There are always a lot of hot political stories to choose between when it is time to pick the one best topic for our weekly reader poll. We have plans to soon expand this digitally into a daily feature, which will sure make picking the topics easier.
Two weeks ago we discussed a heavy topic, asking our readers whether they worry about a Chinese-developed 5G communications network posing a privacy threat to the U.S. and other countries. Over three quarters of you were worry warts like me – 76.8 percent said yes. The other 23.2 percent of you are my heroes ... no worries mate. I need to work on that.
Last week we asked: "Who will win out in Venezuela, the socialist government of Nicolás Maduro or the opposition led by Juan Guaidó?" Once again, it was a 3-1 vote. Advantage Guaidó. So this week, let's get away from death and taxes. The Cleveland Browns made national news with a blockbuster trade for one of the best, if not the best pass catcher in the sport – Odell Beckham Jr.
You probably know by now that I am a die-hard Browns fan. So, obviously I love to write about football. But this story is also very interesting to me from a management-philosophy point of view. The Browns are gambling that they can bring in a cast of highly-talented but explosive personalities and mold them into a winner. It is a very bold, high-risk, high-reward strategy.
On paper, the Browns are pairing one of the sports hottest young quarterbacks with maybe the best receiver out there. Mayfield's pinpoint accuracy and ability to throw deep should be a perfect match for a receiver with an exceptional ability to break away and catch the deep ball. What's not to like?
The risk is that Baker Mayfield has an extremely strong personality himself. On top of that, the Browns made national headlines the previous week by signing the tremendously-talented but troubled running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt, 23, is a local Cleveland boy who hit the big time. Problem is, he also hit the commissioner’s exempt list after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs. Video caught him shoving and kicking a 19-year-old woman in a Cleveland hotel. Hunt is also alleged to have made another hit, this time to a man at a resort in Put-in-Bay in June. There is also video of him allegedly hitting a man at a Kansas City nightclub early last year.
Browns General Manager John Dorsey is boldly bringing Hunt back home for a new start despite the transgression. Whether you support the move by Dorsey or not, you sure can't question his willingness to take risks. Is it courageous or reckless?
Dorsey will tell you that his moves are a calculated risk based on factors that the Browns have going for them. He believes that Mayfield's alpha male personality will enable him to lead this cast of characters to work together to win and avoid the personal distractions. For all his eccentricities, Mayfield is definitely no Johnny Manziel. He is a winner.
Dorsey is also gambling that his young coach, Freddie Kitchens, has a people personality that is capable of handling all these diverse egos. The trade reunites longtime friends and former LSU teammates, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., along with their former LSU position coach Adam Henry. Dorsey obviously believes that having Landry on the team will help to focus the mercurial receiving diva on business.
ESPN recently graded the Browns trade of the No. 17 overall selection in the first round, plus a third-round choice, plus former first-round pick safety Jabrill Peppers for Beckham. They gave the Browns an "A" and the Giants a "D" for the trade. That's how good Beckham is. His on-field talent is off the charts. His production dropped off a little last year but he was playing with an aging quarterback who cannot throw deep. Just the opposite of Mayfield.
ESPN votes that Dorsey has proven to be a great addition and applauds the Browns' ownership for allowing him to make his own decisions. How about you? What is your prediction for the Browns' 2019 NFL season? That is The Post's online reader poll question for this week.