Published On: Thu, Dec 7th, 2017

The 3 moves that sank Sashi Brown

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Michael McClymont

3m ago

Brian Spurlock / USA TODAY Sports

Sashi Brown’s stint as leader of football operations for the Cleveland Browns lasted less than two seasons. Since he was promoted to the position in January 2016, the Browns lost 27 of 28 games and took additional Ls off the field.

Brown was fired on Thursday, with the team on pace for an 0-16 season. Three moves, in particular, led to his dismissal:

Carson Wentz trade


The Browns’ history with quarterbacks has been heavily scrutinized. Heck, there’s even a jersey chronicling the misery.

Entering the draft in April 2016 armed with the second overall pick, the Browns were well positioned to draft their quarterback of the future. Instead, just over a week before the draft, the Browns traded their first-round selection and a fourth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for the eighth overall pick and other selections in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 drafts.

The Eagles moved up to the second spot to take 6-foot-5 passer Carson Wentz.

After one season, Wentz is a favorite to win 2017 NFL MVP. He has the Eagles tied for the best record in the league and a win away from clinching a playoff spot.

What was the Browns’ explanation for passing on what is likely the Eagles’ franchise quarterback? Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta revealed to ESPN that they didn’t believe Wentz would become a top-20 quarterback.

Head coach Hue Jackson was enamored with Wentz, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The front office wasn’t.

By passing on Wentz, Cleveland’s search for a QB continued into this year’s draft.

Deshaun Watson trade


And in that draft, the Browns owned the first overall pick and the first-round pick acquired from the Eagles, the 12th overall selection.

Again, Brown and his staff identified that no quarterback was worthy of the first pick. Then, the Houston Texans came calling about the 12 spot.

With National Championship-winning quarterback Deshaun Watson still available, the Browns gave up the 12th pick for the 25th pick and Houston’s first-round pick in 2018.

The Texans drafted Watson, and upon earning the starting job in Week 2, he proceeded to set the NFL ablaze. He was a favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year before suffering a season-ending injury. But in seven games, he left no doubt he will be Houston’s franchise quarterback going forward.

As for Cleveland? The Browns used a second-round pick in the draft on Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer. They then proceeded to sit Kizer on four different occasions and bench him on another ahead of the trade deadline.

Bungled AJ McCarron trade


By Oct. 31, the Browns were 0-8 and cycling through quarterbacks. The San Francisco 49ers made a bold move for New England Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo and that left Cincinnati Bengals backup AJ McCarron as the prospect best able to change the Browns’ fortunes immediately.

Trades between the Browns and Bengals are rarities, but, with little time to spare before the deadline, the AFC North rivals agreed to conditions of a trade.

What happened next is under some dispute, but what is understood is the required documentation from the Browns was sent to the league offices too late.

Related – Report: Browns’ owners irate at front office after failed McCarron trade

The Browns have had to endure the embarrassment that came from the nixed trade and their still winless record.

While two teams Cleveland consummated trades with appear to have bright futures led by their recently acquired quarterbacks, the Browns remain searching for theirs.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)



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