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.
Browns TE David Njoku (knee, ribs) is active for today’s game against the Falcons. The injuries add some risk to his outlook, but Njoku remains safely inside TE1 territory in the Week 10 Rankings.
The Browns expect TE David Njoku to play against the Falcons today, despite knee and rib injuries that have him questionable. That's barring a setback to either issue in pregame, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. We'll confirm Njoku's status when inactives come out later this morning.
Browns TE David Njoku (knee, ribs) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Falcons after a limited week of practice. We’ve heard nothing to suggest that he’s in danger of missing this one, but his status will be worth checking on Sunday morning.
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.
Browns WR Josh Gordon is out for Sunday's game at New Orleans. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Gordon complained of hamstring trouble at team headquarters Saturday and was ruled out after getting checked. That leaves a few more targets available for WR Jarvis Landry, TE David Njoku and RB Duke Johnson in a game where Cleveland figures to trail.
The weather for today's Steelers-Browns game doesn't look quite as bad as it appeared it might be 24 hours ago. Light rain is expected throughout with winds of 10-20 mph. We'd try to avoid the kickers in this game and use the weather as a tiebreaker for passing-game pieces. But we're not adjusting our projections.
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.
Browns TE Seth DeValve will head to training camp next month after a strong offseason. “Most of his development in the offseason was that he put on a little weight, he is noticeably stronger, he is faster and he is healthier,” TEs coach Greg Seamon said at the end of June minicamp. “His ability to run routes, catch the ball, leave his feet, catch the ball away from his body and he has a big catch radius, I think those things are showing up out here." DeValve finished with just 10 catches for 127 yards and 2 scores last year, but the quiet season wasn't a surprise. He was a 4th-round rookie out of Princeton playing in a bad Browns offense. DeValve is a 6'2, 244-pounder who registered a 96th percentile SPARQ score last year, though, so there's upside here. David Njoku remains the favorite to leads Browns TEs in targets this season. But we know that rookie TEs tend to struggle. DeValve is worth monitoring, especially in dynasty leagues.
The Browns have released TE Gary Barnidge -- not a major surprise after trading back into the 1st round to grab TE David Njoku last night. After an out-of-nowhere 1,043-yard, 9-TD 2015 season, Barnidge mustered just 612 yards and 2 scores this past year. He figures to latch on elsewhere but turns 32 in August and isn't particularly likely to re-emerge as a fantasy asset. Cleveland, meanwhile, is clearly expecting Njoku to play a significant rookie-year role. The only other TEs on the roster are Seth DeValve and Randall Telfer.
The Browns acquired the 29th overall pick from the Packers — their 3rd first rounder — and selected Miami TE David Njoku. Njoku might have even more pass-catching upside than O.J. Howard. He broke out for a 43-698-8 line this past season, averaging a ludicrous 11.2 yards after the catch. He goes 6’4, 246 pounds and crushed the Combine, earning a 97th percentile SPARQ score. And he doesn’t turn 21 until July. We wouldn’t bet on Njoku emerging as a major fantasy factor on the rebuilding Browns this year, but there’s huge long-term upside here.
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