Heading into this offseason, it was widely assumed that defensive tackle Orpheus Roye would be a player the Browns would target for a restructure. Or, in a worst-case scenario, an outright pay cut.
With a base salary of $3.7 million and a cap figure of $4.95 million, Roye figured to join the likes of cornerback Corey Fuller and center Dave Wohlabaugh as targets of the restructuring machete'.
However, as of yesterday morning, the agent for the pricey DT stated emphatically that he has yet to hear from the organization regarding his client's contract.
"No, they have not approached me or 'O' about his contract," Phil Williams told Bernie's Insiders from his Georgia office.
"If restructuring had been something that had popped into their mind, they would've approached us before making up their [expansion draft] list. Of course, we would've said no [to a restructure]. It's not going to happen. We're just not going to do it."
In an additional Orpheus note, The Insiders has learned that the Texans were privately disappointed when Roye's name did not appear on Cleveland's unprotected list. The Texans had expected Roye to be one of the five players exposed by the Browns, and were more than mildly surprised that Corey Fuller had replaced the defensive lineman on the list.
Even at a somewhat bloated salary, Houston head coach Dom Capers felt that Roye would have fit in well with the 3-4 defense that the Texans are expected to install. Of course, before coming to Cleveland, Roye was a 3-4 defensive end with the Steelers.
GO WEST, YOUNG MEN: When the list of expansion-eligible players began to leak earlier in the week, one name who was listed as a definite to go to the Texans in their draft next month was Ravens linebacker Jamie Sharper. Another, Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Boselli, will likely wind up a Texan, provided the club is comfortable with his medical reports.
Now, you can add at least two additional players to the "near-definite" list, including one current member of the Browns. Linebacker Brant Boyer and Colts tight end Ken Dilger will likely be searching for homes in the Houston area in the very near future, in part because of their past ties with current members of the organization.
Texans head coach Dom Capers, who was the Jaguars defensive coordinator for Boyer's final two seasons in Jacksonville, will likely jump at the opportunity to land the eight-year veteran. Also, Boyer and Texans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer share the same agent, which adds another layer of familiarity to the situation.
Like Boyer, Dilger has strong ties to a member of the coaching staff as well.
Houston's offensive line coach, Tony Marciano, spent four seasons in Indianapolis as the teams' tight ends coach. A league source indicates that both Marciano and Palmer are excited about the prospect of adding a veteran such as Dilger to their expansion offense.
The Browns would clear nearly $1.1 million in cap space should Boyer be selected, while the Colts would save just under $3.5 million.
SENIOR BOWLERS: As the Senior Bowl has evolved over the years, from a quaint postseason all-star game to player showcase, most entrants in the Mobile classic view the event as a chance to improve their draft stock in the eyes of the NFL brass.
According to two scouts in attendance, perhaps no player increased his stock during the week of practices more than UCLA's DeShaun Foster.
While Foster performed well running the football -- showing "tremendous speed and burst through the holes" as one scout put it -- it was catching the football out of the backfield where he really separated himself from the rest of the back pack.
"In my eyes, he clearly made more out of this week than anyone else on either side," one of the scouts told The Insiders.
In addition to Foster, several other players used the opportunity to potentially up their April draft-day value.
Colorado tight end Daniel Graham ("Best all-around tight end available in the draft, hands-down."), North Dakota State running back Lamar Gordon ("I was surprised by the quality of his hands... and he's a lot faster in person than he looks on film."), Auburn guard Kendall Simmons ("Can run and pass block equally well, but I guess you would expect that from a former [offensive] tackle. That ability is not seen very often in guards and will help him come April.") and San Diego State guard Chester Pitts ("Exceptionally strong and great footwork for a big mauler.") all did nothing but help themselves this past week.
NORTH-SIDE TIDBITS: Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, one of the hottest assistant coaches in the game, will likely get a sniff from the Bucs regarding their vacant head-coaching position once Pittsburgh's postseason run comes to an end. Not only has Mularkey -- and quarterbacks coach Tom Clements -- performed a miraculous resurrection on the career of Kordell Stewart, he also has the always-important ties to Tampa Bay. In 1994, he was the Bucs' quality control coach, and then coached the tight ends in 1995. Of course, any interest by the Bucs would be pending the availability of the Raiders' Jon Gruden. ... If current Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis does not land a head-coaching gig, the chances rise exponentially that linebackers coach Jack Del Rio will bolt the organization. Del Rio, who has been chomping at the bit for his own coordinator job the past two years, is the leading candidate to replace Vince Tobin in Detroit. Basically, Del Rio is in an almost no-lose situation. If Lewis stays in Baltimore, he can likely have the Detroit job. If Lewis were hired as a head man, he would become Baltimore's new coordinator.
LEAGUE-WIDE BAUBLES: If Lions running back James Stewart is not taken by the Texans in the expansion draft, Detroit will go to the back's agent and request that they agree to a restructured contract. Stewart, who came close to signing with Cleveland during March of 2000, is scheduled to count $5.3 million against the 2002 salary cap. The Lions are hoping that the presence of Chris Palmer, who was part of the decision-making team with the Browns that decided to get out when the free-agent bidding went too high, will push the Texans to make the same decision and keep their hands off Stewart. ... If, as expected, John Fox is named as Carolina's new head coach in the very near future, the early leader to replace him as the Giants' defensive coordinator is the club's current defensive backs coach, Johnnie Lynn. ... According to the Dallas Morning News, former Bengals and Jets head coach Bruce Coslet is a candidate for the Cowboys' offensive coordinator position. Dallas' coordinator the last two seasons, Jack Reilly, was re-assigned to the team's scouting department. ... Three of the Titans top defensive tackles -- defensive tackles Jason Fisk, Josh Evans and Joe Salave'a -- can all become unrestricted free agents in March, meaning that the Titans could very well be looking for interior defensive linemen in both free agency and the draft.