"WHAT WE'VE BEEN TOLD"

Some rumors are swirling, speculation running wild on the Browns, the expansion draft, free agency, and the 2002 NFL Draft.

Just when you thought enough was enough, the Browns send a tremor that shakes the foundation.

When cornerback Corey Fuller was placed on the expansion list by the Browns, one would ask why such a move would be made.

Well we hear that the decision was an easy one to make.

Fuller, will earn a salary of 3.8 million dollars in the 2002 season, making his easily the highest paid cornerback on the roster.

The Browns, looking at the youth and potential at the cornerback position believe that making Fuller available will serve a couple purposes, sources tell Bernie's Insiders.

First and foremost, the Browns do not expect the Houston Texans to select Fuller in the Expansion Draft on February 18th.

Secondly, the Browns will take advantage of Fuller's open statement that he would restructure his contract, as he wants to retire a Cleveland Brown.

We've been told by a source close to the team that the Browns will make overtures to Fuller that they placed him on the list to protect talent on the roster, knowing that he would not be selected.

The question will this patch-up the damage that has been done?

Surprise, surprise, Orpheus Roye still a here: A large salary, a huge cap hit on the books, Orpheus Roye was certain to be exposed in the expansion draft. Well, not so quick!

Roye remains a member of the Cleveland Browns. A lack of depth and experience along the defensive line helped solidify his position on the roster.

Also, being willing to restructure his contract surely didn't hurt his standing.

More puzzling was the placement of linebacker/special teams ace, Brant Boyer to the expansion list.  

Onto the 2002 Draft: The names are swirling about regarding the players that interest the Browns in the first-round of the draft.

Butch Davis would love to get his hands on offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie from the University of Miami, Florida.

The odds on this happening are remote, but it won't because the Browns didn't make an effort, sources tell Bernie's Insiders.

"The Browns are looking to get McKinnie, they are without a doubt exploring the possibilities," the source said. "It is beginning to look like the fourth position in the draft could be the magic spot."

"The Bills holding the fourth draft selection have been rumored to be looking to trade down in the draft."

Speaking of draft selections, Bernie's Insiders has learned that the only safety the Browns would consider at the 16th or 17th selection in the draft would be Roy Williams from Oklahoma.

Additionally, we've been told that the Browns coaching staff and personnel department members have been hard at work this week.

The 'word' is that spending a significant amount of time scouting the offensive linemen and defensive backs at the Senior Bowl in Alabama will provide the organization with the look they need prior to personal workouts and the combines in Indianapolis slated for the end of February.

The Free Agency Front: Seperate sources tell Bernie's Insiders that the Browns have concluded their post-season evaluation and the results are not surprising.

"The Browns are going to be a player in the early stages of free agency," the source tells Bernie's Insiders. "We have been told that the team will look immediately to improve the offensive line, quality and depth at the safety positions, and possibly some help at the wide receiver position."

"An interesting scenario could play out between the Browns and Houston Texans. There are some players on the expansion list that the Browns should and will have an interest in, remember Clark (Dwight) and Chris Palmer worked closely together in Cleveland."


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