The Wire: Kirk Chambers Gets Freedom in Three

The Browns slight shift in contract negotiating strategy takes center stage on Saturday morning, as rookie OT Kirk Chambers gets a one-year deal. Plus, hometown news on TE Steve Heiden and plans for Training Camp fun start picking up...

Saturday's newswire focuses on yesterday's signing of sixth-round draft choice Kirk Chambers, but there are a couple of other interesting stories to bring your way this morning as well.

As far as Chambers is concerned, the Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi gets the homework award by speaking to Chamber's agent, Don Yee, about Chambers' one-year contract.

In 2003, the Browns insisted on five-year contracts for every new draft pick. This year, however, the Browns have tweaked that strategy for sixth and seventh round picks, allowing them to opt for a one-year contract. Statistically, lower-round picks are less likely to stick on a particular team's roster, making a five-year contract a bit of a gamble. Butch Davis, however, still has yet to cut any of his draft picks, including his low-round picks in 2001 and 2002.

From Chambers' perspective, the one-year deal opens up the possibility of being a free agent after three seasons. The Browns insistence on five-year deals has infuriated some agents, as it prevented their clients from getting to free agent payoffs until after the five-year contract period. Grossi's article covers this change in approach, and is good reading.

Another article of interest on the Newswire comes from Steve Heiden's hometown paper, the Rushford (Minn.) Tri-County Recorder. A local boy made good, Heiden talks about his role as a blocker now that Kellen Winslow has arrived, and enthuses about the team's prospects in 2004. Heiden gushes about playing in Cleveland and the quality of the football fans on the North Coast. He's right, of course.

There is some momentum building towards training camp as well. I suggest that you take a look at the Watercooler if you want to hook up with the Dawgs visiting Berea next weekend.

The Browns are also announcing parties and get-togethers, as they try to compensate for some emotional distancing which occurred during the teams first five years back in Cleveland. A Brown and Orange Weekend has been announced and our friends at the Southwest Browns Backers get mentioned in an article on the event.

Showing that no experience is complete without corporate sponsorship and roving clowns, the Browns have announced an "AOL for Broadband training camp festival" taking place next weekend on Friday through Sunday. The team promises festivities will include "will include roving entertainers, a children's activity tent, an autograph tent, inflatables/rides, and also include music and entertainment performed on stage." The festivities will be held on Friday, July 30 (10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.), Saturday, July 31 (8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) and Sunday, Aug. 1 (Noon – 7:00 p.m.).

The whole thing about "inflatables" makes me nervous, but they're advertising it as a kid-friendly event. The informal picnic being planned in the park by the gang in the Watercooler is more my speed, personally, but if you like your festivals festive, Baldwin-Wallace is the place to be.  

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LINK: Today's Newswire


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