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State of the Union: Cleveland Sports Edition

Derek Dimit | Believeland Media LLC


As March exits like a Lion throughout Northeast Ohio, here's a rundown of what is going on with our favorite teams:


Cleveland Browns


Photo: Derek Dimit


The NFL League Year started on March 15th, signifying the start of the Free Agency period for the NFL. While the Browns didn't make any big splash signings, they did a good job of filling their biggest needs, as covered by Dean & Clarence in the latest Brown & Orange Weekly. Their most glaring needs were on the defensive side of the ball, which they clearly made their priority in free agency with the signings of former Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, former Houston Texans Defensive End Ogbonnia Okronkwo, and Kansas City Chiefs Safety Juan Thornhill. As for the offensive side, the Browns added some new weapons to Deshaun Watsons' arsenal by trading for disgruntled New York Jets receiver Elijah Moore and signing journeyman Wideout Marquise Goodwin while also bringing over a former teammate of Watson in tight end Jordan Akins.


With free agency a few weeks old, many teams have turned their sights to the 2023 NFL Draft, which will take place April 27-29. Currently, the Browns hold the following picks:

  • Round 3, Pick 74 (from NYJ)

  • Round 3, Pick 98*

  • Round 4, Pick 111

  • Round 4, Pick 126 (from MIN)

  • Round 5, Pick 142 (from LAR)

  • Round 5, Pick 144

  • Round 6, Pick 190

  • Round 7, Pick 229

*compensatory selection

Given the fact that the Browns won't be picking until pick 74, the hope of getting a day 1 starter in the draft is pretty minute.



Cleveland Cavaliers


Photo: Cavs.com


The Cleveland Cavaliers are wrapping up their regular season campaign and have clinched their first playoff appearance since the 2017-2018 season. This will be their first playoff appearance without LeBron James being a member of the team since the 1997-1998 season. The Cavaliers have a good mix of "homegrown talent" in draft picks Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Isaac Okoro, along with trade acquisitions such as Donovan Mitchell and Jarret Allen. Not only are the Cavaliers heading to their first playoff in 5 seasons, but they are also on the cusp of securing home-court advantage for the first round, a big advantage for a young team. As it currently stands, the most likely opening-round opponent will be the New York Knicks, who the Cavs are 1-2 against this season, with their final regular season match-up taking place in Cleveland on 3/31. The CAVS have a chance to wrap up the #4 seed with a win over New York on Friday night.


Cleveland Guardians


Photo: MLB.com - Andrés Giménez


The Guardians open their 2023 season on the west coast, with sets in Seattle and Oakland before coming back to the friendly confines at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. For the second season in a row the Guardians, in the waning moments of Spring Training, signed a key core member of the team to an extension. While last year saw José Ramírez get the largest contract ever given to a Cleveland baseball player at 5 years and $124 million, this year's recipient was fellow infielder Andrés Giménez, who on March 30th signed a 7-year deal worth $106.5 million. They then locked up a key member of the bullpen in Trevor Stephan, signing him to a 4-year extension with the final two years being club options.


While that's the good news as the season begins, there is bad news as the Guardians look to defend their Central Division crown this season. As talked about on the latest Guardians of the CLE pod with Mel & James (with guest appearances by Kevin and Paul), the Guardians will be without Starting Pitcher Triston McKenzie for anywhere between 2-8 weeks with a strained right teres major muscle, which is located in the back of the shoulder. The hope is McKenzie can begin throwing again in two weeks and if all goes well, he may be back in the Guards rotation sooner than that 2 month window. However, given the length of the season (and hopes of a deep run in October) along with McKenzie's stature, look for the Guardians to err on the side of caution and let the injury heal completely as opposed to rushing the young hurler back before he's 100%.





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