Tag:Cleveland Browns
Posted on: September 5, 2011 11:05 am
Edited on: September 5, 2011 4:32 pm
 

NFL teams continue working throughout Labor Day

Posted by Will Brinson

NFL teams worked their way down to 53-man rosters on Saturday. But even as of Sunday, there were a pile of surprise cuts and signings that we were still processing.

So too goes the news cycle on Labor Day, when NFL teams are not taking the day off, but rather beefing up their roster in preparation for the opening weekend of football that's coming in less than seven days (!!!).

Bookmark this page and don't forget to check out CBSSports.com's Rapid Reports for the latest roster news and updates.
  • The Texans waived linebacker Jessie Nading and added guard Thomas Austin and punter Brett Hartmann.
  • The Dolphins have signed tight end Donte Rosario and offensive lineman Ryan Cook, corresponding with the two releases mentioned below.
  • The 49ers announced that they signed quarterback Scott Tolzien following his release from the Chargers.
  • The Dolphins released linebacker A.J. Edds and center Joe Berger.
  • The Panthers released offensive lineman A.J. Davis.
  • The Browns announced the signing of offensive lineman Artis Hicks and waived offensive lineman Pat Murray.
  • The Cowboys also have signed seven of their eight practice squad players: safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah , cornerback Mario Butler , linebacker Orie Lemon , fullback Shaun Chapas , utilityman Isaiah Greenhouse and wide receivers Teddy Williams and Andre Holmes. 
  • The Cowboys signed veteran guard Derrick Dockery, to give their offensive line more depth.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:59 am
 

Should the Browns give Hillis a long-term deal?



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Last week, the Browns signed left tackle Joe Thomas to a seven-year, $84 million extension. And in Colt McCoy, they appear to have finally settled on their quarterback of the future. It's all part of the rebuilding process overseen by team president Mike Holmgren and implemented by new coach Pat Shurmur. Cleveland also took Greg Little in the second round of the April draft to bolster the wide receiver position. And in one season, Peyton Hillis, the guy the Browns got in the trade for Brady Quinn, went from an afterthought in Denver to one of the Browns' best players.

Hillis was so good, in fact, that he ended up on the cover of Madden 12. After spending the first two years with the Broncos where he managed 397 yards on 81 carries, Hillis ran for 1,117 yards on 270 carries (4.4 YPC, 11 TDs) and added 477 receiving yards (and 2 TDs) in 2011.

In addition to the Madden love, the Browns are now talking about extending his contract.

Given Hillis' importance to the Browns' offense, and that McCoy could use all the weapons he can get, the extension makes a lot of sense. Yes, page/TEN">Titans shouldn't pay Johnson">we're not big fans of overpaying for running backs because you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one capable of rushing for 1,000 yards, but we can't imagine that Hillis will be asking for Chris Johnson money. (Granted, it's still not clear what constitutes "Chris Johnson money," but it's more than what the NFL's highest-paid back currently makes.)

Still, the Browns blog, Dawgpound Daily, asks an important question: Would signing Hillis to a long-term deal be a good idea?
With just one solid season under his belt … there is no guarantee that he will come close to those numbers again or, worse, stay healthy. Hillis’ running style is not kind to his body, and it was evident in 2010, as he battled injuries for much of the second half of the season.

Most likely, the Browns will give Hillis a fair amount of guaranteed money and let him earn the rest of the contract. Luckily, the team is flush with cash to spend (they have more than $18 million in salary cap room) and can afford to take a chance on Hillis.
If the idea is to surround McCoy with playmakers then keeping Hillis is a no-brainer. But questions about his durability are certainly relevant; it's not like Hillis tiptoes out of bounds whenever he gets the chance and shies away from contact. He's a fullback by nature and seems to enjoy steamrolling defenders. That takes a toll.


The real reason we wanted to write about Hillis is to show this video. Because, really, there's nothing quite so awesome as Peyton Hillis vs. Chuck Norris.

For now, though, he's just happy to be playing football. "When you are playing a game, that’s when you know you are truly blessed," Hillis told Forbes.com recently. "I’m looking forward to another big season with the Browns to show fans how much we appreciate them."

And speaking of the fans, he has nothing but good things to say about those who voted him onto the Madden 12 cover. "This has been a humbling experience and I want to thank all the fans in Cleveland and throughout the country that got behind me and voted each and every week."

Enjoy it, Peyton. Because it's only a matter of time before fans start making fantasy demands and you just snap.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 31, 2011 10:12 am
 

Browns talking extension with Peyton Hillis?

Posted by Will Brinson

If one thing's become abundantly clear since the Browns fleeced the Broncos for Peyton Hillis (they gave Brady Quinn in return and got some draft picks as well!), it's that Hillis goes with Cleveland like potatoes and perogies.

So it kind of makes sense -- knowing that general manager Tom Heckert wants to lock in "players we like and want to be here" and knowning that they've shored up the left side of the offensive line for the future -- to hear that the Browns and Hillis are talking about a contract extension.

That's according to Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, who reports that the "wheels have begun turning" in order to get Hillis more money than the four-year minimum of $455,000 he'll make in 2011.

Hillis has seen his Q-rating skyrocket over the last year, thanks to his explosive 2010 season when he rushed for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns. That performance led to widespread love from fantasy football players and, eventually, a spot on the Madden 2012 cover.

The latter came about because of a grassroots campaign that was, as Hillis told me during the unveiling, absolutely overwhelming in terms of public support.

And now his success appears to be paying dividends, though the Browns and Hillis certainly aren't making a big, public fuss about getting the running back more money.

Which seems appropriate on all fronts.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 30, 2011 5:28 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Eric Steinbach's disc will end his season

SteinbachPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Turns out the back injury that Cleveland worried could keep guard Eric Steinbach out for the season will do exactly that.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur, via Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin, told reporters today that Steinbach’s disc injury has forced the team to put him on the season-ending injured reserve list.

Even though Steinbach underwent surgery Tuesday and Shurmur said it went well, he won’t be back until next season.

As Gitlin writes, it’s serious blow for a team that now has to replace him at the left guard spot. The Browns could try rookie Jason Pinkston in the role, or they might test out newly-signed Oneil Cousins instead. John Greco also could get a shot.

If none of those players work, Gitlin says, Cleveland will head back into the free agent market to find someone to line up on the inside of tackle Joe Thomas.

“He made the decision yesterday, late in the day, that he was going to have surgery,” Shurmur said, via the team’s official website. “We tried to do some treatments to see if it would rectify itself. It didn’t, so that was the next action.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: August 29, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 7:31 pm
 

Ndamukong Suh: I'm dirty 'when my mom tells me'

Posted by Will Brinson

Following the recent Detroit whipping of New England, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote a column about Ndamukong Suh and how he's offically become a dirty player at this (early) point in his career.

The piece generated a groundswell of opinion from fans and media alike and on Monday, Suh was asked what he thought about being dirty. And he continued to defend his play, as well as use his mother as a reference for clean play in the NFL.

"I’m going to continue to play hard and play within the rules as I have been," Suh told CBSSports.com's Lions Rapid Reporter John Kreger. "When I'll consider myself a dirty player is when my mom tells me [I am]."

Suh also discussed the "punch" he threw at Logan Mankins, which he claims was necessary for the defense of a teammate.

"Everything happens in the trenches," Suh said. "You’re not just going to sit there [as a] teammate and walk away from ... your (teammate) being grabbed by his facemask."

Additionally, Suh said he didn't regret the incident and that he felt it fell within the "legal" boundaries of what's acceptable on a football field.

"Do I regret (the incident)? No," Suh told Kreger. "The funny thing about the whole situation is that I wasn’t the one who got the 15-yard penalty for grabbing the facemask ... I didn’t know you can’t help protect one of your teammates."

You can protect your teammates, but throwing punches at another player is a pretty quick way to pick up a large fine from the league. Suh said he didn't receive any penalty, however, because he discussed the incident with the officials at Saturday's game.

"I had a great conversation with the ref who saw the (incident)," Suh told Kreger. "He said, 'Next time, make sure you let me handle the situation, but I understand what you were doing, helping your teammate out.'"

The question is whether or not the league will understand what Suh was doing. And even if the guys who hand out fines at the NFL do get that he was protecting his teammate, it might not matter much, as Suh could certainly be facing a fine from the 280 Park Avenue.

In the meantime, expect plenty of continued debate about whether or not Suh is a dirty player (and feel free to weigh in below!). I'm personally of the opinion that he's so freaking strong it's nearly impossible for him not to look dirty and that certain incidents -- namely, the Jake Delhomme rag-doll toss in the 2010 preseason -- have led to the development of a reputation that Suh will find very hard to shake.

That's precisely why everyone was in an uproar (the league to the tune of $20,000) when he accidentally popped off Andy Dalton's helmet, and it's precisely why when he throws a punch there's more concern than if another NFL player did so.

But that's also part of being a defensive superstar with freakishly terrifying strength -- people are going to be keeping a closer eye on you.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: August 26, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Eric Steinbach might be lost for the season

E. Steinbach might miss the season with a back injury (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Browns running back corps, while still fairly deep, just got a little more shallow, and one of the anchors of their offensive line is hurt and might miss the season.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, guard Eric Steinbach might miss the season because of a back disc injury, while third-down back Brandon Jackson might be lost for a while because of a toe problem

With Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty already looking to split carries at the running back spot, the loss of Jackson, while certainly not a positive, isn’t devastating. But if Steinbach is gone for good, that would be a big deal.

"At this point, he's going through some treatments that we're hoping will get him back, and there's no real final call yet on whether he'll be back  -- or when actually,'' Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. The Plain Dealer writes Steinbach is seeking a second opinion, but if he needs surgery, the team would put him on the injured reserve list. Rookie Jason Pinkston would likely take his place in the starting lineup.

Jackson hurt his toe in the second preseason game vs. the Lions, and he’s been in a cast since then. Shurmur said, though, it could take a while before the team can determine how long Jackson would need to be out. ESPN's Adam Schefter is repoting that Jackson has turf toe and will be out a maximum of six weeks.

Either way, not such great news for a Browns offense that ranked 20th in rushing offense last year.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: August 22, 2011 9:09 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 9:26 pm
 

Browns, Thomas agree to 7-year, $84M extension

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We don't know if Titans running back Chris Johnson will point to this as more evidence he deserves to be the NFL's highest-paid player, but either way, the Browns have signed left tackle and 2007 first-round pick Joe Thomas to a seven-year, $84 million extension that reportedly includes $44 million in guarantees, a league source tells the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot.

Thomas has been one of the Browns' most consistent players since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999, and he is the cornerstone of an offense that finally appears to have a quarterback in Colt McCoy. (Yes, we're aware of similar conversations about Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.) Thomas was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons, has started all 64 games in his four-year career, and has never missed a snap.

"Joe is obviously one of the finer left tackles in the business,'' coach Pat Shurmur said, according to Cabot. "He's a very, very good pass protector. I guess what's impressed me is that he's a fine run-blocker as well. Typically, you find a guy that's good at one and average at the others, but I think Joe is good in both phases, extremely good.

"He's big, has good feet, balance and body control. He has pretty good power for a guy that's a tackle. And he has a feel for the game. Usually what makes a player good is kind of a combination and he's blessed with a lot of those things.''

The Browns' offensive line has been the least of their worries in recent seasons. In addition to the revolving door at quarterback, the running and passing games fell somewhere between inconsistent and nonexistent. Trading for Peyton Hillis prior to the 2010 season immediately upgraded the rushing attack. And the emergence of tight end Evan Moore, and the addition of rookie Greg Little could give McCoy the downfield weapons he'll need to have any chance at success.

Ultimately, it all starts up front with the o-line, and Thomas has been a big part of that.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 6:19 pm
 

Cribbs still not happy about new kickoff rule



Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's one thing for kick returners to bemoan their plight regarding the new kickoff rule that now has balls sailing into the end zone roughly a third of the time, but they're not the only people complaining. CBSSports.com's Josh Katzowitz wrote Wednesday that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick thinks the NFL wants to squash kickoffs altogether (the league disagrees with that assessment).

The Browns' Josh Cribbs, the NFL record-holder for career kickoff-return touchdowns with eight, has been understandably outspoken on the rules change. After tweeting over the weekend that kicking off from the 35-yard line has turned preseason games into a "scrimmage," he told FoxSportsOhio.com's Pat McManamon on Wednesday that "I'm entitled to my opinion."

As is often the case, player safety prompted the rules change. Saints coach Sean Payton called the kickoff return “the highest risk of injury play.”

Cribbs isn't buying it. “If that’s what the issue was, there are no stats to back it up,” he said. “The intentions are good, but the stats aren’t there.”

Football is inherently dangerous, and it's not inconceivable to think that kickoffs might be more hazardous than a typical play. But Cribbs is right -- the rules committee needs to do more than just proclaim kickoffs dangerous; they should give players the numbers to back it up. It's certainly a lot easier to sell a wholesale change that redefines one of the most exciting plays in football when you can point to a chart that shows, for example, the increased likelihood of a concussion resulting from an 11-on-11 full-speed head-on collision.

Under the new rule, the kickoff team can line up no more than five yards behind the 35-yard line in an effort to keep players from reaching full speed as they race down the field.

This makes sense and most reasonable people would agree that it should decrease injuries. But again, it would be nice if there were stats backing this up. Because following this logic, the NFL should also consider modifying punts, too. It sounds extreme, yes, but so does the thought of making guys like Cribbs and Leon Washington suddenly obsolete.

“I want somebody to come chase my record,” Cribbs said. “I want to chase it as well. I feel like rules like (this) will take it out of proportion. At the same time it’s an obstacle to get over and I’m looking forward to getting over it.”

You know who we haven't heard much from on this issue? The Steelers, a team that has struggled to cover kicks and punts in recent years. They may disagree in principle with the change, but we're pretty sure they won't put up too big a fuss given what Cribbs has done to them.


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com