The Cleveland Browns avoided becoming the second team in NFL history going down to a 0-16 record this season. Beating the San Diego Chargers, 20-17 further complicates the chances for the Browns getting next year’s overall pick.
According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, the Browns could be contenders of getting the No. 1 overall pick for next year. However, the thing got complicated when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams via 22-21 Sunday. Sharon Katz explains the Browns’ chances of getting the no. 1 pick against the 49ers.
“If the 49ers missed the 2-point conversion and lost the game. They [Browns] would have had a 75% chance for the No. 1 overall draft pick,” Katz said.
How could the Browns get those chances back?
For the Browns to get back being contenders for the overall pick, they must lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns would visit the Steelers in Week 17 and must lose big time. However, the 49ers themselves also have the Seattle Seahawks will face next week and may force a tiebreaker instead.
Granting both teams lose to their respective opponents, the league would use the reverse order of strength. And that would put the 49ers way below the Browns giving them the advantage as well for the overall pick.
What is next for the Browns?
Winning their first match this season simply energizes the Browns and would want to bow out with a bang. They will meet the Steelers next week without quarterback Robert Griffin III due to a concussion. The Browns want that winning run to continue, but with the overall pick at stake, Hue Jackson may opt otherwise.
Aside from thinking about next year’s draft, the Browns also have a couple of players they need to re-sign. Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer writes that the win gave the Browns leverage to sign players to contract extensions.
Some of the players due to contract extension include Terrelle Pryor and Jamie Collins. They may also negotiate to re-sign Chris Kirksey and Joel Bitonio to contract extensions.
“Both [Kirkesy and Bitonio] cannot be free agents until the summer of 2018. But the idea is to extend their deals before they reach free agency,” Pluto wrote.
The win over the Chargers certainly cut the stigma with the Browns as they managed to break the curse. Now, it is up to them to further change their fate next season with the overall pick on the line. The Browns can opt to lose to the Steelers and start their rebuild early with the overall pick.
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