Turn It Around

By Je’Rod Cherry

The question has been posed: Which Cleveland sports franchise has the best chance of turning it around?

I believe the Browns stand the greatest chance because front office decision makers in the NFL (unlike MLB and NBA) have an inequitable process for bad teams to acquire and keep talent.

For the Tribe, having a great farm system seems like the answer, yet having a great farm system is circumvented by ownership’s inability to pay all the talent once it has become productive and marketable.

Tribe ownership can model themselves like the Devil Rays and build via the farm system, but sadly this is a feast or famine solution. The Tampa Devil Rays fan base has witnessed top players bounce and jettison to the Sox and/or Yankees once they reach all-star levels, and there are never guarantees that draft picks developing in single the minor leagues will pan out! Therefore, until baseball initiates a salary cap the Tribe does not stand a chance.

The Cavs turnaround may take the longest. One thing that I’ve realized is talent is more important than a system. A competent system can make a team respectable, but teams need talent to stay and get over the top.

The problem the Cavs will face moving forward post-LBJ is that star players will not come here until the memory of LBJ is gone. Current players’ mentality is that they do not want Bron’s sloppy seconds here in Cleveland. They would rather blaze their own path than follow in James’ footsteps.

The Cavs may get great players via the draft, but current NBA trends suggest that you need a big three and a deep bench to win it all. Thus you are looking at 4 to 5 drafts to fill a roster that yields championship-caliber players if top-flight free agents refuse to come. Goodnight!

Your Cleveland Browns make the most sense, because great talent evaluation coupled with a proven system continues to work year in and year out in the NFL. The Browns will have the opportunity again with good-to-great talent evaluators making key decisions.

If the Browns can have another impactful draft and find other free agents that are flying under the radar, then the likelihood of this team turning around this year is probable, and more than likely 2 years from now. Sadly, I cannot make that same argument for the Indians or Cavs.




  1. I agree with you on the Tribes farm system ..they did it before..with the likes of Manny, but their problem is they just don’t keep them around,,,look at all the talent that has left them and only to be come superstar players the next year playing some where else

  2. Good stuff Je’Rod. I agree wholeheartedly with your take on the Tribe and MLB in general. If you don’t have the cash long term to keep players, you won’t be winning much unless you luck out. I somewhat disagree about the Cavs and the NBA.

    Although you are right about Free Agents not wanting to come here, and it taking some years to build through the draft, you are forgetting how one superstar can change an entire organization: Unfortunately, we’ve seen that in both good and bad ways with LBJ. Do not discount the impact a Kyrie Irving type of player could have on the team. Also, One major component of a building a a championship contending team in the NBA which you overlooked is via the trade. The Lakers were an average team until the traded for Pau Gasol; now they are going for a 4th straight Finals appearance and 3 straight titles. The Celtics were the laughing stock of the league until they traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen; now they are going for a second title and third finals appearance in 4 years. Shaq to Miami, Rasheed to Detroit, I could go on and on. My point being, it will not take the Cavs 5 years to build a contender IF they draft well AND pull off a quality trade or two. Remember, the Cavs will have TONS of draft picks and young assets in the next few years to toss around as well as $.

    That all being said, I agree the Browns are by far the closest to being a contender. Hopefully we have another good draft and like you mentioned, we can pick up a few under the radar free agent to make an impact like Fujita did.

  3. the only thing i dissagree on is the 2 year mark. we are playing the NFC West next year and barring a long term lockout we better have a good record with the new coaches and additions to this roster. not that i think they will be a seriouse contender this coming year but we should be a step closer to Turning the AFC North into the most dominate division in the NFL

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