The 411 from ATI

There are many important questions you're probably mulling over right now. Including, perhaps, who in the world is this fellow and why is he on the front page of Bernie's Insiders? Lane Adkins has the answers, and he helps cut through the pre-draft fog of rumors with straight answers in our exclusive <i>Ask the Insiders</I> forum. Here are some recent highlights...

ejbiv68: According To Hal Lebovitz. When Boulware came he was given a pep talk about being a Brown and given a jersey with his name on it.. I remember something from last year when Chris Crocker had a simular experience with his visit.. Is Boulware being looked at as a safety or Linebacker? Hal mentions a 2nd or 3rd pick would be used for Boulware.

Lane: Boulware is an athlete which may have the ability to convert to safety, but would not be an impact player there in his first-season......... Of course, from what we've been told.

Pennstation: Oh no!!!...not another "project" in the 2nd round..FOR THE LOVE OF CHAUN THOMPSON...JUST SAY NO!

Lane: Boulware is a talented kid with tremendous athletic ability, what may help his cause is he played the game against much better competition.

Art: This is identical to the scenario last year with Chris Crocker. The Browns felt confident enough to tell Crocker that they were going to take him in the third round, but Crocker wasn't on anyone else's first-day radar. Michael Boulware (pictured) definately is on the NFL's radar and is far from a sure thing.

The team has so many options this year, and is so dependent on the teams ahead of them to determine their fate, that they require back-up plan after back-up plan to deal with all the scenarios. If the Browns fail to acquire Sean Taylor, Boulware would be an interesting prospect for them.

Personal opinion here, but I would be very surprised - and delighted - if he somehow lasts until the Browns can grab him in the third round.

Amore: Now that Corey Dillon has been traded to New England, does this set things up for William Green to go to Oakland? Would a package of our #1 with Green along with Northcutt or another pick do the job to get Oakland's #1 so we can get Gallery?

Lane: Green to Oakland still remains a topic that has more than a handful of league insiders curious and awaiting a potential draft day deal. The belief around the league is Davis will hastily deal with a player due to his ego and power.

Cleveland's loss would be Oakland's gain. To deal Green, this organization must obtain the true blue-chip offensive line product (Robert Gallery) in the draft. I don't anticipate the Browns dealing Green, not at this time where Suggs is unproven and James Jackson is questionable as a starting quality RB.

MarkTroy: Butch would do this if given half a chance by Oakland. If it happens , then watch him go after Greg Jones in round Two. If they get Gallery and Jones, then watch Butch run he ball next year. I have a sneaking suspicion that Butch has a huge Jones for Jones. Lane, any idea if they're onto Jones in round 2, or even hoping he slides to the 3rd because he is one-dimensional?

Lane: Actually I am hearing that WR's and potentially OL are areas the second round may be best suited for this team.

Edgewater Joe: If someone asked this, forgive me -- but could this be a deal that's done contingent on Gallery being available at 2? Can those deals be done under NFL rules (I thought I once read that they can't -- I could be wrong ...)

Lane: Teams agree to conditions such as the one you speak of, but one thing to remember, there is no official deal until the league is notified and recognizes the trade.The Browns and Raiders could agree to a deal, then one of the parties back out.I wouldn't hold stock in anything on draft day until you hear the league rep announce a trade has been made.

MattMp: Good point. If you see the Raiders draft Gallery, then the Browns draft Roy Williams... Lane, is it safe to assume that Tags might have some interesting news for Browns fans? Though being "stuck" with Williams might not be too bad, either

Lane: You just may hear Tags announce with the 7th selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select wide receiver Roy Williams from the University of Texas................and keep him. The Browns like what they see in a couple Williams', Roy and Reggie

Brokenwing: If eligible for the supplemental draft, is there any consideration for taking Mike as the "Big Guy" to go over the middle and for a redzone receiver?

Lane: While I haven't heard anything specifically, I would certainly hope so. Mike Williams is an extremely talented receiver that will make plays in this league. This kid is a player.

GoNuts: Mike Trivisano said that the Tim Couch deal is done and the only thing that needs to be worked out is Tim wants a one year deal and Green Bay wants a two year deal. After thats settled then its a done deal. Nothing was said on what we get.

Lane: Talks continue at this hour, for those media reports suggesting that a deal was dead, they are off base.

Right now, the Packers have a new offer on the table for Couch, one which would add guarantees in his contract if he were to step in for Favre in 2004 and if Favre were to retire following the season. Too soon to call a deal done, but steady progress is being made.


KolbasyKid: Just heard this morning on the NFL station on satelite tv that they just heard the Browns are talking with the Raiders on a trade up. Offering Couch & Northcutt for there 1st round pick .

Lane: Nothing has come my way which has Couch in any discussions regarding the Raiders. Northcutt could be another issue, but right now I wouldn't bet on either player being involved in a deal with Oakland.

TheFireDoor: We've heard some intriguing comments from Lerner RE: the Draft.On Sunday, in the War Room, must Butch Davis build a consensus with Lerner on the #1 pick? Per his comments last week, Lerner could easily be on board smokescreening desires to pick a quarterback--but if not, and if there's a difference of opinion on Saturday--does Butch feel comfortable disregarding Lerner's wishes to pick "his guy" at #7?

Lane: This is going to be Butch's show..........don't worry about any influence from Randy, YET. Right now, Davis is being provided the opportunity to get this team/organization on the right track.

JDailey23: (quoting from another football board) I saw him last nite on the nfl channel and he said he does not plan to sit out, but will play football somewhere this season, not ruling out the Browns. He said he did not know where he would go but did not want to play for just any team. He did not specify that he would only play for the Ravens... I hope he does but it's a long shot for sure. And I'm glad he can play football well because he talks like a moron. But FO is going for the blue light special at Kmart, I think. Hope I'm wrong

Lane: Northcutt agent, Jerome Stanley stated Northcutt would only play for the Ravens. A comment which he has backed away from in the past couple weeks. Right now, the ball is in the Browns hands and Northcutt knows that. Something will be worked out to trade the wide receiver, but the team is seeking market value + for his services. The door is not completely closed on a return to Cleveland, but it is extremely unlikely.

Dadaman: Insiders could any team in the top 5 picks take on a trade of couch at his current contract? Do you have list of salary cap status for top five picking teams?

Art: Great question! According to the latest figures I've seen, the top teams have the following cap space:

1. San Diego $8.2 million
2. Oakland $2.2 million
3. Arizona $7.89 million
4. Giants $2.7 million
5. Redskins $3.36 million

I still feel, as I did at the beginning of the off-season, that Arizona presents the likliest trade-up scenario. To me, they have a lot of holes to fill, a coach in Dennis Green who has been a frequent trade partner with the Browns, and a viable need for someone like Dennis Northcutt (who would be coming back to Arizona). Plus, they have the cap space to absorb players like Couch and Northcutt.

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