Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The general manager for the Cleveland Browns Tom Heckert started the support yesterday telling the media the Browns "are fine with Colt McCoy as our quarterback." The PR build up of Colt McCoy continued yesterday on Cleveland Browns radio show when Mike Holmgren told Vic Carucci he recently called Colt to offer support and clear up the media speculation about the Browns quarterback position. Holmgren said of McCoy on the radio "we still all believe in what he can do." This morning at the AFC coaches breakfast with the media Pat Shurmur was quoted as saying "we're moving forward'' with Colt McCoy as the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. The skeptics will say what else would the Browns do at this point since they lost out on RGIII and didn't sign Matt Flynn. The Browns current position does have more than just PR merit since it is valid that McCoy had to change offensive systems last year and lacked weapons. He also had to make this change with no off-season with the coaches. So the question remains can Colt McCoy pull off a turn around like Drew Brees did in San Diego? The other question is will the Cleveland Browns draft the skill position players on offense for the first time since 2005 to help McCoy?
Friday, March 23, 2012
Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita should avoid suspension in the New Orleans Saints bounty investigation because he has been honest...at least in public. One of the reasons that Sean Payton and other members of the Saints coaching staff got hammered by Roger Goodell was the cover up and not the crime. In recent public interviews Scott Fujita has said he paid other players for big hits but not to injure another player. Hopefully for Scott Fujita's sake he has or will tell Rodger Goodell the same thing and hope the commissioner doesn't have evidence to the contrary. Even if Fujita is caught with his hand in the cookie jar as I previously wrote about he should have a good union defense. Roger Goodell has delayed punishment of the players because he is working with the NFLPA to determine what should be done to the players. The commissioners own words that management and coaches are held to a higher standard should limit the penalty if any that is given to Scott Fujita. If Scott Fujita is lost it will most likely only be for a couple games which the Cleveland Browns are familiar with since Fujita has missed few games each season he has been with the Browns.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Now that Peyton Manning has chosen to sign with the Denver Broncos the Cleveland Browns can go back to the offensive upgrade plan focused on the draft. The Cleveland Browns were never in on Matt Flynn because they believe if they give Colt McCoy more time in the system and better weapons he can be Matt Flynn. If Peyton Manning would have went with the San Francisco 49ers then the Cleveland Browns could have been in the Alex Smith business. If Peyton Manning would've went to the Tennessee Titans then Matt Hasselbeck could have been a consideration for the Cleveland Browns. The plan for the Cleveland Browns offensive from the being was to go the draft route to make the offense more explosive. They tried to trade for rights to draft Robert Griffin III didn't work out...but again a move through the draft. A lot of fans ask why aren't the Cleveland Browns adding offensive players in free agency? The reason is reviled in the salary cap. The Cleveland Browns had an average amount of space under the cap this year but in the next two years will have a large amount of free space. The Cleveland Browns want to lock up their young talent on defense over the next two years while paying lower salaries for drafted offensive play makers. This plan allows for the team to stay competitive for a long time while keeping their own players. The other interesting twist that could come on draft day is if the Miami Dolphins don't get a quarterback they could call the Browns for a trade to the 8th pick. If the Browns go down to 8 they could take Trent Richardson and pick up extra picks. This would be a good move for the Browns because they could get an elite runner, keep the 22nd pick, and add to the 9 picks they already have. So Cleveland Browns fans if you looking for your team to make some noise wait until the end April for the draft.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Chris Mortensen of ESPN has reported the San Francisco 49ers worked out Peyton Manning on Tuesday in North Carolina. The 49ers have been unmasked as the mystery team in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. The question for the Cleveland Browns is do you go after Alex Smith if Peyton signs with the San Francisco 49ers? Alex Smith has a year of the training in a version of the west cost offense which the Cleveland Browns run and would ease the transition. The Cleveland Browns could actually make an inquiry to Alex Smith now because he is an unrestricted free agent. The quarterback roller coaster continues and the Cleveland Browns can't escape the ride. Just when things looked like no quarterback action for the Browns was coming until the draft the unmasking of the San Francisco 49ers has potentially changed the timeline. The full report on Peyton Manning's workout with the 49ers is on espn.com.
The Cleveland Browns continue to shore up the strength of the team with signings of cornerback Dimitri Patterson and defensive end Juqua Parker. The resigning Dimitri Patterson is a key signing for the Browns because if gives them a lot of flexibility at defensive back position. Patterson played the key slot role on the defense last year and played well. Patterson's strong play allowed for rookie Buster Skrine to develop without having to be forced to play a lot. It also helped the Cleveland Browns have the 5th ranked passing defense in 2011. The resigning of Patterson also could pave the way for Sheldon Brown to move to safety and add good depth for the secondary. Juqua Parker provides the Cleveland Browns with another pass rusher to add to the defensive line rotation. It also most likely spells the end of Jayme Mitchell who had an up and down season for the Cleveland Browns at defensive end last year. While the signing of Patterson shores up the secondary the Browns will have to find a replacement for Mike Adams who started at safety last year and has now signed with the Denver Broncos. The Browns could turn to Sheldon Brown but are more likely to pair TJ Ward with Usama Young as the starting safety duo. The Cleveland Browns still have some work to do but they have kept the strength of the team intact by adding players to the defense. These transactions make it even more clear the draft will be about acquiring offensive playmakers. I would still like to see the Cleveland Browns sign a veteran wide receiver coming off his first contract that can make plays on the field and provide a veteran presence in the looker room for the young receivers.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Adam Schefter from ESPN has a report on twitter that the Cleveland Browns have signed Frostee Rucker. The former defensive end of the Cincinnati Bengals has a reported new contract worth 21 million with 8 million guaranteed. The 20 million number will scare people but the real money is the 8 million which isn't too much for an average pass rusher in the NFL. The hope for the Cleveland Browns is Rucker will play better with Jabaal Sheard on the opposite side.
Posted by Todd at 5:00 PM
According to a report by the nationalfootball post the Cleveland Browns are set to release Eric Steinbach. This is a release you could see coming based on the lack of comments by the Cleveland Browns front office and coaches. Steinbach also had two other thing working against him which was his his 6 million dollar salary cap number and the play of his replacement Jason Pinkston. The Browns missed Steinbach's ability to get out on the edge and help with the outside runs. Hopefully the Pinkston can raise that part of his game so the Browns can get back to running on the edge. The full details of the report are here.
Posted by Todd at 4:24 PM
In a recent interview on cleveland.com free agent wide receiver and Ohio native Mario Manningham said the Cleveland Browns are not high on free agents list. He cited reasons being the cold weather and the lack of success of the team. The reality is Mario is right and if the Cleveland Browns want to bring in big name free agent they will have to over pay. The reason players take a visit is their agent has already got the team to agree to a ballpark price for a new contract. If a team isn't going to make an offer in that range the player doesn't visit. So if you see a highly talented player visiting the Cleveland Browns it's because the initial offer is higher than most teams.
Monday, March 12, 2012
A lot of the talk about the Cleveland Browns over the past few days has been about the NFL draft and not getting Robert Griffin III. The only problem is free agency is what the Browns need to be worried about next as it starts on March 13th at 4PM eastern. A large part of what will happen in the NFL draft on April 26th will be dictated by what needs the Cleveland Browns can fill in free agency. A recent article on Profootballtalk.com listed the Cleveland Browns as only having 17.4 million dollars in cap space. The space number surprised since the Cleveland Browns don't have a lot of talented player which normally translates to high salaries. You can add only having 17.4 million in cap space to the list of reason for not be big players in free agency for the Browns. Tom Heckert has said on several occasions that the Browns will try to sign their free agents first then look at the open market. I would like to the see them pick up a right tackle, weak side linebacker, wide receiver, and running back. The main criteria for my list is only players going into their second contract. The Browns need player who know how to play but aren't too old and can give them several years of good play. This free agent class of over 500 players will allow the Browns to add really good depth to the roster which they need badly. If they can deliver the items on my shopping list then they can go into the draft and get player makers on offense that will complement whoever is the quarterback.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
As reported first by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports the Washington Redskins trade with the St. Louis Rams for the 2nd pick in the 2012 NFL draft. The compensation was extreme with a swap of 1st and the Redskins second round pick this year. The Rams also will receive the Redskins first round picks in 2013 and 2014. The reports are mixed as to what the Cleveland Browns offered but it doesn't matter on two fronts. The Redskins were not going to be outbid by the Browns or anyone else and the deal is already done...time to move on. The next move is in the hands of the Minnesota Vikings who hold the third overall pick and are now on the clock. The Vikings are rumored to want to the tackle out of USC at 3 which would allow the Cleveland Browns to take Justin Blackmon. If things play out this way the Browns will have several options at pick 22. They can take another wide receiver, a quarterback, or trade back. An possible appealing option is to pair Blackmon and Brandon Weeden his college quarterback. If the Browns take Weeden late in round 1 or at the top of the second round the cost is low and he can compete with Colt McCoy. In this scenario the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns will have much better weapons in 2012...think about the quarterback walking out of the huddle with the option to throw to Justin Blackmon, Greg Little, Josh Cribbs in the slot. If you pair that offense with best defense since the Browns have been back you are now cooking with gas in the AFC North.
Posted by Todd at 4:48 PM
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Now that Peyton Manning is a free agent the Browns front office and their fans should hope he goes to the Redskins. If Peyton goes to the Redskins the Rams lose the majority of the their leverage for the 2nd pick in the draft. If Miami misses on Peyton they would be more likely to sign Matt Flynn which take them out of the trade. The others team that would try to trade up are so far down the in the draft the compensation would be to high and too far of a trade down for the Rams. Which would leave the Browns in the cat bird seat to make the deal they want with the Rams and not the other way around. In Peyton Manning we hope!
Monday, March 5, 2012
The big problem with what the Saints did with the bounty program is that is was administered by the coaches. The other troubling problem for the team is if the NFL determines the payments were a way for the Saints to pay their players more money. The increased payments would be a major salary cap and CBA violation. The league not only caught them but warned them first and they kept doing it after the warning. The commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell will have to come down extra hard because of his public stance on player safety and they he will hold team employees to a higher standard than the players. At the end of the day the other teams have been rumored to do this with just the players handing out the money...in this case the league caught the Saints leaders with their hands in the cookie jar.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
You have heard and read all the talk about should the Browns trade or keep all 9 draft picks. The Browns should trade up to the number 2 pick because the NFL is a quarterback driven league. I like Colt but he doesn't bring rare skills to the table. RG3 brings an elite accurate deep ball and rare speed to the table. While I avdocate them trading up I also believe they should get out of the bidding if it gets too rich. The limit for the Browns should be held to the first round of this draft and next year. The starting offer should be the 4th and 22nd picks and should stop at adding a 1st round pick next year. This would allow the Browns to come away with 8 players in the draft including RG3. The ability of Tom Heckert to select good players throughout the draft has been proven over the last two years. If the Browns can walk away from the draft getting a franchise quarterback and 7 other players they will be setup to succeed for the future...even without a 1st round pick next year.
Posted by Todd at 4:28 PM