Tag:Cleveland Browns
Posted on: April 17, 2010 10:38 am
Edited on: April 17, 2010 10:40 am
 

Multiple teams talking trade

Many have speculated that the alteration in the the NFL draft schedule is going to lead to more trades than before.

According to sources throughout the league, the St. Louis Rams (owners of the first pick), Seattle Seahawks (6, 14) Cleveland Browns (7), Denver Broncos (11), Miami Dolphins (12), New England Patriots (22), Philadelphia Eagles (24) and Dallas Cowboys (27) are all actively exploring trade opportunities.

The Cleveland Browns have been one of the more aggressive teams, speaking with the Rams about moving up to get Sam Bradford with the first overall pick, but also exploring dropping down, as well.

The Seahawks would like to add a pick between their second first (14) and their only second rounder (60th overall). Their recent mini camp proved they have significant holes to fill on both sides of the ball.

Denver has wide receiver Dez Bryant and center Maurkice Pouncey high on their board. They will consider Bryant at 11, but if he's off the board, they'd like to drop down a few spots and still get Pouncey.

Miami would like to recoup the second round pick they lost in the trade for Brandon Marshall and feel that the player they're likely to get at No. 12 won't be significantly better than one they might get in the lower teens or twenties. With their need for a playmaking wide receiver filled, look for the Dolphins to add a front seven defender.

The Patriots already own three second round picks, but Bill Belichick believes the second round is where the values lies in this draft.

It has been reported (originally by Sports Illustrated's Peter King) that the Eagles were aggressively looking to move up. I have been able to confirm this, but counter to King's story, which has Philadelphia looking to move up for either Eric Berry or Earl Thomas at safety, I'm told a different player is the Eagles' real target. Middle linebacker Rolando McClain, given the team's need for a thumper inside and the significant drop-off at the position after McClain, would seem a likely candidate.

Dallas is also exploring aggressive trade-up options. Owner Jerry Jones loves Dez Bryant and will consider moving into the late teens should the Oklahoma State receiver fall to that point.

The first round of the 2010 draft is shaping up to be every bit the drama-filled event the NFL had hoped in moving it to primetime Thursday night. 

Posted on: April 16, 2010 12:45 pm
 

Details on possible Cleveland-STL swap for No. 1

I reported here that the Browns were internally discussing making a significant offer to the Rams for the rights to the No. 1 overall pick -- two days prior to Cleveland general manager Tom Heckert announcing that the Browns had spoken with St. Louis about a potential deal.

As I mentioned in the initial report, Cleveland adores Sam Bradford. St. Louis, on the other hand, likes him, but, according to sources, isn't so enamored with him that they won't consider making a trade. 

The specific details of the trade are still being hashed out, but there is fire behind all of this smoke, according to my sources. Both clubs are legitimately interested in trading out of their current spots.

The belief by many is that the Rams must have a similar grade for Jimmy Clausen, which is why they'd consider the trade down. With the 7th overall pick, they'd likely be able to nab the former Irish star there.

However, I'm told the club likes Texas' Colt McCoy better and feel they are in perfect position to nab him with the first pick of the second round, the 33rd overall.

Should the Rams make the deal, they'd likely be focusing on either WR Dez Bryant or even DT Dan Williams with the 7th overall selection.


Posted on: April 13, 2010 1:51 pm
 

Don't count out Holmgren to make a push for No. 1

As much as it would seem a lock for the Rams to just keep the first pick and fulfill their need for a young quarterback with Sam Bradford, league sources tell me that the Cleveland Browns are internally discussing making a significant offer in an attempt to get the first pick and take Bradford, themselves.

Trading out of the No. 1 pick is rarely feasible. The financial constraints that come with having the first pick are so much that teams are usually hesitant to even consider the possibility.

The 2010 draft, however, is unique in several ways.

The talent in this class means that the Rams could truly rebuild their roster quickly if they were to get an offer of 3-4 high draft selections in exchange for the No. 1 pick.

Next, you have a team president in Mike Holmgren who is looking to make a splash... and with five picks among this year's first 100 (7, 38, 71, 85 and 92) he has plenty of flexibility.

Perhaps most importantly, while almost all talent evaluators believe that Bradford is the clear cut top QB and that there is a significant gap between he and the other QBs in this class there is talk that the Rams don't feel this way. They are thought to be quite high on a few of the other quarterbacks of this class, especially Texas' Colt McCoy.

Mike Holmgren and his hand-picked general manager Tom Heckert, however, are thought to be exceptionally high on Bradford.

The most realistic scenario remains the Rams staying put and taking Bradford.

They're remaining at No. 1 is not the mortal lock, I'm told, that having this pick typically is...
Posted on: March 21, 2010 8:15 pm
 

Holmgren: "would be hard for me" to add Clausen

Cleveland president Mike Holmgren, the man who coached and is at least partially credited with developing Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck, among others, is apparently not interested in working with Jimmy Clausen.
 
Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer quotes Holmgren as saying "I wish I liked him more. You know that you have a type of player that you like? It's not scientific. People like him a lot. He'll go high. But it would be hard for me [to take him]."

This isn't because Holmgren isn't interested in adding a rookie quarterback. Holmgren freely admits that the Browns will use a pick on a quarterback in the draft, but it appears it won't be Clausen, or, as Grossi points out later in the article, one in the second round either. 

Said Holmgren, "I'd have to have another second-round pick [to take a quarterback in the second round].
The Browns have to add a young quarterback because Holmgren has hitched his wagon to veterans Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace. Holmgren signed Delhomme to a free agent contract after he was released by Carolina. The Browns traded for Wallace, who was drafted by Holmgren and played under him in Seattle.

Holmgren's history indicates that he'll draft a quarterback in the mid to later rounds. As I mentioned in a previous blog post , Holmgren, in 23 years of NFL work, has never been apart of a team that has invested anything higher than a third round pick on a rookie quarterback.

Holmgren had previously announced that he liked Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford "a lot," but isn't likely to be willing to part with enough of his ten picks in the 2010 draft to be able to pry away the first pick from the St. Louis Rams. Should the Rams pass on Bradford, Detroit and Tampa, who, of course, took their own first round quarterbacks last year with Matt Stafford and Josh Freeman, respectively, would likely be very interested to hear what the Browns might offer. 

Holmgren's honesty is not surprising to those who have worked with him in the past. Holmgren's candor was appreciated by local beat writers and national media, as well. Few head coaches were as willing to explain the what's and how's of the game with the kindness Holmgren did -- which is why his comments on Clausen are likely heart-felt.

It would be a surprise to those who know him if by saying these things Holmgren was attempting to create smoke screen.

"That's just not his style," texted a scout who used to work under Holmgren.
Posted on: March 15, 2010 9:13 am
Edited on: March 15, 2010 1:00 pm
 

Risky trades by Holmgren and the Browns

Some will characterize Mike Holmgren's house cleaning with the Cleveland Browns' roster as a necessary purge. The Browns, after all, were one of the league's worst teams last year, needing to go 4-1 down the stretch to finish the year 5-11 -- one more victory than they had in 2008.

I see the moves as a significant risk.

Quarterback Brady Quinn was essentially given away to the Broncos for fullback Peyton Hillis and a pair of late round picks in the 2011 draft.

Sure, the argument could be made that if Quinn was not viewed as a fit in Cleveland's future by Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert, that they might as well let him go. Receiving so little in return for a young quarterback, who has completed 52% of his passes and a has a 10-9 TD to INT ratio, however, appears to be a miscalculation in value.

It is difficult to gauge exactly what Quinn's value was. Certainly Cleveland would have entertained other, better offers if they'd had them.

However, in signing Jake Delhomme only a day earlier, the Browns gave away all of their leverage to negotiate with other teams.

The Browns received better, but arguably still not enough value for pass rusher Kamerion Wimbley in their second trade Sunday.

The Raiders won't be giving up their own 3rd round pick, but the one they picked up last year from the Patriots in exchange for pass rusher Derrick Burgess. This pick is projected to be the 83rd, 84th or 85th pick of the 2010 draft.

Essentially, the Raiders traded away the 32 year-old Burgess for the 26 year-old Wimbley, who is expected to fill a similar role in Oakland as a weakside defensive end and strongside linebacker as Burgess had.

Wimbley, who was scheduled to make a base salary of only 1.065 million was a relatively cheap expense and had either led or finished second in sacks for the Browns in each of his four seasons since being their first round pick in 2006.

Mike Holmgren has established himself as one of the great coaches of all-time. He is, in my opinion at least, a Hall of Famer. However, his questionable decisions while serving as general manager of the Seahawks from 1999-2002 led to his being replaced in this capacity.

When the Seahawks were looking for a new general manager and head coach following the 2009 season there was a public cry for Holmgren to come back to Seattle.

Considering his unproven track record to gauge personnel, however, there was great hesitancy inside the franchise to bring him back.

Sunday's two trades will be seen by some as evidence why. 

Posted on: February 26, 2010 9:54 am
 

Today's Player/League Personnel Schedule

The media is hunkering down inside Lucas Oil Stadium today for what promises to be an active day of interviews, as quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are coming in, as well as a full slate of high profile NFL head coaches and front office executives.

The league does not prove the time table for when individual players will arrive in the media room for interviews, but does provide this information for the NFL personnel.

For those of you of interested, here is the schedule for those men:

Chicago Head Coach Lovie Smith -- 10:00
St. Louis General Manager Billy Devaney -- 10:15
Green Bay General Manager Ted Thompson -- 10:30
Washington Head Coach Mike Shanahan -- 10:45
Cincinnati Head Coach Marvin Lewis -- 11:00
Minnesota Head Coach Brad Childress -- 11:15
Atlanta Head Coach Mike Smith -- 11:30
New York (Jets) General Manager Mike Tannebaum -- Noon
New York (Giants) Head Coach Tom Coughlin -- 12:15
Houston General Manager Rick Smith -- 12:45
Green Bay Head Coach Mike McCarthy -- 3:00
Cleveland President Mike Holmgren -- 3:30
Tennessee Head Coach Jeff Fisher -- 4:00

All times are Eastern.



Posted on: February 13, 2010 5:31 pm
 

Don't Expect Holmgren to draft a QB in 1st round

Cleveland Browns fans may want the team to consider Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen or one of the other top quarterbacks in the 2010 draft, but if history is an indication, Mike Holmgren will instead either stand pat or make a trade for a veteran.

Should Holmgren elect to go with his current quarterbacks, Brady Quinn is the clear favorite to win the job. His mobility and short to intermediate accuracy makes him a much better fit in the West Coast Offense than the slow-footed, long passing prowess exhibited by Derek Anderson. Ratliff has flashed potential and was traded for at the request of Eric Mangini, but has yet to appear in a regular season NFL game despite Cleveland's struggles at the quarterback position last year.

According to league sources, the expectation, however, is that the Browns won't be relying on Quinn, Anderson and Ratliff.

Holmgren's success in Green Bay and Seattle, of course, came with Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck - neither of whom his team drafted. Over Holmgren's 23 years in the NFL, he has never been apart of a team that has invested anything higher than a 3rd round pick in a rookie quarterback.

Holmgren and his handpicked general manager, Tom Heckert, will look over the Seattle and Philadelphia rosters closely. With the Seahawks expected to undergo significant roster turnover, Matt Hasselbeck might be available. The Eagles have vehemently denied that Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb are on the block, but the reality is, both are for the right price. Holmgren, despite being team president, has publicly stated that Heckert will have final say on personnel matters.

That makes a deal for one of the two Eagle passers all the more likely.





Posted on: April 25, 2009 6:38 pm
 

Browns Take Mack, Vikings Take Harvin

A couple of quick picks have me playing catch-up on the blog.

The Browns decided to actually make a pick and went with Cal center/guard Alex Mack, who has the size, strength and versatility to compete against the physical defenses in the AFC North. Mack is a safe pick, but is a bit anticlimatic considering the high profile names and the repeated trade backs. Still, games in this division are won in the trenches and this move improves Cleveland there.

As I reported on the blog last night, Percy Harvin had been jumping up draft boards over the past few days and goes to the Vikings 22nd overall. His agility and speed make a great deal of sense for an offense needing an infusion of playmakers at receiver and returner. It is a surprising move considering the Vikings preference for high character players after the Loveboat scandal a few years ago...

The Patriots traded back with the Baltimore Ravens, who selected Mississippi OT Michael Oher, a top ten talent who slipped to this point in the draft because teams are so overcome with the concerns about his personality. Ozzie Newsome once again shows why he's one of the NFL's best, aggressively moving up to get a player than should have been taken a long time before.


 
 
 
 
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