Ah Cleveland, every time we think the Browns can't feel lower than they already do we find some mind-blowing statistics about how they screwed up even more than they realized. There will be four major contributors for their respective teams playing in Super Bowl LI that all have some sort affiliation with the Browns - one player having never dawned a Cleveland uniform!
The Falcons benefited the most form the mistakes and poor future thought by the Browns. Atlanta signed center Alex Mack this past offseason and he's been a major factor in the team's success; ask Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman who combined for just shy of 1,600 rushing yards and 24 total touchdowns. Not only did the Falcons steal Alex Mack away but Taylor Gabriel has been a major factor in the offensive success as well. His 7 total touchdowns were first among all Atlanta receivers while he set a personal best with 6 receiving scores (only one touchdown in his two years in Cleveland). Finally the biggest piece on the Falcons offense that the Browns helped them acquire - Julio Jones. During the 2011 NFL draft the Falcons traded 5 picks to the Cleveland Browns to move up from 27th to the 6th spot in the 1st round and Atlanta selected Julio Jones. The Browns ended up with NT Phil Taylor (1st round 2011), WR Greg Little (2nd round 2011), RB Owen Mareic (4th round 2011), QB Brandon Weeden (1st round 2012), and RB Trent Richardson (1st round 2012 - used ATL pick to trade up). None of those players are still with Cleveland today and in fact none are in the NFL at all today. Julio Jones has caught 497 passes for 7,610 yards and 40 scores including leading the league in receptions and yards in 2015. Well done Cleveland, well done.
On the Patriots side comes Dion Lewis. Lewis joined the Patriots in 2015 and New England has been hot with him on the field. Lewis has played 16 games for the Pats over the last two years (including this postseason) and the team in 16-0 with him on he field (13-7 without him) while he's averaged 6.0 yards per touch and scored 7 total touchdowns (three of which made NFL history in the 2016 playoffs).
So in the end this Super Bowl match up may never have happened without the Cleveland Browns. Thank you Cleveland, for not only being the easiest target in football jokes, but also helping make this Super Bowl chock full of offensive talent that all somehow slipped through your fingers.