There's no question that the Browns were better than the Bengals in 2007. Well, except for the Bengals 19-14 win thanks to four well placed interceptions by the league's newest multi-millionaire quarterback. Sorry, I had to throw that in there. There's growing debate between Ohio teams on who's done more/less in free agency. In terms of actually doing something, then the Browns take the checkers. In terms of comparing the teams based primarily on the actual transactions made by the Browns (as some are contending), well, I'm not sure.
For example, people say that the Browns have done more after giving Derek Anderson a three-year deal. Whereas you have to consider, the Bengals don't need a quarterback because they have one that's highly regarded as the most technically sound with some pretty gaudy numbers. Plus there's no way on god's green Earth that the Bengals would sign Anderson. Or the Browns signing Donte Stallworth even though the Bengals already have Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chris Henry. Perhaps it's acquiring two large defensive linemen? That admittedly, you'll have to give to the Browns in terms of "upgrading". Though you have to consider, the only reason we lost one big man to the Browns, is because, paraphrasing Marvin Lewis, the Lions had problems panicking over a $1 million roster bonus.
But losing Madieu Williams isn't a "loss", so to speak. A seventh-round pick safety is showing that he has the ability to replace Williams, if not improve the position. Nor is losing Justin Smith. Few Bengals fans will cry over a guy that averaged 6.2 sacks per year at the value of $45 million.
However, I remind all, there's a draft to consider. Whereas the Bengals will have their full compliment on the first day, perhaps even more after losing free agents last season (losing Eric Steinbach could reward the Bengals a third round pick), the Browns have no reason to be in New York Saturday. In fact, the Bengals, as per Mark Curnutte, could have as many as four compensatory picks.
So, while it's true that the Bengals are quiet, it's not like the Bengals won't see more personnel movement. Nor does it mean that the Browns activity over the weekend will make them better. The NFL Draft will provide the Bengals with as many improvements as would signing free agents. And it seems, that's the way the Bengals are going to handle things.