While for most Browns fans and beyond is excited about the arrival of Johnny Manziel, for those of us that follow North Carolina football the news out of Cleveland is definitely not the same. As reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN on Friday, the Cleveland franchise has released the fourth year wide out Greg Little.
For those that follow the off season this might not come as a big surprise as the Browns had signed Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin as well Earl Bennett, another skilled player at that position. Little, who played in all 48 games for the franchise, had gotten a reputation for dropping passes, and with Johnny Football in town the team can ill afford to have that happen.
“The young man’s talented,” Browns general manager Ray Farmer said of Little last weekend. “The question mark would then fall onto can he be consistent and do the things that he has physically demonstrated he can do at times? If he continues to do those things and add a level of consistency, the difference between being good and great is consistent.”
The problem was that Little did not show that consistency while in Cleveland and the franchise might have thought it risky, especially with a rookie and way hyped quarterback standing in the wings, to risk seeing if this would be the year for number 15.
Having said all of that, can the Browns afford to let go of Little, who put up decent numbers all three years there, even being the top reception grabber his first two seasons in the pro’s, when the franchise will be losing Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon for the entire season due to a failed off season drug test.
I wrote a piece on CLNS Radio hoping that the firing of Mark Jackson was not because the west coast team wanted another coach on the market, something that seems now to be the case. I now hope that a rookie QB, who has massive hype around him and maybe some pull, is not whispering in the ears of personnel on which wide out he wants and does not want.
Meaning that I am wishful that this was a management move and nothing more. Cause, while Little might not be the greatest wide out ever and his dropped passes have made as much press as his catches, pushing aside a player that had well over 150 catches and 1800+ yards in his first three seasons due to a rookie QB who has yet to show his skills at the next level would not be a smart idea.
As I do with all present and former UNC players, let me wish all the best as Little looks to find another team to play with in the 2014 campaign. The interesting question there is… which team could benefit from picking up the former Tar Heel, if even for just one season.