Just a few weeks ago, the Browns seemed resigned to the idea that they would wait until after the NFL draft to work out a long-term deal with veteran running back Jamel White.
That stance changed dramatically Apr. 18 when White agreed to sign the Browns one-year tender offer.
"We abandoned our previous position to wait until after the draft to start working with Jamel on a long-term contract," said Browns president Carmen Policy. "When he came in and said he was ready to sign the tender, we immediately started working on a long-term deal for him. I'm not saying something could happen before the draft, but serious negotiations are on-going now even before the draft."
And while the Browns are exploring options to trade up and-or down in the NFL Draft, don't think the Browns are working on extending White's deal as a prelude to a moving him in a draft-day trade.
"We covet Jamel White," Butch Davis said Monday. "We think that he is a terrific football player. He brings an added dimension to this football team in several different areas. He has proven at times that he can be a starter. He has proven his value as a third down guy and as a special teams guy. As I am sitting here today, we are trying to work on a long-term deal with Jamel. Once you get good football players, it's very unlikely that you're trying to move those guys off your team."
White and Tim Couch have been the subject of recent trade rumors with the Dallas Cowboys. On Monday, Davis said that while he "has learned never to say never," the potential of a deal involving Couch is hjighly unlikely.
A deal sending White to the Cowboys could also be unlikely. According to an NFL source, the perception of White around the league is that he is "an outside-only player ... who does is uncomfortable playing indoors and on astroturf ... That would that not be a good situation for Jamel." Texas Stadium is an enclosed facility with artificial turf.