CLEVELAND--After the first two days of NFL free agency, the Browns are still watching their former players leaving.
After losing four starters on the first day of free agency, special teams ace Johnson Bademosi signed with the Lions to become the top paid special teams player in the league according to reports with a two-year $4.5 million contract.
The count now stands five to zero, in terms of free agents who have left. The lone unrestricted free agent still not signed with another team is linebacker Craig Robertson.
In Berea, the only sound thus far is crickets.
There were reports that the Browns were in on two players that signed with other teams in wide receiver Richard Matthews and linebacker Nigel Bradham, who signed with the Titans and Eagles, respectively.
The official move by the Browns was the long anticipated release of Johnny Manziel, which occurred with an eight-word statement Friday morning.
TheOBR’s Lane Adkins gave his assessment in the ‘Fast Lane’ early Friday morning. Check the compete report and all the latest Browns news in our forums:
“Heading into the talking phase prior to the start of FA, the Browns anticipated the likelihood of losing the four key FAs -- they were not surprised,” Adkins said. “The disappointment they are feeling right now is how the market has played -- WR’s have garnered serious contracts, more than anyone anticipated and the negativity centered on Cleveland has certainly played a role in the inability to get deals done -- as well as the Browns indecisiveness and methodical manners of negotiations/commitment.”
There has been talk about possibly trading for Colin Kaepernick, but Adkins reported there was not much happening on that front.
Adkins cited this quote from within the Browns ORG (Thursday night) to theOBR:
"Yes, we have discussed a trade with San Francisco for QB Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers first approached us gauging our interest, which we reciprocated and asked what they were looking at and inquired about his health. As of this evening (Thursday), we have not been in serious talks with San Francisco and don't anticipate our discussion to progress to that point as the situation stands at the present time."
Adkins also said an agent not involved in the Kaepernick trade talks told TheOBR that the “Broncos are the clear leader” to land the quarterback. He also said the Browns are “in a position where a deal for Kaepernick would likely cost them a middle round draft selection and dollars.”
Several former Browns players held their introductory press conferences with their new teams on Thursday and a couple of them seemed to be as perplexed about the situation as the fans when asked why the Browns allowed four starters to leave on the first day of free agency.
“The pause tells you everything,” Tashaun Gipson at his first press conference with the Jaguars. “I couldn’t tell you. I’ll be the last guy to sit here and bash the city of Cleveland. It’s honestly just as confusing to me as it is to the fans and the city of Cleveland.”
Gipson echoed many of the feelings of Browns fans.
“To everybody that’s on the outside looking in, how do you lose two Pro Bowlers and and up-and-coming right tackle and one of the best returners, as well as an up-and-coming receiver in one free agency class?”
Travis Benjamin was asked if it was tough to leave the Browns after spending his first four years in Cleveland.
"No. Not at all."
There’s a long way to go before free agency is over and the NFL Draft, but the Browns list of needs is increasing by the day thus far.