UPDATE 745PM: The Browns have traded for veteran Patriots offensive lineman Ross Tucker. Tucker has played five years in the NFL, including a 2004 stint in Buffalo where he started twelve games.
NFL sources tell the OBR that Tucker was originally signed by the Patriots to provide depth on their offensive line. With several Patriots linemen coming of the PUP this week, however, Tucker was likely to fall to the third string. Tucker is capable of playing almost any position on the offensive line, and will be able to stabilize the Browns line after injuries to C LeCharles Bentley, RT Ryan Tucker, and C Bob Hallen.
Bob Hallen is not in Berea and is dealing with both physical and personal issues in San Diego.
Hallen began training camp as a back-up center and guard, but was thrust into the spotlight when free agent C LeCharles Bentley tore his patella tendon on the first scrimmage play of training camp. With Bentley gone for the year, Hallen then took over at center.
Hallen then came down with back problems yesterday, a development that was played down by head coach Romeo Crennel as Hallen was held out of afternoon practice. Today, however, Hallen was nowhere to be found and Crennel told the press that he was attending to personal matters in San Diego. The nature of the personal issues were not revealed.
"Bob is dealing with medical and personal issues that he is going to have to work out and get taken care of", Browns head coach Romeo Crennel told reporters this aftenroon. "Such to the point where I will investigate the avenues available to me."
For Crennel those options apparently include putting Hallen on the "exempt/left squad" list, which would allow the Browns to add another player to the roster. For Hallen, options being considered apparently include retiring from football.
Crennel alluded to the seriousness of Hallens personal and physical issues. ""I think they are both serious.
"Back injuries are always serious and personal issues make the two equal."
Crennel also felt that retirement was a realistic option, offering "(Retirement) is a personal issue that he might have to deal with."
As reported this morning. Philadelphia's Hank Fraley might be a possible trade option for the Browns. Jeff Mitchell, who is an available free agent, has not been interested in returning this season, according to knowledgeable sources contacted by Scout.com.