Not So Fast...

When the Browns drafted Lee Suggs in the fourth round of the NFL draft, many of us on the forums and in the chatroom assumed that this step marked the end of Jamel White as a Brown. Now, though, David Carducci reports that the rumors of Jamel's demise may have been greatly exaggerated. Here's the full story on Jamel's contract talks and Lee Suggs injury...

BEREA - When the Cleveland Browns selected free-falling Virginia Tech running back Lee Suggs 115th overall during the fourth round of the NFL Draft, the obvious assumption was disgruntled veteran Jamel White's days in Cleveland were numbered.

That is not necessarily the case.

Not only are the Browns continuing negotiations with White on a contract extension, they drafted Suggs knowing he may very well be forced to miss the entire 2003 season with a shoulder injury.

"We took him knowing he is facing shoulder surgery ... and there is a very good likelihood he may spend the year on injured reserve," said Browns coach Butch Davis, who compared taking the chance on an injured Suggs to the Buffalo Bills decision to take Willis McGahee in round one.

Davis also compared the idea of having Green, White, Suggs and James Jackson all on the same roster to the Denver Broncos collection of running backs during the last decade.

"You can never have enough talented players," said Davis. "The decision to draft Suggs has no bearing whatsoever on Jamel."

Davis said White and team president Carmen Policy met today for 30 minutes and talked "very, very seriously about a three or four year deal that could be (signed) as soon as (Monday)."

Suggs made a stunning return to the field in 2002, rushing for 1,255 yards and 20 touchdowns after missing almost the entire 2001 season with an ACL injury. He had been considered a potential first round pick by some experts until it was learned that he injured his rotator cuff while lifting weights in January.

When Suggs was examined at the NFL combine, an X-ray of his shoulder showed what Davis called "a little cloud." When the shoulder was re-examined, it was determined that Suggs would need surgery to repair the rotator cuff.

Recovery from rotator cuff surgery is typically between five and six months.

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