The Cleveland Browns will end up being the most improved team in the AFC North and will still finish in last place. That's how tough this division has become. The goal would be to reach .500, but there's still too many holes on this team for the Browns to achieve that. This has the look of a sixth straight double-digit-loss season, even though this team will be better than the previous ones.
The offense will be more explosive under coordinator Norv Turner, and Trent Richardson can be a top-five running back if he remains healthy. On defense, the Browns invested $35 million in guaranteed money in linebacker Paul Kruger and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant in free agency and used the No. 6 overall pick on pass-rusher Barkevious Mingo. There's no doubt that the Browns will be more disruptive on defense.
But despite salary-cap room, the Browns didn't significantly upgrade at cornerback, free safety, inside linebacker, guard or fullback. As one team official told me, you can't expect the Browns to fix all of their problems in one offseason. This franchise is at least one more year away from challenging the likes of the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Predicted finish in AFC North: fourth