The Browns’ 2018 schedule features another uneasy path for a franchise coming off an 0-16 season that set a rebuild in motion with new GM John Dorsey in the offseason.
Bottom line: This is Cleveland, so there are no easy games on the schedule. If you look at the first six weeks of the last two seasons, Cleveland had six one-score losses. If the Browns can flip one or two of those into close victories regardless of competition, it could build some momentum in the right direction. Here is a not-so-fun fact for Browns fans: Cleveland is 1-18 in openers since returning to the NFL in 1999, and that includes 13 straight Week 1 losses and an 0-14 record at home. A Week 1 victory would be a giant step in the right direction. Record prediction: 4-12
According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, Rosen tried to decline the invitation to the NFL Player Association’s “Rookie Premiere” so he could stay in Arizona and practice, but was told he couldn’t.
That decision sparked some back-and-forth on Twitter between ESPN and the union over a report that one player wanted to, and created some confusion about what could and couldn’t be done by players.
The event is voluntary, but players are told that by rule, they can’t work out with their teams during the event if they choose to skip it. (Which keeps teams from making them “volunteer” for their “voluntary” workouts instead.) But the CBA says that teams must permit rookies to attend the event, and doesn’t specify that they can’t be at the team facility if they don’t go. There’s a side agreement between the league and the union on the matter, and the league sends out a memo each year saying that players invited to the event can’t practice during that weekend.
“They’re new members of the NFL and say, ‘Hey, I want to stick around and practice,’” said Ahmad Nassar, president of NFL Players, Inc., the licensing and marketing arm of the union. “We understand that and so does the NFL. The reality is we can’t force them to come.”