With the NFL season rapidly approaching, a lot of people – fans, analysts, and everyone in between – has opinions on what will happen: which teams will overachieve, which ones will underachieve, and which teams will just, well, achieve.
For Nate Burleson, his sleeper team might surprise you.
That’s because it’s the Cleveland Browns. You know, the team that went 1-15 last season and 3-13 the year before that.
The Browns. From Cleveland.
Nate, please explain that.
“I love what they’re doing,” the CBS NFL Today and Good Morning Football co-host said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “This isn’t the hype train. I got killed over the summer because I said with what they’re doing in the draft and what I saw in the future that they could win six to seven games – and people lit me up. Right out the gate, I said DeShone Kizer is going to be your starter Week 1. (People) lit me up again. I just feel like the moves they’re making and things that they’re doing, they’re putting themselves in position to turn this whole organization around.”
Burleson was even on board with the Browns releasing Joe Haden, the seventh overall pick in 2010. Haden, 28, has since signed a three-year, $27-million deal with AFC North rival Pittsburgh.
“Some would say, ‘Why are you letting go of your premier corner?’” Burleson said. “As a vet that understands the business side of it, they’re making the right moves to make room for the young talent and guys that are cheaper. So if you’re making room for younger talent – cheaper, faster, stronger individuals – then you’re doing things that are building properly for the future. I feel like the Browns are in a position to do something great.”
As for a team that might underachieve, Burleson’s response, once again, could surprise you.
“I thought initially it was going to be the Patriots,” he said. “I thought that this is the one season that they weren’t motivated and everything was too right on paper and how is a team that was so good get so much better? And then Julian (Edelman) goes down – and Julian is one of my boys. As I’m texting Julian saying, ‘Hold your head up, you’re going to bounce back stronger than ever,’ I’m thinking, ‘This is it. This is their motivation. This is that thing that’s going to get them over the hump once again.’ Now they’re going to sit in that locker room and you know what they’re going to say: ‘Let’s win it for Julian.’ And guess what? Them Pats just might win it for Julian.”