Tag:Cleveland Browns
Posted on: June 12, 2011 6:16 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 6:46 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.12.11: Would Tressel like a do-over?



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • In 2006, the Browns reached out to former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to see if he’d possibly be interested in taking over their head coaching position. Even though Jim Brown was the one who made the original exploration, apparently, Tressel never was interested. I wonder if he’d be interested today.
  • Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made his first public comments about the BCS stripping USC of the 2004 national championship. Strangely enough, he didn’t seem all that contrite about it. "Just watch the comments of the players," Carroll said in an interview on 710 ESPN. "They know who won, who didn't. [Matt] Leinart and Lofa Tatupu and those guys, they all know. The whole thing is so unfortunate."
  • Former Chiefs great Christian Okoye penned an opinion piece for the Kansas City Star asking the owners to end the lockout for the fans.

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Posted on: June 11, 2011 7:09 pm
 

Braylon Edwards, Michael Vick give back

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We've spent enough time documenting all the recent legal run-ins of NFL players, that it's only fair that we give equal time to some of the good deeds, too. Michael Vick was a high school commencement speaker in Philadelphia Friday, and not only did he talk about redemption, he surprised two students with $5,000 college scholarships.

Nice touch, for sure. But former Browns first-round pick Braylon Edwards took it further. In May 2007, when Edwards was still in Cleveland, his foundation pledged $1 million in scholarship money to students in the Cleveland Municipal School District.

The catch, via Shutdown Corner: "Students and their parents signed a pledge that the students would complete at least 15 hours of annual community service and maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. Those students were also given help from tutors and workshops through the process via Edwards' ADVANCE 100 program."

Edwards has been known for many things during his NFL career, most of them having to do with hands of stone, running afoul of the law, and his love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with Browns fans. But give him credit: he kept his word. And now, 100 students each received a $10,000 scholarship, courtesy of Edwards.

In fact, Braylon sounded downright inspirational when he tweeted the news last month.

"As the 2nd most hated man in Clev. & a man of my word, Today I will honor a promise made to 100 students in Cleveland 6 years ago … The last of my Advance 100 students will graduate from my program & head off to college on scholarships that I will provide them with. … Guys enjoy & embrace your new beginnings and remember your promise to me, to reach back & help someone else along the way!!!"

Points for pandering to his audience. As Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar notes, "In 2009, Edwards got into it with a friend of James outside a Cleveland nightclub and punched the man, leading to comments from LeBron that Edwards' actions were motivated by jealousy." Perhaps there is still some ill-will towards Edwards for how things ended in Cleveland, but compared to LeBron, he might as well be Drew Carey. Well played, sir.

Once the lockout ends, Edwards says he'd like to stay with the Jets. One problem: New York will have to decide how to allocate their salary-cap dollars; in addition to Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith are also free agents -- not to mention the never-ending rumors about Randy Moss or Plaxico Burress.

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Posted on: June 11, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Jake Delhomme in demand as QB mentor?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For having settled comfortably into the twilight of his career, quarterback Jake Delhomme sure is popular. Pretty much everybody was shocked when the Browns paid Delhomme $7 million to be their starter in 2010. Injuries and lack of ability eventually landed him on the bench, where he was much more valuable as rookie Colt McCoy's mentor.

And it's his relationship with young quarterbacks that makes Delhomme marketable, even after his quarterbackin' skills have long since deserted him. The Denver Post's Mike Klis suggested last week that Delhomme would be a great fit with the Broncos and Tim Tebow.

Upon hearing that Delhomme's days in Cleveland could be numbered, former Panthers teammate Ryan Kalil took to Twitter to make the case that Carolina should re-sign him.

“Dear Marty Hurney, (slow chant) bring him back..bring him back..bring him back…BRING HIM BACK!” Kalil continued. “‘We’ve got to talk about where we want to head as far as the veteran back up is concerned.’ – Ron Rivera #BringJakeBack”

The Charlotte Observer's Darin Grantt notes that "Kalil jokes around a lot," before adding: "But if Delhomme was available, there would be a groundswell in the locker room to bring him back to Charlotte."

The lesson: don't burn bridges on your way out the door.

Delhomme makes sense in Carolina. The Panther drafted Cam Newton and he's going to need help transitioning to the NFL (while we're on the subject, Jimmy Clausen could use a confidant, too). Delhomme shows a knack for working with inexperienced, wide-eyes QBs, and he doesn't seem preoccupied with ever being a starter again. Basically, he's a coach who gets to wear a uniform on Sundays.

Rotoworld warns that Delhomme makes sense as a mentor, "but there's no way they could put him on the field." Well, they could. Not because Delhomme should be out there, but it's not like we're talking about the New England Patriots. The Panthers had the first overall pick for a reason: they were 2-14 in 2010. If, god forbid, Clausen and Newton get hurt and Delhomme has to play for a few weeks, what's the worst that can happen? Carolina loses two or three games? Big whoop -- they had two separate five-game losing streaks last year.

On the other hand, if Delhomme's presence accelerates Newton's growth as an NFL quarterback, then the growing pains will be worth it.

Then again, if Delhomme is the missing piece to a successful offense, the Browns not only should keep him, they should give him a raise.

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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: May 30, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 10:58 pm
 

Several NFL teams might have interest in Burress

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Plaxico Burress will be released from prison on June 6 after serving more than 20 months for, well, accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub in November 2008. The punishment may not have fit the crime, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to make an example out of Burress, presumably to serve as a warning to others who might consider carrying a loaded weapon in public (or shooting themselves with it, for that matter).

At the time, Bloomberg was clear: "I don't think that anybody should be exempt from [three-and-a-half years behind bars for illegally carrying a loaded handgun]. And I think it would be an outrage if we don't prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

Now, almost two years later, Burress will finally get his release. For most inmates about to earn their freedom, the biggest concerns about life on the outside often include finding gainful employment and staying out of trouble. The latter is linked to the former, so landing a job is paramount. Which brings us to this: What will the NFL market be for Burress' services once the lockout is resolved?

First, some background: Burress last caught a pass in an NFL game on November 16, 2008. Still with the Giants, and less than a year removed from a Super Bowl title, Burress had just three receptions for 47 yards against the Ravens before a hamstring injury forced him to the sidelines, and a few days later, a self-inflicted gunshot wound changed his life. The next time Burress suits up in an NFL game he will be 34, the age most players begin their transition to life after football.

So the dilemma facing potential suitors goes something like this:
  • After more than 20 months behind bars, does Burress have anything left?
  • How would he fit in with new coaches/teammates/scheme? 
  • Will he stay out of trouble? 
All questions NFL front offices will undoubtedly consider, and a few of them will be ready to sign Burress once we have a 2011 season. In today's "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King lists his early front runners.

"I think [Burress will] have two or three teams very interested. My guess is the Jets, Eagles and Raiders will be involved (the Jets if they don't sign Randy Moss), and I'll tell you a team that should be interested: Cleveland. A reborn Burress would do a good job giving Colt McCoy a threat he doesn't have right now -- if Burress is in shape and as interested in resuming his career as I've heard."

The Jets have proven time and again that they are unafraid to hitch their wagon to players with baggage (apparently, there's plenty of room on the wagon for both). Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards are the most recent examples, and they helped the Jets to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance last January. Coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum know what they're doing.

There is also the possibility that Edwards and Holmes could be lost via free agency should there be a season. That explains the interest in Randy Moss, although neither Moss nor Burress offer Mark Sanchez quite the dynamism that Edwards and Holmes provided a year ago.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, intimately familiar with incarceration and second chances, appeared on Philadelphia's WIP last week and said that he'd love to have Burress on his team.

"Absolutely -- it would be a great addition for our team," said Vick, according to SportsRadioInterview.com. "With the guys we have now, I think we can fit him in and make it work. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to put that ring on your finger at the end of the year.

"I think certainly Plaxico is going to come out with a chip on his shoulder the same way I did, and he'll go out and help this football team to whatever capacity he can. I think the guys would be willing to embrace him and bring him in. If that happens, who knows? We talking about 'what ifs' now? It would certainly be a good thing."

Assuming Burress could recapture his past form, it would give the Eagles a third legitimate wideout after DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin (not to mention tight end Brent Celek). There's also a running game featuring LeSean McCoy and Vick, an offensive line bolstered by first-round pick Danny Watkins, and an already-explosive offense suddenly seems more dangerous. And let's be honest, if anybody can relate to what Burress has been through, it's Vick.

King also mentions the Browns, a team mired in futility, and on its fourth coach since 2004. The organization hired Mike Holmgren as team president in 2010 to turn things around. He drafted quarterback Colt McCoy, who played better than anyone expected as a rookie, and added wide receiver Greg Little in April. Still, Cleveland is in need of a big-play, pass-catching threat; Josh Cribbs isn't quite there and Burress could be an attractive short-term solution while McCoy and his young offensive teammates gain experience.

Whether Burress has any interest in going to the Browns is a different matter entirely, although Ron Cook, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, thinks the Steelers should give Burress a look. Pittsburgh drafted Burress in the first round of the 2000 draft, and he was then-rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target in 2004. The Steelers chose not to re-sign him after his contract expired following the season, and Burress ended up with the Giants, where he won a Super Bowl in 2008.

This is just a hunch, but the Steelers will have no interest in Burress; they currently have a depth chart full of quality young receivers to go along with veteran Hines Ward. If they take a chance on any 6-4 wideout, it will be Limas Sweed, their 2008 second-round pick who has battled injuries and drops in an unexceptional three-year career.

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Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:06 pm
 

Braylon Edwards follows through on a big promise

B. EdwardsPosted by Andy Benoit

Braylon Edwards might be best known for his mistakes – and deservedly so. But the Jets free agent wide receiver is also one of the most charitable players in the NFL. On Tuesday, Edwards followed through on a promise he made to provide $1 million in tuition for 100 Cleveland students. It was called the ADVANCE 100 Program, an educational initiative established by the Braylon Edwards Foundation in May of 2007.

As part of the program, the students had to commit to 15 hours of community service annually and maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or better.

“As the 2nd most hated man in Clev & a man of my word, today I will honor a promise made to 100 students in Cleveland years ago,” Edwards tweeted. “The last of my Advance 100 students will graduate from my program and head off to college on scholarships that I will provide them with. Guys enjoy and embrace your new beginnings and remember your promise to me, to reach back & help someone else along the way.”

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Posted on: May 25, 2011 8:53 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 9:07 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.25.11: Mike Kafka's 'next step'

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Mike Kafka told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he's ready to "take that next step" and become the Eagles' official backup. Of course, that presumes that Kevin Kolb is traded. Fortunately, Andy Reid's got his back too. I know that Reid's really good at developing quarterbacks and all, but going from Kolb backing up Vick to Kafka backing up Vick is a significantly different proposition.
  • Is it legal for the younger brother of an NFL offensive coordinator to teach that OC's new quarterback the offense? I mean, it's not, right?


Posted on: May 21, 2011 4:57 pm
 

Kolb to the Browns rumor doesn't have real legs

Posted by Will Brinson

The lockout is still very much on, which means we're still very much talking about where Kevin Kolb, the heavily-hyped Eagles backup quarterback, will end up playing in 2011.

Today's zany rumor -- the Cleveland Browns! -- comes to us courtesy of Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network.

"I’m going to go Cleveland [if I'm the Eagles]," Lombardi said. "I’m not buying the Colt McCoy love affair going on in Cleveland. I don’t know how you can have the love affair. I think with the extra pick they got from Atlanta, that first-rounder, it’s gonna be hard to beat them in a poker game."

That's an interesting take ... if the Browns a) don't believe in McCoy and b) DO believe in Kolb.

The latter is made more interesting by the fact that Lombardi, in the same article, said that "it's hard to watch tape on Kevin Kolb and think he's worth a first-round pick." Since, you know, it's kind of counterintuitive to think that Cleveland would give up a first-round pick for a guy that's not necessarily worth a first-round pick.

Whatever, it appears to be pointless anyway -- Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer cited a source on Saturday that says the "Browns won't pursue" Kolb.

That doesn't mean that the Browns have no interest in Kolb -- after all, Tom Heckert drafted him while in Philly a few years back.

But at this stage of the game, it seems pretty likely that you'll see Cleveland roll the dice with McCoy at least through 2011. His performance certainly justifies not risking a first-rounder on another relatively unproven signal caller.

Oh, and speaking of Colt McCoy, he recently filmed a little clip with Valvoline talking his rookie-year experience and football "guarantees," of which there really are none. Including, I suppose, the Browns trading for Kolb.



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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