Tag:Tom Heckert
Posted on: March 1, 2012 1:36 pm

Is Peyton Hillis thinking about retiring?

Does Hillis really want to join the CIA? (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

We told you a couple days ago that the Browns were unlikely to franchise tag running back Peyton Hillis but might still attempt to sign him in free agency.

if Hillis doesn’t retire, that is.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that’s exactly what Hillis has thought about, even telling the team at the end  of 2011 that he was considering ending his four-year career. Apparently, he’s even thought about joining the CIA (!).

NFL News, Notes
Hillis is a free agent (No. 8 in our rankings), but he and his agent are no longer working together.

"If we can work something out with Peyton, we will," Browns general manager Tom Heckert told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. "Did he have some rough patches during the season? Yes. Were there stretches where things were blown out of proportion? Yes. Honestly, I feel like a lot of that was blown up in the media. Now, of course things will still come down to the money, but we'll just have to wait and see."

The Browns could use the franchise tag on Hillis, but they probably won’t, because it would cost $7.7 million, and considering Hillis is coming off a disappointing season in which some questioned his desire to fight through injuries and his desire to play, that’s not necessarily a smart investment.

So, we’re unclear at this point if Hillis wants to return to Cleveland, if the Browns want him back or if Hillis wants to forgo football and become a spy.

But here’s what we do know: the curse of the Madden cover most definitely lives on.

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Posted on: February 27, 2012 4:18 pm

Browns GM Heckert had heart surgery

By Josh Katzowitz

It caused a minor stir last week when it was revealed by the Browns that general manager Tom Heckert wouldn’t travel for the combine because he was “ill,” but that he should be fine to return to work this week.

Latest news, notes
If you count “needing heart surgery” as being “ill,” then I guess Heckert was, in fact, ill.

That’s what Cleveland president Mike Holmgren announced at a press conference Monday afternoon when he revealed (via the Cleveland Plain Dealer) Heckert underwent heart surgery to clear a blockage and that he was recovering well.

Holmgren said Heckert -- who Holmgren said did not have a heart attack -- would return to the office Tuesday and would continue to be an integral part of the Browns draft efforts.

Heckert also missed the Senior Bowl, but he participated in combine interviews with potential draft picks the past week via Skype.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:42 pm

Would Browns trade up to get Robert Griffin III?

Would Cleveland give McCoy the Heisman and go with Griffin? (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

We wondered last week if the Browns, who hold the No. 4 pick in the April draft, might give serious consideration to taking Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. CBSSports.com mock draft experts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler both have Cleveland grabbing RGIII, decisions no doubt made easier by Colt McCoy's struggles in 2011 coupled with head coach Pat Shurmur's indifferent take on McCoy's future as the starter.

“As we go forward here with Colt, he’s done some really good things,” Shurmur said shortly after the Browns' season ended. “Get him back healthy, get him in an offseason where he has a chance to develop. I expect that Colt will improve just like I expect (backup) Seneca (Wallace) will improve and whoever the quarterbacks are here. I think that can be said for all positions, so the best quarterback will play when we start the season.”

In his mock draft posted Tuesday, NFL.com's Sam Wyche has the Browns trading up two spots to No. 2 to take -- you guessed it -- Griffin. He writes that "Several teams are going to try and move up to get Griffin but the Browns have the most ammo -- the fourth overall pick and a late first-rounder or high picks in later rounds. Cleveland needs Griffin -- and wants him, according to league sources -- and the Rams will still get their man."

Seems reasonable, even given what Browns general manager Tom Heckert said recently (via the Canton Repository):

“In a perfect world, we would stay at 4, but it’s not a perfect world," he noted. "If we think we can get the same guy by moving down a few spots getting an extra pick or picks, why not do that?”

And then there's this from last week, by way of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Tony Grossi: "I would not automatically eliminate the Baylor quarterback from consideration with the Browns' top pick simply because he is a product of the one-read, shotgun spread offense."

Of course, Kevin Kolb was also mentioned as a possibility should the Cardinals decide that they'd seen enough after one uninspiring season. As we wrote previously, we're not convinced Kolb is much of an upgrade over McCoy, and certainly not at starting-quarterback money. But whatever happens this much is certain: the Browns absolutely have to nail this draft. It's up to team president Mike Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmur to figure out if Griffin is part of that conversation.

And if he's not, there are sure to be teams interested in trading up to grab him. Earlier this month we mentioned the Redskins as a possibility, something draft expert Chris Steuber echoed again Tuesday.

"We all agree that a team will trade up for RG3. My money is on the Redskins. Daniel Snyder, for better or worse, rolls high stakes dice."

If there's any team that needs a quarterback more than the Browns, it's the Redskins.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:40 am
Edited on: June 8, 2011 10:31 am

Browns won't go after Plaxico Burress

P. Burress is released from prison (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Even though the prospect of NFL free agency seems ever so far away, the Browns seemingly already know how they’re going to play it in the offseason. In a word, conservative.

That’s the word from Cleveland GM Tom Heckert, who says (via the Cleveland Plain Dealer) that the team will not go after high-priced veteran free agents.

"We're not going to be gung-ho in free agency," Heckert said. "There's a couple of guys that we may be interested in, but it's not going to be enough where it's going to affect how we practice and all of that stuff."

The biggest free agent question mark this week is former WR Plaxico Burress, who was released from prison a couple days ago after a 20-month sentence and could draw some interest in the free agent market (in all other weeks, we’d ask about Eagles QB Kevin Kolb, and Heckert also said the Brown aren’t going after him either).

The Browns, though, aren’t interested in Burress, because Heckert says he’s not desperate to upgrade his team’s WR corps (I’m not sure I totally agree with him about that).

“We added a tight end and added a fullback that can catch the ball, so I think we did help our receiving as a group," Heckert said. "But if we think somebody can improve us, we'll do it."

It just probably won't be Burress - who's still very tall but will be 34 years old before next season and hasn't played since 2008.

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Posted on: March 4, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: March 4, 2011 12:00 pm

Hot Routes 3.4.11: Baby laughing makes me laugh

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • If you’re bored (and it IS noon on a Friday afternoon, after all) and you need to kill time while waiting to see what happens with the labor negotiations, Foxsports.com has the drinking game for you. If you participate, though, you’ll probably have to hit up the local liquor store. Unless you’re the kind of person who has both Cristal AND Schlitz at your home. In which case, you’re kind of awesome.
  • An interesting look by Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel at one of the most important power players in the labor negotiations: Judge David Doty.
  • Retiring Patriots G Stephen Neal thought there was a chance he could play next season. But he also knew if he injured himself again, he might be putting himself in real danger. So, he retired.
  • I’m sorry, this has nothing to do with football, but man, it’s always awesome watching a baby hysterically laugh uncontrollably. And if the labor negotiations go bad today, you can keep replaying this video. It will make you feel better. Seriously, this video is the best thing I’ve seen all week.

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Posted on: September 22, 2010 2:19 pm

Did the Browns call Eagles about trading Kolb?

Posted by Will Brinson

There are some conflicting reports out there today about whether or not the Cleveland Browns called the Philadelphia Eagles to inquire about acquiring starter-turned-benchwarmer Kevin Kolb.

Mike Florio passes along a report from Anthony Gargano of WIP in Philadelphia, where Gargano claims that the Browns "already have called about a possible trade for Kolb."

However, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer called the report "untrue" on Twitter. Well, at least she said that a "report that the Browns called the Eagles last night" was "untrue."

And maybe she's right. But the circumstantial evidence involved in the situation at least would lend some credibility to the belief that there was a discussion.

To wit: Tom Heckert, the General Manager for the Cleveland Browns, was in Philadelphia when the team drafted Kevin Kolb. So, clearly, he's a fan. Also clear: he can pretty easily get in contact with Andy Reid.

Then there's Reid's response to a question about Kolb being on the roster by the trade deadline this year (or opening day next season) -- well, actually, non -response is more accurate, since Reid simply said he "can't predict anything down that far."

Finally, the Cleveland Browns have young talented players and no quarterback. Kolb would be an ideal fit for an offense that Mike Holmgren would want implemented and there's no reason to think that Eric Mangini would be opposed to starting someone other than Seneca Wallace, provided he has any pull.

So that's not to say that the Browns did call the Eagles and try to acquire Kolb, but it's a trade that makes some potential sense if Philly feels that their long term future is Michael Vick.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com