The Browns have reached a deal with the Giants to acquire WR Odell Beckham Jr. The deal will send 1st- and 3rd-round picks plus S Jabrill Peppers to the Giants. Beckham has 5 more years on a contract that he signed just last August, though there's no guaranteed money beyond 2020. The move obviously gives Cleveland a new #1 WR, one of the league's most talented. Beckham and WR Jarvis Landry will challenge each others' target counts in an offense that finished 2018 with lower passing volume. The Giants, meanwhile, sport no WR ahead of Sterling Shepard at the moment. We'll see what they do in free agency and the draft to address a position that's suddenly desperately shallow. Peppers joins a secondary that will also add Antoine Bethea in free agency. If Peppers and Bethea emerge as the 2 starters, the Giants might sport a lack in deep-coverage ability. The big fantasy winner here, by the way, is Cleveland 2nd-year QB Baker Mayfield.
The Browns are hiring Freddie Kitchens as their HC. Kitchens took over as Cleveland's interim OC in Week 9 of this past season and immediately turned the unit around. After averaging 21.1 points and 342 total yards over the first 8 games, the Browns averaged 23.8 points and 395 yards across the last 8. QB Baker Mayfield was especially impressive under Kitchens, completing 68% of his passes, averaging 8.6 yards per attempt and tossing 19 TDs over those 8 games. This is a big step up in responsibility for Kitchens, who had never even called plays in the NFL prior to last year. But we at least like the move for the Browns offense.
The Browns have fired HC Hue Jackson, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Finally! Jackson has compiled a 3-36-1 record in Cleveland but somehow hung around for 2-and-a-half seasons. We'll see who the Browns tab as their interim HC, but the move can be nothing but good news for the team's skill-position guys.
Update: The Browns have also fired OC Todd Haley.
Update: The Browns have named former DC Gregg Williams their interim HC and former RBs coach Freddie Kitchens their interim OC.
The Buccaneers have ruled DT Gerald McCoy (calf) and DE Vinny Curry (ankle) out for Sunday's game against the Browns. Neither is a big IDP factor, but the absences of both starters can only help an already-bright fantasy outlook for Browns QB Baker Mayfield.
Browns HC Hue Jackson confirmed Monday what everyone suspected after Thursday night: QB Baker Mayfield is taking over the starting job. Tyrod Taylor completed just 48.8% of his passes at 5.5 yards per attempt and a 63.7 QB rating before sustaining a concussion in the win over the Jets. Mayfield came on to go 17-of-23 passing for 201 yards (8.7 YPA) and a 100.1 passer rating. Anyone watching the game could see the rookie sparking a struggling offense. Mayfield carries fantasy upside with his mobility and a solid set of receivers but figures to open as a QB2 -- even in an upside Week 4 matchup at Oakland.
Browns QB Tyrod Taylor left in the 2nd quarter Thursday night’s game against the Jets with a concussion. He has been ruled out and will need to pass through the league protocol before returning. Rookie Baker Mayfield immediately sparked a pass offense that has been struggling under Taylor. This might just remain his job going forward
Browns QB Tyrod Taylor got his left wrist bent back awkwardly in the 1st quarter of Thursday night's preseason game against the Eagles. He quickly headed back to the locker room with trainers. We'll look for an update on Taylor's status. His absence would leave 1st overall pick Baker Mayfield as Cleveland's starting QB.
Update: Taylor returned to the game in the 2nd quarter.
Browns HC Hue Jackson said Friday that he's giving OC Todd Haley "total autonomy" of the offense. He's "one of the best in the business," Jackson added of Haley. Consider this good news for all of Cleveland's skill-position guys. The Browns have ranked 31st and 32nd in points scored under Jackson the past 2 seasons. Haley arrives with 11 years of experience as a HC or OC. Eight of his squads have finished in the top half of the league in total points, including 6 top-10 finishes.
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