What's the Matter with Julian Peterson?

During the Browns' pursuit of Bart Scott, Kalimba Edwards and Willie McGinest, many Browns fans asked why the team was not pursuing former Pro Bowl linebacker Julian Peterson. TheOBR.com's John Taylor continues his investigation into the Browns interest in Peterson, providing exclusive information on why the San Francisco linebacker remains unemployed even as teams wrap up their free agent shopping. This, plus insight into whether he still might become a Cleveland Brown...

One of the biggest mysteries of the free-agent signing season thus far -- aside from "how the hell are the Redskins doing it?"--is the seeming lack of interest in two-time Pro Bowler Julian Peterson.

Other than an Internet-fueled brouhaha that had the Browns and Lions supposedly doing an "Anything You Can Do, I Can Offer Better" banjo-riffing contract battle, there has been virtually no action on the Peterson front.

Now, The OBR is able to shed at least a little bit of light on the lack of activity involving the linebacker.

According to a league source, Peterson is seeking $18-$20 million in any new contract he signs. $18-$20 million in guaranteed money.

To put that into proper perspective, Edgerrin James and Shaun Alexander received $15 million guaranteed each and they were coming off Pro Bowl seasons. Peterson is coming off a sub par 2005 season, which came on the heels of an Achilles injury that limited him to five games in 2004.

Then again, Peterson is represented by the notorious Poston brothers, so that does somewhat explain the exorbitant demands.

In spite of the dollar figures floating around the Peterson camp's collective heads, the Browns still maintain at least a sliver of interest. But, as was the case with Willie McGinest, the Browns are more than willing to sit back and allow the market to correct what is--to be blunt--a ridiculous starting point in negotiations.

In order for the Browns interest to go from minimal to anything close to serious, the source said, the Peterson camp "will have to drop their price drastically".

Taking a cue from the Browns—or is that vice versa?—the Patriots are also interested in Peterson, but are taking a wait-and-see attitude. In addition to Cleveland and New England, Seattle and Miami have shown interest.

Peterson has already visited the Seahawks in the last the last 24 hours, and has a visit scheduled for the Dolphins in the next day or two.

Additionally, the source said, the 49ers are about to renew their efforts to re-sign their prodigal LB.


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