Cleveland Browns give fans something to believe in: A fan’s perspective

Cleveland, Ohio, is not the most glamorous city in the United States. We bear the brunt of most jokes directed at the city and our sports teams by fans of other teams from all over the world. The fact is we have a lot to be proud of. The Cleveland Indians are off to a surprisingly great start and the Cleveland Cavaliers are anxious to rebuild in the off-season, but the Cleveland Browns have given us fans a reason to call our town "Believeland."

Little did we know back on March 14, 2010 when we sent our failing quarterback Brady Quinn(notes) to Denver for little known and rarely used running back Peyton Hillis(notes) that he would dominate on the field, become a fan favorite, and earn the cover of the popular video game ''¹…"Madden NFL 12.' Yes, you read it correctly! A Cleveland Browns player will be featured on the cover of arguably the most popular football video game in the world!

Just a day later Browns President Mike Holmgren and company brokered a deal that was unbelievable for the Browns. I heard some fan outcry when the team traded the number six pick in the draft to the Atlanta Falcons, but I was vocal to naysayers to trust Holmgren. The guy is a winner. The Falcons used that pick to draft receiver Julio Jones(notes), which arguably could have made the Browns a better team had they picked him. What the Browns did receive in return was simply unheard of. Atlanta gave up their own first round pick (27), second round (59), and fourth round (124) in 2011, and their first and fourth round pick in 2012. The Browns now have two first round picks for next year's draft.

By giving up the pick that landed Julio Jones the Browns were able to draft Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor(notes) (pick 21 from Kansas City Chiefs for the Browns first and third round pick in the 2011 draft), North Carolina wide receiver Greg Little(notes), and Stanford fullback Owen Marecic(notes). This doesn't take into account the two picks next year. I would consider it a great deal where it stand as is. All three players picked from the proceeds of this trade are sure to contribute to the team next season.

In the past year since Holmgren took over football operations for the team the Browns have slowly gotten younger, stronger, and tougher. The glory days of the new Cleveland Browns may not be here just yet but they are right around the corner. We finally have a team to believe in!

More Cleveland Browns content from this Contributor:

Cleveland Browns' best and worst games for the 2011 NFL season: Local fan's take

A look at the 2011 Cleveland Browns football schedule

Biggest NFL Draft busts for the Cleveland Browns: Local fan perspective

Sources:

Cleveland Browns on Yahoo! Sports

Paul Rados is a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. You can follow him on Twitter @PSRados

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Updated Tuesday, May 3, 2011