BEREA - Something could break with the contract negotiations between the Browns and first-round pick William Green, and possibly in time to have him on the practice field Friday when the entire Browns roster is scheduled to arrive for training camp.
"I think what is happening is (Green's agent) Tom Condon is waiting for a signing or signing in close proximity to our position," said Browns president Carmen Policy.
That signing happened early Thursday afternoon when Oakland inked 17th overall pick Phillip Buchanon. The Browns selected Green 16th overall.
"That should open the door for a quick resolution of the Green matter," said Policy. "If it doesn't, then I'll be scratching my head as to what the problem could be. There would seem to be no good reason for not getting it done once (the Buchanon deal) is concluded."
Buchanon signed a five-year contract with a base salary of $7-million. That is roughly the same deal Santana Moss received in 2001 as the No. 16 pick. That could mean Green is in line for a contract similar to the one signed by last year's No. 15 pick, Rod Gardner. The Redskins signed Gardner to a five-year, $7.7-million contract.
"I can tell you this. Our offer to William Green includes an increase over the contract that was provided to the 16th pick of the draft last year," said Policy.
"We've been willing, with William's contract, to engage in some of the more creative structures that have come into play ... I think (delays in first-round picks signing) are a matter of the agent not wanting in any way to be upstaged or embarrassed ... Historically, they want to do better than (the same numbered pick) did the previous season."
Policy said the team is not "terribly" frustrated by Green's absence during the first three days of training camp.
"If Friday or Saturday rolls around (and Green has not signed), then I think frustration will truly set in," said Policy. "We all know when you are talking about rookies, especially a rookie who is viewed as a potentially critical to this team, he has to be a part of this process from the beginning."
The Browns are confident they will not reach that level of frustration, now that a neighboring draft pick has signed.
"There should be hot and heavy phone conversations going on, and it would be really in everyone's best interest to get him on the field (Friday afternoon)," said Policy.