OBR News and World Report: 3/11

John Taylor surveys the free agent landscape and becomes at peace with all mankind...


BROWNS BYTES
 

New York Newsday is reporting that erstwhile Jets linebacker John Abraham will be in Cleveland at some point next week for a sit-down with the Browns. Abraham was slapped with the franchise tag earlier this off-season, and the Jets have been actively seeking a trade ever since. 

The Broncos, Seahawks and Falcons are also on Abraham's list of teams to visit in the coming week, with Denver being the odds-on favorite to land the LB. 

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Bart Scott, long-rumored to be of interest to the Browns, will pay Cleveland a visit on Sunday, The OBR has confirmed. The Baltimore linebacker, in addition to the Browns and a return to the Ravens, is interested in the Packers, Vikings and Rams. 

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You can add the Redskins to the list of teams showing signs of interest in Ravens defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu. The Browns, of course, are expected to make a significant push to add Kemoeatu to a rather "lackluster" defensive line. 

As an aside, do not count out Kemoeatu re-signing with Baltimore. A Ravens source tells The OBR that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the subsequent bump in the salary cap, has renewed hope inside the Ravens front office that they may be able to compete with the Clevelands of the free-agent world and retain the DT. 

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Speaking of nose tackles, the Canton Repository is reporting that there is a group of three NTs, not Kemoeatu, that sits atop the Browns wish list. The paper reports that one of the group that includes Sam Adams, Grady Jackson and Ted Washington could be signed as early as today. If neither of the three jumps at a deal, only then, the paper says, would negotiations with Kemoeatu begin in earnest. 

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LaVar Arrington, the free-agent linebacker who has drawn interest from the Browns, paid a visit to South Florida and the Dolphins yesterday. 

"They had expressed an interest and Miami is a great place to live and play football," agent Carl Poston told the Orlando Sun-Sentinel. "I think they need a linebacker, especially since they released Junior (Seau). That's all I know so far. 

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Friday that the Browns had been in contact with Poston in order to gauge Arrington's interest in the club. Arrington, of course, bought out his Redskins contract in order to become a free agent. 

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You can officially count Aaron Kampman out as a potential fit for the Browns as the defensive end has re-signed with the Packers. Kampman has been on the periphery of Cleveland's free-agent interests, although he was not as valued in Cleveland as he was in Green Bay. 

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There was an intriguing little draft tidbit in yesterday's Dayton Daily News that somehow slipped underneath the radar. According to the paper, the Browns paid particular attention to defensive tackle Le Kevin Smith during Nebraska's Pro Day workouts on Wednesday. 

The paper reports that the 6-2½, 320-pound DT is steadily moving up Cleveland's draft board.  

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Zac Jackson of the most official of officialest Cleveland Browns websites has announced the winning numbers for next week's Powerball and Mega Millions lottery drawings, the winners of the 2008 running of the Kentucky Derby and the 2009 Preakness, how much wood a woodchuck can indeed chuck and the official return date of Jesus Christ Our Lord. 

Oh crap. Wasn't supposed to see those articles? My bad. 

 

AFC NORTH NOTES 

The Raiders have, finally, announced the release of quarterback Kerry Collins, which means the official "Will You PLEASE Come In And Put Us Out Of Our Kyle Boller Misery" ass-kissing marathon by the Ravens can commence. 

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The release of Collins also lends more credence to the Daunte Culpepper-to-Oakland rumors. The Ravens have also been considering acquiring Culpepper, but have backed out due to concerns over the QB's injured knee and off-the-field "issues". 

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The Browns are not the only AFC North team showing an interest in Sam Adams as Mike Brown has begun the process of counting his pennies to see if the DT would be a good fit for the Bengals. Head coach Marvin Lewis was Adams' defensive coordinator in Baltimore earlier this decade and could view the 32-year-old as a viable option. 

"He's waiting to see where the market is," said agent Angelo Wright. "It's a need position for (the Bengals) but they'll have to decide how much of a need it is in their minds. One thing for sure is that Mike Brown won't get burned in free agency." 

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The Ravens have extended contract offers to both Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor, although both running backs seem quite content to dip their toes in the free-agent pool before making a decision on returning to Baltimore. 

Lewis is considering his offer, while Taylor is so impressed with the deal put before him that he has a visit planned for this weekend, although the destination is not known. 

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Sadly, the Duane Clemons Era has come to an abrupt end in Cincinnati as the Bengals announced the defensive end's release yesterday. Clemons, a former first-round draft pick, played in 10 games last season after being suspended for the four after violating the league's substance abuse policy. 



LEAGUE-WIDE NOTES, TIDBITS AND OTHER ASSORTED BLING
 

Unbelievably, one of the reasons the Broncos were glad to see a new CBA completed was that it gives them a better shot at retaining former Browns defensive tackle Gerard Warren. And, needless to say, the feeling is quite mutual. 

"Let's get it out there: I want to be in Denver today, as I have all along. Even if there were no new CBA, I'd hope I'd be there, but a new deal should mean I stay. I really want to be in Denver," Warren said. 

Warren's agent, Joel Segal, told the Rocky Mountain News that the two sides have been involved in "significant conversations" and expects the talks to continue. 

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The future of guard Larry Allen in Dallas continues in a state of flux as the Cowboys weigh his Pro Bowl-laden career against his age and 2006 salary cap number. 

The 35-year-old Allen is due a $2 million roster bonus on April 1, which will push his cap hit in '06 to $7.55 million. Dallas is expected to attempt to renegotiate Allen's current deal, but, as of yet, the two sides have yet to meet to discuss the issue. 

"Right now he has a contract. He intends to honor it, and I'm sure between now and April 1, I'll have discussions with the appropriate people," agent Marvin Demoff said.  

"Larry's been there the last two years and done everything asked of him. He's made the Pro Bowl. He's not been a bad player. If they want to sign someone else instead of Larry and release him, he'll end up playing somewhere else. Players have only so many options." 

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Drew Brees and his surgically-repaired shoulder are being not-so-gracefully shown the door in San Diego. Needless to say, the move to replace Brees with Phillip Rivers does not sit well with the Purdue product. 

Don't believe me? Just check out this quote: 

"If I leave and go somewhere else and be very successful like I plan on doing, they have a lot to lose. I guess in a way, I've laid my butt on the line for them a lot in the last five years. There have been ups and downs, and I laid my butt on line. I wish there was somebody there who would lay their butt on the line for me, besides the head coach and the players." 

As to where Brees will land, it would be considerably more than a mild surprise if he didn't end up with the Dolphins. 

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The Cardinals will waste no time in showing their interest in Edgerrin James as the free-agent running back will make a visit to the desert today. Seeing how things worked out for Emmitt Smith in Arizona, it's no surprise that James would make Phoenix the first stop on his free-agent tour. 

What's that? The Cardinals have the most dollars under the cap for a team in need of a running back? And Drew Rosenhaus is James' agent? 

OK. Never mind.

 


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