Looking for Veteran Help

With rookies needing to be signed and the team still tight against the salary cap, team President Carmen Policy (left) is going to need some help. Lane Adkins learns more from inside Berea about veteran players who may be asked to assist the team in digging out from under the cap...

With the Browns looking to clear room under the salary cap to sign their rookie draftees, a couple of potential cap casualties have quietly flown under radar.

While the phrase "potential cap casualties" may be a little strong, there are some interesting thoughts funneling through the Browns offices in Berea regarding remedies for the 2003 salary cap woes.

Starting safety Robert Griffith is just one player that the team has discussed as a potential player to approach to help the team relieve some of their salary cap problems.

A team source tells BerniesInsiders.com that the organization has discuss the options regarding Griffith: "To restructure his contract, take a paycut or be released... in June, where his bonus can be spread out over two seasons"

"One consistent factor in the discussions is the veteran leadership Griffith provides to an inexperienced unit in the defensive backfield.", the source continued, "With the number and quality of available safeties on the market, the Browns would be foolish not to seriously entertain that area of thought and investigation."

Another player that could be asked to restructure his contract is defensive end Courtney Brown. Brown, the first player selected in the 2000 NFL draft, has battled numerous injuries throughout his three seasons in the league.

"There have been some preliminary discussions about restructuring Courtney Brown's contract, which will provide the organization with room now to get some deals done, while securing salary cap integrity in the future," the team source said. "Most likely a deal will get done - the team and Courtney feel it is in our best interests."

Once showing promise as a dominant defensive end relying on speed and quickness, Brown is now recovering from micro-fracture surgery on his knee. While his rehabilitation is going well, the team and Brown will not truly know if and when he'll be ready to contribute until full squad practices begin in the summer.

"From all the reports, and indications from seeing Courtney, he is doing very well and is ahead of schedule," a team source said. "He is doing well strengthening the knee and the upper and lower supporting leg regions, but we'll really not know until he begins to practice, take some shots to the knee, and runs/cuts at full speed."

"There are no guarantees that a player will come back after this surgery... time will tell. If there was a player that were to come back and be successful, it would be Courtney Brown, he works very diligently on his physical conditioning."


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