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Eagles 2016 Schedule Preview: Cleveland Browns

Previewing the teams that the Eagles will face this season.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

It's a very slow time in the NFL offseason. Three weeks remain before the starting of Eagles training camp. In the meantime, let's look ahead to Philadelphia's 2016 schedule. Starting today, we'll be breaking down the Eagles' opponents on a game-by-game basis with the help of writers from corresponding SB Nation NFL blogs.

The Eagles open the season with a home game against the Browns. To no surprise, Philadelphia is already heavily favored to win the game. The Eagles opened as 7.5 point favorites. Cleveland isn't favored to win any of their games this season; they're expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. Part of the reason why the Browns are projected to be bad is because they reportedly plan to start Robert Griffin III at quarterback. Eagles fans are obviously familiar with RG3 and the way he flamed out in Washington.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the Browns from our SB Nation colleagues over at Dawgs By Nature.

Cleveland Browns

Notable free agent additions:

QB Robert Griffin III, LB Demario Davis, LB Justin Tuggle

Notable free agent departures:

C Alex Mack, OT Mitchell Schwartz WR Travis Benjamin, LB Karlos Dansby (released), S Donte Whitner (released), QB Johnny Manziel (released)


Traded down in the 2016 NFL Draft and acquired more picks in the 2017 NFL Draft

Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:

WR Corey Coleman: The Browns desperately needed to upgrade the wide receiver position in the draft, especially after the departure of Travis Benjamin and Josh Gordon's constant struggle to stay clean. Coleman brings a combination of athleticism and playmaking ability that Hue Jackson's offense relies upon to succeed. Coleman will play a big part in the offense, especially in the downfield passing game.

DE Carl Nassib: The Browns' pass rushing proved to be nonexistent in the Mike Pettine era. Jackson will partially be judged for how his staff shapes up a mediocre defense with few threats in the pass rush. Nassib is just one of several rookies (Emmanuel Ogbah, Joe Schobert, etc.) expected to bring pressure off the edge.

Biggest offseason addition:

QB Robert Griffin III: Quite a stir occurred when the Browns signed Griffin. Jackson told fans and the media to trust him on this one, though Clevelanders are still skeptical. Griffin will hold down the fort until Jackson can mold rookie QB Cody Kessler, or whatever young quarterback Jackson tries to develop into that elusive franchise quarterback. Griffin thrived in his rookie year then regressed big-time during his next few seasons. The question for him is whether or not he can regain his old form in an offense that will be crafted to his skillset.

Biggest storyline heading into training camp:

The 14 new draft picks in training camp. Everyone wants to see how Hue Jackson will bring the biggest draft class in Browns history into the mix. It's a given that the Browns will cut at least a few of the picks. The question is, ‘Which ones will the Browns cut?' The only rookie assured a starting spot is Corey Coleman, though starting slots are open for rookies who seize the opportunity during camp.

Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:

The relationship between Hue Jackson and the front office. Jackson made the call to sign Griffin and to draft Kessler, leading some to believe the relationship between Jackson and the front office might become strained if Griffin and Kessler don't pan out. Training camp decisions could cause trouble if Jackson and EVP of Football Operations Sashi Brown don't see eye to eye. If Jackson tries to stifle the analytics department, the new restructuring of the front office will be for naught.

Notable injuries heading into training camp:

CB Joe Haden (ankle), Gary Barnidge (sports hernia), Josh McCown (collarbone). All should be ready to go for training camp.