OBR News and World Report: 3/22

Forced to mine the entire internet, John Taylor pokes, prods, and otherwise irritates the massive array of interconnected computers to force it to yield its' treasure. What does he do with the bounty? He gives it to you, Browns fans, because that's the sort of guy he happens to be.


Just to put the finishing touches on the Julian Peterson signing with Seattle, a team source tells The OBR that the Browns remained interested in the former Pro Bowl linebacker right up until a deal was completed with the Seahawks.

As we have been reporting for nearly a week, the Browns refused to engage in meaningful discussions with Peterson's agents until the asking price came closer to the club's value of the LB.

The interest on the part of the Browns has always been there. That interest, though, was tempered by the Peterson camp seeking $18-$20 million in guaranteed monies. Holding out seems to have paid off for Peterson, however, as he reportedly received $18.5 million in "bonuses" from Seattle, although it remains to be seen exactly how the money will be meted out and if it's simply a deal that looks good in the headlines.

Also, according to the source, Cleveland's interest in LaVar Arrington is "essentially the same as it was with (Peterson)." Meaning, of course, that the Browns are keeping their eyes on Arrington, but his camp has essentially priced their client out of the Browns financial comfort zone.

Both Peterson and Arrington are represented by the Poston brothers.

It's highly unlikely that they would allow Arrington—who is viewed by the Postons as being on the same level as Peterson—to sign for much, if any, less than the $54 million over seven years Peterson received earlier yesterday.

That, obviously, would keep the Browns on the outside looking in on Arrington.

Or, as William Shakespeare was quoted as saying when asked about the Browns interest in Peterson.

"It was much ado about nothing."


Browns running back Reuben Droughns gained some semblance of a victory in a Medina Municipal courtroom yesterday as the judge in his DUI case tossed out two key pieces of evidence against him.

Judge Dale Chase ruled that two field-sobriety tests did not meet national standards and could not be used by the prosecution.

Droughns, whose trial is scheduled to start on May 9, has pleaded not guilty to all three charges stemming from his October arrest: DUI, failing a breathalyzer test and speeding.


Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum columnist Roy Kline has written a rather lengthy and informative piece on what the Browns have accomplished thus far this off-season, and also speculates on what the club may attempt to accomplish in the upcoming April draft.

It's well worth the read.

(Plus, he credits The OBR in his story, so he deserves a little dap.)

(And, if I ever publicly use the word "dap" again, feel free to repeatedly beat me about the head and face.)


Congratulations are in order for Browns quarterback Lang Campbell, who has been named NFL Europe's Offensive Player of the Week.

Campbell completed 16 of 26 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown in the Berlin Thunder's 33-29 win over the Amsterdam Admirals.

The 24-year-old Campbell signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent out of William & Mary after the 2005 NFL draft. Campbell was released shortly before the start of the regular season, and then re-signed with the club on January 6 of this year.

Campbell was one of three homegrown national players to earn Player of the Week honors for their performances last Sunday. It marked the first time in NFL Europe history that had occurred.


The Browns have re-signed offensive tackle Kirk Chambers to a one-year contract. Chambers, drafted in the sixth round of the 2004 draft, has appeared in 21 games (no starts) during his two years in Cleveland.

Chambers also gave the Browns' official website (www.no-explanation-needed-for-message-board-being-down.com) an "exclusive" glimpse into his plans for a career after football.


From the "How The Hell Did I Miss This" department: Denver Rocky Mountain News columnist Dave Krieger lends an interesting perspective to the Broncos recent signing of Kenard Lang, who became the fifth member of the 2004 Browns defensive line to sign with/be traded to Denver in the last 12 months.


At the beginning of free agency, Sportsbook.com had the Browns listed as a 100-1 long shot to win the Super Bowl. Now, with the addition of several highly-respected and talented free agents, the online gaming site has dropped their odds to 60-1.

And who does the website favor to hoist the Lombardi Trophy this year? The Colts, at 6-1, followed by the Steelers at 10-1.

I must ask, though: will these gaming sites ever factor in Peyton Manning's anti-Jenna playoff gag reflex when setting their betting lines?


The Baltimore Sun weighs in this morning with their thoughts on how the Ravens would react should quarterback Vince Young unexpectedly fall to them at 13th in the upcoming draft.

"He's not as clean a prospect as some other quarterbacks that have come out over the years but his upside and ceiling are tremendous," Ravens' director of college scouting Eric DeCosta told the paper.

"If you hit on him, you could have a trendsetter in the NFL. Plus, we've got to get Kyle Boller the hell out of Baltimore."

(OK, that was poetic license on that last sentence. But, c'mon, you know that's what they're thinking.)


Tim Dwight's decision to sign with the Jets comes as somewhat of a disappointment to the Steelers as the club had some interest in the free-agent wide receiver. Pittsburgh viewed Dwight as a less-pricey—and less-talented—replacement for the departed Antwaan Randle El.


The Steelers aren't the only AFC North team disappointed this morning as Cincinnati target Brian Griese has reportedly reached an agreement on a five-year contract with Chicago. The Bengals had been in contract talks with Griese agent over the course of the past two days.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals will now turn their backup-QB situation to either Jamie Martin or former Steeler Tommy Maddox.


"In other free agency news, Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest, tired of winning, joined the Cleveland Browns, and Detroit signed QB Jon Kitna in the club's continuing effort to be really bad."

---Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote


"Chris Crocker is a talented, young safety. Our personnel people identified him as a potential trade option early in free agency, and we are thrilled to have a chance to add him to our team."

---Falcons head coach Jim Mora

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