Grigson in his first draft with Indy). While the Colts went 49-31 during Grigson’s five years as GM, they failed to qualify for the playoffs in the final two of those years, and his draft record as a whole was spotty.

He was therefore dismissed in January 2017, and he hooked on with the Browns shortly thereafter. When GM John Dorsey came to town in 2018, he got rid of Grigson, but now Andrew Berry is the Cleveland GM, and he is bringing Grigson back. The two men are very close and hold each other in high regard, per Albert Breer of (via Twitter). Berry worked under Grigson for four years in Indianapolis, and Grigson worked under Berry with the Browns in 2017, so there is plenty of familiarity there.

Breer adds in a separate tweet that the Browns plan to structure their front office like the Eagles, with one executive heading up scouting, one heading up everything else on the football side of the operation, and both reporting to the GM. Grigson could factor into that framework, especially with his scouting background.

Grigson spent the past two seasons with the Seahawks as a senior football consultant.