Andrew Berry

Browns Rumors: Hunt, Watson

Browns running back Kareem Hunt is heading into a contract year for the 2022 NFL season, after only appearing in eight games last year. Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com spoke on the contract situation, reporting that it seems very up in the air for now.

Hunt entered the 2021 season as the back up to Nick Chubb, racking up 361 rushing yards, along with five touchdowns before suffering a calf injury that would land him on injured reserve. He appeared in two more games after returning from injured reserve, but sat for the last four games of the season.

Cabot posits that if negotiations can be dealt with before camp is underway, it would bode well for Cleveland’s chances to keep the Hunt-Chubb tandem together. If no deal is reached by the time the season starts, though, it would be much less likely that Hunt stays in the orange and brown.

Hunt showed in Kansas City that he can be a lead back, and, with Nick Chubb firmly planted above him on the depth chart, Hunt may be willing to let this year be an audition to other teams to show that he is healthy and ready to take over lead-back responsibilities once again.

Here are a few more rumors from Cleveland, these concerning newly acquired quarterback Deshaun Watson:

  • Cleveland turned a lot of heads when they gave up a package that included three first-round draft picks to acquire Watson and then gave him a fully-guaranteed contract for $230MM, despite the 22 civil lawsuits he faces for alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Mike Sando of The Athletic heard from several executives from around the NFL who thought the moved reeked of desperation. Many thought the deal showed team owner Jimmy Haslam putting head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry in a bind, forcing a move the two likely wouldn’t otherwise have made. They claim the move gives Watson undue power to force decisions and do whatever he wants, saying he “doesn’t need to listen to anybody.” One executive said that rewarding Watson with the fully-guaranteed contract basically was a statement that all of his publicized issues don’t matter.
  • Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic enlisted the help of Jason Fitzgerald, operator of OverTheCap.com, to talk about some of the deals made around the NFL this offseason. Fitzgerald addressed the opinion that Watson’s legal situation being ignored in the awarding of his fully-guaranteed contract will set a new precedent for guaranteed contacts around the league. “I don’t think it will,” Fitzgerald said. He continued, “I know I’m in the minority on that…He was basically a free agent. The Texans said, ‘Go out and sell yourself to these teams.’ And that was what he did…Deshaun Watson was essentially a free agent. I don’t think there’s any other quarterbacks that ever make it to free agency to where they’re even gonna have that opportunity.” He compared the situation to Kirk Cousins, when he signed his first fully-guaranteed deal, ignoring the obvious publicity issues that come with Watson’s situation. He even mentioned earlier in the article that he saw Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson pursuing a situation that will play out similar to Cousins’. So it’s strange that a couple teams later in the article, he would claim that the precedent doesn’t matter because he thinks it likely won’t happen again. Regardless, Fitzgerald seemed to acknowledge that a precedent may have been set, but minimized the importance of that precedent on the assumption that similar situations would be few and far between.

AFC North Rumors: Johnson, Cleveland, Pittsburgh

Heading into a contract year, Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson is rumored to want to stay in Pittsburgh long-term, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. The fourth-year player out of Toledo has improved every year. Johnson’s reception-yardage-touchdown totals have increased from 59-680-5 in 2019 to 88-923-7 in 2020 to 107-1161-8 in 2021, and he received Pro Bowl honors in his last year with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.

According to Fowler, Johnson appears to be willing to play out the end of his contract, believing he can once again improve his play in his fourth year and prove he can be a top NFL wide receiver.

Here are a few more rumors from around the AFC North, starting with some Draft rumors for the Browns:

  • After trading the 13th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to the Texans in the Deshaun Watson-trade, Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry says it’s “unlikely” that the team will trade back up into the first round, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Berry claims they haven’t ruled it out completely, but, for the most part, the Browns seem comfortable allowing Watson to act as their first round addition and waiting until the 44th overall pick to make their first official selection of the Draft.
  • Not a rumor, but more of an AFC North note, the Steelers made an addition to their coaching staff this week. According to the team’s website, David Corley was named the Steelers’ assistant quarterbacks coach. Corley played quarterback in college, choosing to attend William & Mary despite being recruited by Clemson, South Carolina, Wake Forest, and Georgia Tech. He also had short playing stints in the Canadian and Arena Football Leagues. Corley began his coaching career at C.A. Johnson Prep as the team’s quarterbacks coach. He alternated between position coaching gigs at his alma mater and NFL internships over the next couple of years going from the Tribe’s running backs coach to the Steelers to the Tribe’s quarterbacks coach to the Panthers and back to William & Mary as the receivers coach. Corley then took a job at UConn where he rose through the ranks from running backs coach to wide receivers/special teams coach to offensive coordinator/special teams coach. After stints at Army and Penn State as a wide receivers coach, Corley returned to the NFL taking an internship for the Texans. After spending a season each as the wide receivers coach at South Carolina State and running backs coach at Richmond, Corley took an internship with the Panthers. Despite the lengthy resume, this will be Corley’s first official NFL coaching job. He will be tasked with assisting new quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan in guiding the Steelers through the post-Roethlisberger era. Following the tragic death of former-Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Corley’s position room currently holds only Mason Rudolph and Mitchell Trubisky. Whether drafted or otherwise, the Steelers will almost certainly add another young name to the room for Corley and Sullivan to start molding.

Haslam: Browns GM Proposed Fully Guaranteed Deshaun Watson Deal

The Browns’ decision to make a major quarterback upgrade has generated multifront pushback, given Deshaun Watson‘s off-field trouble and the contract structure’s effect on other teams’ future QB negotiations. The fully guaranteed $230MM did not surface until late in the process.

Watson initially rejected the Browns, and Jimmy Haslam said third-year GM Andrew Berry approached him with a radical idea to put the team back in the mix for the Pro Bowl passer. Berry pitched the idea of a fully guaranteed contract to move the needle, Haslam said. The result: a five-year deal that saw the Browns break the NFL’s record for fully guaranteed money authorized by $80MM.

I don’t how much Andrew knew,” Haslam said of other teams’ contract offers, via the Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich. “First of all, I don’t know what’s accurate. [Berry] just said, ‘Would we consider fully guaranteeing it?’ OK. What’s that mean? When’s the money due? Do you do four versus five [years]. Can we make this work? And he got us comfortable with that.”

Although four teams were finalists for Watson, it appears just one was willing to go to this extreme place. Watson refusing to waive his no-trade clause for the Browns may well have centered on Cleveland’s weather compared to the three NFC South cities in this mix. Browns co-owner Dee Haslam said Wednesday she believed this was the case. While Berry’s fully guaranteed pitch is quite the step to convince a quarterback to play in northeast Ohio, Watson had three other teams pursuing him.

The Falcons were on the verge of landing the Atlanta-area native, appearing to finish second ahead of the Saints and Panthers in this unusual pursuit. The Panthers were not comfortable guaranteeing the final two years of Watson’s contract, Ulrich adds, and Arthur Blank did not make it sound like the Falcons were prepared to authorize this landmark guarantee, either. Blank said the Falcons were only doing due diligence when they met with Watson, though the team being later reported as on the verge of landing him would contradict the owner’s view of his team’s interest.

You have to leave that to Jimmy and Dee Haslam, to make their own judgment,” Blank said, via USA Today’s Jarrett Bell. “The fact it’s $80MM above the highest contract ever given, guaranteed, in the history of the league, 102 years old, says a lot. Whether most teams in the NFL or any other team in the NFL would have committed to that contract, I don’t know. That certainly is a huge commitment.”

It is interesting contract matters played into these talks, considering Watson had only played one season on the $39MM-per-year deal he signed with the Texans in 2020. Technically, Watson was tied to that contract for two years, since Houston deactivated him throughout the 2021 season. But that Texans deal ran through 2025. Watson having a no-trade clause gave him considerable power, and the bidding war led to the Browns making an offer he could not refuse.

Latest On Browns C J.C. Tretter, O-Line Plans

Browns center J.C. Tretter profiles as a potential cap casualty, given that his release would save the team $8.2MM against the cap while incurring a modest $1.6MM dead money charge. Cleveland GM Andrew Berry recently addressed Tretter’s status, and he stopped short of confirming Tretter will be back in 2022, the final year of his current contract.

“For all of these situations on our roster, we work through them over the next couple weeks,” Berry said (via Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal). “J.C.’s been a real productive veteran for us, he’s been a starter since 2017 for us and played a lot of really good football, we expect him to continue to play some really good football.”

Tretter, 31, has dealt with ankle and knee injuries over the past three seasons, but he has missed just one game since joining the Browns in 2017 (which came in Week 16 of the 2021 season and which was due to a positive COVID-19 test). Although he has never made a Pro Bowl, Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics have consistently rated him as a high-end starter, with a grade no lower than 72.0 since 2018. And with the Browns angling for a postseason berth in 2022, a quality veteran on a reasonable salary at the pivot is a nice luxury for Berry to have.

That is especially true when considering that RT Jack Conklin, who recently restructured his deal, missed 10 games in 2021 due to a variety of injuries, including a torn patellar tendon. Berry said that Conklin is “doing well” in his recovery, but in light of the play-time incentives included in the reworked contract, it seems as if there is at least a chance that Conklin will miss game action in 2022.

If that happens, though, the Browns do not plan to shift LT Jedrick Wills to the right side. Wills had some injury issues of his own in 2021 and did not play particularly well in his 13 contests, but he is going to stay right where he is, despite his RT experience in high school and college.

“No, Jed will stay at left tackle,” Berry said. “We feel good about the depth that we have at the tackle position.”

Berry did leave open the possibility of supplementing that depth. Swingman Chris Hubbard, who played in just one game in 2021 due to a triceps injury, is eligible for free agency, and as a result of the health issues experienced by Hubbard, Wills, and Conklin, 2021 fourth-rounder James Hudson and former Jets taxi squad member Blake Hance were forced into significant action.

On the plus side, 2020 fifth-rounder Nick Harris played well in Tretter’s absence last year. If Berry were to move on from Tretter, that would suggest that he has considerable faith in Harris.

In related news, head coach Kevin Stefanski will continue calling the team’s offensive plays, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (via Twitter). This is despite the fact that Alex Van Pelt no longer has to pull double-duty as offensive coordinator and QB coach.

Hue Jackson Accuses Browns Of Incentivizing Tanking

THURSDAY: Haslam denied paying Jackson to lose games, saying during an appearance on Knox News the current Grambling State HC has lobbed salvos at the Browns to cover up his poor performance as a head coach. While Jackson was saddled with terrible rosters in 2016 and ’17, Haslam pointed to the 2018 season — when the Browns finished 5-3 after starting 2-5-1 before Jackson’s ouster — as evidence Jackson deserves more of the responsibility than he has accepted for the failures of that period. The former Cleveland coach’s claims center on the 2016 and ’17 slates, though Haslam said “unequivocally, Hue Jackson was never paid to lose games.”

WEDNESDAY: Former Browns head coach Hue Jackson plans to speak with Brian Flores‘ attorneys about the latter’s class-action lawsuit against the NFL, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com reports. While Flores named the Dolphins, Giants and Broncos in his suit, the Browns would come to the forefront if Jackson signs on as a plaintiff.

The former Cleveland HC has expressed a willingness to reveal proof Browns owner Jimmy Haslam incentivized tanking during the 2016 and ’17 seasons, Robinson adds. The executive director of the Hue Jackson Foundation, Kimberly Diemert, accused the Browns of paying bonus money to Jackson, current GM Andrew Berry, current chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and former executive VP Sashi Brown to tank during those seasons (Twitter link).

Jackson has replied to several tweets on this matter as well. In a tweet Tuesday night, Jackson said, “I stand with Brian Flores. I can back up every word I’m saying.” While the Browns were attempting a radical rebuild during those seasons, ones that pitted Jackson against a new-age front office, the team strongly denied Diemert’s allegation. Jackson is currently the head coach at Grambling State, which hired him in December.

The recent comments by Hue Jackson and his representatives relating to his tenure as our head coach are completely fabricated,” a Browns spokesperson said, via Robinson. “Any accusation that any member of our organization was incentivized to deliberately lose games is categorically false.”

In a separate Twitter reply, Jackson made another claim the Browns were incentivizing losses, saying, “Trust me it was a good number” when asked about the Dolphins’ alleged $100K payments to Flores. The Browns, who hired John Dorsey as GM late in 2017, fired Jackson midway through the 2018 season. Jackson went 3-36-1 in Cleveland. This tenure included the league’s second 0-16 season in 2017.

We were paid for it. You’re going to see it as losing, but the way the team was built there was no chance to win at a high level,” Jackson said when asked about being incentivized to tank during a SportsCenter appearance on Wednesday (via ESPN.com’s Jake Trotter, on Twitter). “My record that year [2016] was 1-15. There was a four-year plan that was crafted, and I have documentation that any coach would cringe if he saw it, because it talked things that had nothing to do with winning. Aggregate rankings, being the youngest team, having so many draft picks — none of those things lead to winning.

I didn’t understand what the plan was. I asked for clarity because it did not talk about winning and losing until Year 3 and 4. That told you right there that something wasn’t correct, but I still couldn’t understand it until [seeing] the team that I had. And once being in the midst of it and finding out the team that I had and understanding that, ‘Wait a minute. At the end of the year there’s money coming in?’ Like I said, I didn’t understand it, here’s this money and percentages based on what you did, that didn’t make any sense to me.

“I remember very candidly saying to Jimmy, ‘I’m not interested in this bonus money,’ because I’ve never known that to be a bonus. I was interested in taking whatever money that was and putting it toward getting more players on our football team, because I didn’t think we were very talented at all.”

Fielding a team bad enough to go 1-31 in a two-year stretch and offering payments to a coach and execs for losses are obviously two different things. The latter accusations levied against the Dolphins and Browns being proven would certainly double as one of the biggest scandals in NFL history. Having not been an NFL coach since 2018, Jackson also has less to lose than Flores, who interviewed for four HC jobs during this year’s cycle. Attorneys for Flores anticipate other coaches joining the since-fired Dolphins HC’s litigation, Robinson adds.

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 NFL.com’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 Cleveland.com. 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 ESPN.com 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 NFL.com 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.