It's tragic. Just tragic, I tell ya.
This morning, while putting together the Daily Newswire, I read a story in ESPN by John Clayton. He's a guy who is a personal inspiration to me as the modern dork-as-reporter standard, and is sort of a less-verbose version of Len Pasquarelli.
Clayton used Ross Verba as an example of what happens to veteran players who are released in June. Verba, it appears, is a victim of his own horrific timing.
At this time of year, you rarely read about huge sums being offered to veteran players. Part of the reason is that the best free agents have already been plucked off the tree, but the other element is that teams have already crushed themselves up against the salary cap.
The Browns elite ex-left tackle is learning this the hard way.
"The Bills desperately need someone of Verba's skill level at left tackle", writes Clayton, "but they don't have the cap room to even consider him. The Texans are the most interested but are only talking in terms of one year."
Browns fans, who largely approved of the teams release of Verba, couldn't be blamed if there was a small smirk on their faces right now. Football players who prize cash over team have never been prized in this town, and Verba's seeming detachment with reality regarding his financial demands was regarded by many fans as absurd.
In Clayton's otherwise fine article, I only have one item I can quibble with. In attempting to prove his point, Clayton says that Peter Boulware "still has 10-sack potential".
Well, maybe. A player coming off of micro-fracture surgery is a big risk, and it is Boulware's inability to work out, more than the month on the calendar, which explains why he hasn't gotten a big cash offer yet.
Elsewhere on the newswire, the Jaguars are talking to Patriots CB Ty Law. In fact, they're working him out. As we've reported here, Law is unable to make hard cuts, so it's hard to say if the Jags will actually offer Law a deal.
The Browns, as you know if you've being visiting here over the last few months, have repeatedly expressed interest in Law.
While these stories are about all that's on our sparse newswire, that doesn't mean I haven't searched around for more. I'm trying to chase down a rumored story that Quincy Carter told reporters he wanted to come to Cleveland, but haven't found that yet.
Far be it for us to bash this particular business model, but we don't point to subscriber-only stories on the newswire, although we may start doing that someday. That's why you don't see Columbus Dispatch stories on the newswire anymore, since they now charge for access to all of their Browns stuff.
Speaking of premium content, while desperately surfing around this morning, I stumbled into an ESPN Insider article that had their take on "fantasy" depth charts around the league.
Unfortunately, ESPN lost a little credibility with me because they had Danny Wimperine (cut six weeks ago and already in the CFL) as our fifth quarterback, and had Charlie Frye ahead of Josh Harris and Doug Johnson. They had some wide receivers screwed up as well. I think I'll turn elsewhere when it's time to draft this year's version of my lame fantasy football squad.
If you want a depth chart for the Browns that doesn't include CFL players, you can find one right here.