Johnny Manziel has retired the money sign, but should he also give up any hope of overtaking free agent signee Josh McCown for the starting quarterback gig? Let's face it. McCown is nothing more than a stopgap to the next quarterback of the future in Cleveland. Sooner or later, the Browns will have to find out if that is Manziel. Should they wait another year to figure it out or just hand the reins over to Manziel now so Ray Farmer can enter his next draft with a better idea of whether the Browns need to select yet another QB.
Three-headed RB monster?
Last year, the Browns entered the season that Ben Tate would be their bell cow. He was sent packing after eight games as rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell asserted themselves sooner than expected. West and Crowell were expected to do all the heavy lifting in 2015, but third-round pick Duke Johnson looks the part after an impressive minicamp. Can Johnson carve out a role for himself like the Baby Backs did last year?
For the second straight year, the Browns passed on selecting a receiver in the first round and instead signed veterans Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline. There is a good chance both players will end up starting with Andrew Hawkins manning the slot, but with McCown at quarterback, we'd expect the Browns to rely heavy on the running game. Bowe, who went all of last season without catching a touchdown pass in Kansas City, has predicted many leaps into the Dawg Pound this season.
Will Tashaun Gipson rebound?
The Browns secondary is expected to be among the best in the league, led by Pro Bowl corner Joe Haden. Gipson, coming off a Pro Bowl selection of his own despite suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 12, is also unhappy about his contract situation. After skipping offseason workouts, Gipson showed up to mandatory minicamp with an injured hamstring and didn't practice, drawing the ire of his head coach. Gipson needs to work hard to regain the confidence of Pettine and get his knee back into game shape. He'll need a big season to earn the big contract he's looking for to stay in Cleveland.
Getty ImagesKevin C. Cox
No. 12 overall pick Danny Shelton figures to step right into the middle of the Browns defense, which was gashed by opposing running backs with regularity last season. Cameron Erving, selected 19th overall, will be in a dogfight to secure a spot on the starting offensive line. With Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, and Alex Mack anchoring the line, Erving will have to duke it out for a spot on the right side with John Greco and Mitchell Schwartz, who are coming off pretty decent seasons themselves. Erving has the versatility to play all along the line, so the Browns may just keep him as the first guy off the bench to start his career.