During the Browns' press conference yesterday evening, general manager Phil Savage told reporters that their latest signing "puts the final piece in place as far as the big-ticket items."
But, as Pat McManamon so deftly alluded to in this morning's Akron Beacon Journal, the Browns were fully prepared to offer deals to Willie McGinest AND Kalimba Edwards. While they landed McGinest, Edwards opted to re-sign with the Lions.
The failure to land Edwards, however, does not change the fact that they were willing—and had the money under the cap--to sign both.
The above nicely dovetails into the persistent rumors that the Browns continue to maintain an interest in free-agent linebackers Lavar Arrington and Julian Peterson.
A league source told The OBR that the Browns were in contact with Peterson's representatives after they had reached an agreement with McGinest. What we have yet to ascertain, however, is if that call was to let the agent know that the club was no longer interested. Or, if the call was of the "we're still in the running and want Julian" variety.
As far as Arrington goes, the NFL Network is reporting that the Browns still maintain an interest in the veteran LB.
Savage is scheduled to attend Pro Day workouts for both Florida State and Penn State today. The Browns are expected to pay particular attention to defensive tackle Broderick Bunckley (FSU) and defensive end Tamba Hali (PSU).
Browns free-agent tight end Aaron Shea, who visited the Steelers
earlier this week, finished up a visit with the 49ers yesterday. A move to
Pittsburgh is highly unlikely for Shea as Jerame Tuman, Pittsburgh's
backup tight end last season, re-signed with the club.
AFC NORTH NOTES
Finally—thank God—the rumors of Chris Hope coming to Cleveland can be put to rest. The former Steelers safety signed a six-year contract with the Titans, a move that virtually guarantees free agent Tank Williams will not return to Tennessee.
"Pittsburgh was a great place. They gave me an opportunity to fulfill a dream of playing in the National Football League, so I have nothing but positive things to say. But ... I was limited to just playing in the middle of the field," Hope told reporters.
The Ravens have lost yet another one of their own free agents as safety Will Demps was signed by the Giants yesterday. According to ESPN, the five-year deal is worth between $10 and $12 million.
The Bengals are looking at a group of four free agents--Jamie Martin, Josh McCown, Tommy Maddox and Shane Matthews — as a replacement for Jon Kitna as a backup quarterback. Once a QB is signed, the club will turn their attention to defensive tackle Sam Adams.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I think you have to have a collective group of guys who want to go out and demolish anything in a different color uniform."
---new Browns linebacker Willie McGinest