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Would Browns fans follow the team in being all-in?

As thermometers glow bright red with the exuberance of a kid in a candy shop, our minds are focused on the months that lie ahead. Football season begins in two weeks. Browns fans around the world enter the 2023 season with the same hopes all NFL fans carry into the 17-game season. Each new season is a chance to start over. It is an opportunity to dream of seeing our team achieve prominence and perhaps excellence, as we have seen with so many other teams across the league.

Browns fans are good at many things. The least of which is not the ability to be optimistic and the curse of eternal pessimism, which creeps into our minds on a weekly basis during the season. Optimism is warranted in 2023. The roster is stacked with talent at almost every position and contains a nice mix of veterans and youth. Whether the players on the roster gel in the coming months is another matter that will be up to the players, coaches, and self-appointed team leaders.

Regardless of how well the players come together, expectations are high for this roster due to the level of talent. It’s important to recognize the work done by General Manager Andrew Berry in assembling the majority of this roster. He hasn’t hit on all of his draft picks. He has brought in a few players who didn’t work out, too. That’s simply the nature of the game as a GM. Drafting is more art than science, and Berry is trending toward being a Picasso rather than a paint-by-number amateur.

With the bankroll of the Haslams behind him, Berry and his team have restructured enough deals to make next season’s cap deficit a non-issue. In fact, the team has proven that the cap doesn’t need to be an issue moving forward. Creative solutions are seemingly always available. With over $39MM in cap space, the Browns will have options prior to and throughout the season to add a piece or pieces if the timing and the player are right. The money doesn’t need to be spent. Think of it as an emergency fund. If things go right and the team is close, expect them to pull the trigger on a deal.

The Browns have a great opportunity to be special in 2023. The stacked roster, new coaching staff, and adding reinforcements would mean the Browns are all in. The question is whether fans are too snake-bit to follow the team in this thinking. Browns fans love their team. They’ve also had their heart ripped out, tossed onto the pavement, and stomped on before their eyes countless times. It can keep a fan from getting too confident, so we watch, and we wait.

The fans aren’t likely to jump on the “all-in” bandwagon until the team wins and wins a lot. We’re talking about a division title or a 12-win season with a playoff win. That’s fair. With all the support and loyalty this fan base has given this team, they deserve to see it happen on the field before going all-in on a season. We’re optimistic in Cleveland but we also have great memories.

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