The Cleveland Browns are making a splash this offseason.
First, they brought in Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper in exchange for their fifth and sixth-round picks in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.
Then, they signed quarterback Deshaun Watson to a five-year, $230 million fully-guaranteed deal.
They also made Denzel Ward the highest-paid cornerback with a five-year, $100.5 million contract.
But while they are building for the future, alleged past transgressions may haunt them, as Pro Football Focus writer Ari Meirov shared.
The NFL has been investigating Hue Jackson's claims that the #Browns provided incentives for him to lose games in 2016 and 2017. The Browns were 1-31 in those two seasons.
The Browns say they welcomed the investigation and are confident the results will show no wrongdoing.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) April 19, 2022
Meirov tweeted, “The NFL has been investigating Hue Jackson’s claims that the #Browns provided incentives for him to lose games in 2016 and 2017. The Browns were 1-31 in those two seasons. The Browns say they welcomed the investigation and are confident the results will show no wrongdoing.”
Jackson was the head coach of the second NFL team to finish with an 0-16 record.
He went 1-15 the year before after replacing Mike Pettine as Cleveland’s head coach.
He made his allegations after former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores claimed that team owner Stephen M. Ross offered him $100,000 for every loss.
Instead, Flores went 10-6 and 9-8 in his final two seasons with the Dolphins.
If Jackson’s claims are valid, the Browns will endure penalties from the league office.
Was Jackson Set Up For Failure?
That claim would be difficult to prove unless there is tangible proof that the Browns front office conspired against him.
But it could also be possible that Cleveland had a terrible team for those two seasons.
In 2016, offensive lineman Joe Thomas was their only Pro Bowler.
The year after, it was linebacker Joe Schobert‘s time to be selected.
Wide receiver Josh Gordon also played just five games in two seasons.