Browns Miss Out on Douglas

The San Francisco 49ers announced this afternoon that they had reached a three-year agreement with DE Marques Douglas, who had previously been courted by the Browns. The inability to sign Douglas leaves the Browns potentially thin on the defensive line heading into the draft...

The San Francisco 49ers have signed DE Marques Douglas to a three-year contract, according to published reports. The deal reunites Douglas with his old defensive coordinator, Mike Nolan, now head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

The Browns had met with Douglas and given him a contract offer earlier this off-season. Lane Adkins has been keeping us up-to-date with the progress of the contract talks, which appear to have stalled over differences in the amount of the contract. "A few million dollars", Adkins told Ask the Insiders visitors several weeks ago, "would end the negotiations".

With Phil Savage holding the line at the amount the Browns were willing to spend, the team now heads into the April draft with a perception of thinness in their front seven. The team has jettisoned four veteran defensive linemen (Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown, Ebenezer Ekuban and Michael Myers) and did not offer new contracts to linebackers Kevin Bentley (who signed with Green Bay) and Warrick Holdman (still unsigned). In addition, reported last week via the Pure Football forum that the Browns have been experimenting with Kenard Lang at linebacker.

At present, the starting Browns defensive line looks like Orpheus Roye and Kenard Lang at defensive ends (assuming the team does not move Lang to linebacker) and new free agent nose tackle Jason Fisk in the middle. Matt Stewart and Chaun Thompson would be the outside linebackers, with Andra Davis and Ben Taylor playing inside.

At present, defensive line backups would be Alvin McKinley, Nick Eason and relatively untested second-year players Corey Jackson and Amon Gordon.

- BDMc

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