News Recap: Another Offensive Lineman Gone

Frank Middleton is gone, but it doesn't seem to be a big story... Keith McKenzie's agent keeps talking and talking and talking... The draft buzz keeps building... Ricky Williams doesn't sound like a Davis type of player...

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ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Well, I admit that I thought the main story in today's papers would be Frank Middleton's decision to stay with the Oakland Raiders. Following on the heels of Oliver Ross, the Browns have now tried and failed to sign several offensive guards. According to Pat McManamon of the ABJ, Middleton's agent offers simply that the Browns and Middleton "never could get the numbers right", which I translate to meaning that Middleton wanted more money. CBS Sportsline carried the AP story on the front page, but none of the other web sites seem to think it's worth covering this morning. Maybe we're all adjusting to the Browns not signing an offensive lineman on a regular basis, and it is no longer considered newsworthy.

CAN THIS MARRAIGE BE SAVED?: Economics rules over emotion in today's NFL, as Keith McKenzie's agent proves in today's Canton Repository. Steve Doerschuck reports that McKenzie is still open to talking to the Browns as his agent Joel Corry states "I don't want to close the door on Cleveland". While the Browns clearly have other areas of need, Doerschuck speculates that it is still possible that McKenzie will wind up back with the Browns. If that happens, McKenzie might need to say some calming words to Kenard Lang, as his agent is openly stating that McKenzie is a better pass rusher.

DRAFT NOTES: CNN/SI's Pat Kirwan maintains that William Green is the best back in this year's draft, and thinks that T.J.Duckett is more a Ron Dayne than a Jerome Bettis.... Hawaii standout WR Ashley Lelie writes about his meeting with the Chiefs in his diary on ESPN and discusses teams that are expecting to meet with him. The Browns aren't on that list.... Fox Sports offers up some NFL Draft commentary about offensive tackles. If I were Jeff Hatch, I'm not sure how I would feel about having someone write that I had "some tools and intelligence". "Some intelligence"? I think I would ask the columnist if he would like "some fist" on his nose. But I'm kind of touchy that way. As a home party game, you have to drink the rest of your beer every time the writer uses the word "tools".

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE THE DAVIS MOLD?: The Miami Herald reports New Orleans coach Jim Haslett offering up that RB Ricky Williams had a habit of not showing up for commitments. Despite his incentive-laced contract, Williams never got his $100,000 workout bonus. "He's a pretty good kid", Haslett says, but notes "Every once in a while he'll be late for a meeting or won't show up for something". I'm late for meetings on occasion myself, but would probably go workout in exchange for $100,000. In Williams' defense, maybe he was late for a meeting when he was caught trying to break the sound barrier in his car last month.

- AB

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