Transcript: Adam Caplan on Free Agents & More

Free agents targeted by the Browns was a big topic in last night's terrific chat with NFL insider Adam Caplan. Adam, who has helped the OBR break nearly every coach hiring this off-season, expounded on which free agents the team would (and should) possibly target. More terrific insight and objective commentary on the Browns organization, available only here...

CCDawg49: so who do we sign first?  :-)
Adam Caplan: RT has to be a priority... then two OGs. Defensively, pass rushers and CBs too

CCDawg49: nice shopping list.  is it realistic?
Adam Caplan:they have plenty of cash to spend

saltn4dollars: Guards should be first... JA and CC are horrific to watch
Adam Caplan: Couldn't disagree more on guard, RT is looked at as more important by NFL people. Guard is a position that you can always get

saltn4dollars: Butler still could be promising, but most likely not
Adam Caplan: Butler is a backup, nothing more. If someone gets hurt he can go in for a bit.

saltn4dollars: Shaffer may be best suited at RT - hence a Joe Thomas acquistion in the draft.
Adam Caplan: If they want Joe Thomas, yes

CCDawg49: why do we hear you can always get a guard, yet we haven't found any since 1999?
Adam Caplan:Teams build their OL outside in usually

buzz30: IF rt is a priority then is tucker done
Adam Caplan:I don't expect Tucker back... no reason to think he will return

mrslick36: What do you think of our new offensive staff?
Adam Caplan:Ok, not great. I would have hired Loney, but from what I Was told they wanted a better fit for their new scheme.

donodawg: I hope this question is not too far afield.  There are rumors that both Will Shields and Casey Weigmann could retire from KC. Any truth to that?
Adam Caplan:I'm told 75% on Shield retiring

plumpgrizzlybear: What about a DE like Justin Smith of the Bengals, is he a good fit here?
Adam Caplan: Smith doesn't fit the 3-4 at all. He must be in a 4-3

saltn4dollars: I think we need a starter in FA at guard, and then a Josh Beekman/Ben Grubbs type in 2nd/3rd in the draft
Adam Caplan: Dockery, Dielman, Sean Mahan, Cooper Carlisle

Tradition_Est_1946: If we sit at #3 in the graft, is it fair to say we will be sitting preety for trade downs with Johnson, Brady, & Peterson sitting there for us ?
Adam Caplan: #3 is a good spot to be in

mikehey: how many free agents willl they target
Adam Caplan: Probably 3-4. I'll have some scoop at the combine on what they're looking at in terms of free agents.

zkramp: If we are sitting at #3 with Thomas and Russell gone and cant trade, who do we take?
Adam Caplan: Quinn

saltn4dollars: I'd go with Thomas... let Shaffer go to the right side, play JT at left... then, hope we grab a few guards also/
Adam Caplan:Problem with Thomas is he's not very strong, built like D. Ferguson... Needs to get in the weight room

plumpgrizzlybear: Will Phil attack one position more than others like he did with the linebackers last year
Adam Caplan: They have a ton of needs - he has a lot to address

Mikehey: What do you think of the changes to the offensive coaching staff
Adam Caplan: Mixed at best. Jury is out on Chud and OL especially

mrslick36: Are we interested in Doss?
Adam Caplan:Doss is not a starter, Colts tried to deal him. Gets hurt a lot - backup basically. Anyone who signs him is in for a rude awakening

mikehey: if you have the browns pick in the draft who would you pick
Adam Caplan: Too early for me to say, I want to see how the combine goes

buzz30: terdell sands? whats your thoughts
Adam Caplan: He looks like Darth Vader... mountain of a man. Rotational player...around 12-15 plays is it.

BK_Dog: Adam is David Carr really available for a 4th?
Adam Caplan: They want a first day pick.... Not sure if anyone will bite

BK_Dog: Would you give a 3rd rd pick for him?
Adam Caplan: Nope

EpsteinsMother: Is Byron Leftwich available for a third rounder?
Adam Caplan: No on BL, he's useless without a very good OL. It takes him too long to get rid of the ball

mrslick36: Adam, what is your opinion on Quinn?
Adam Caplan: More ready to play than Russell and more athletic that you think

zkramp: Is Minnesota really looking for Fitzgerald and would they give up their first and second for him?
Adam Caplan:ZK: Just rumor for now

buzz30: Is Dielman going to test the market or does he wnat to resign
Adam Caplan: SD wants him back but he may make it to free agency, No way they put franchise tag on a guard.

mikehey: you think this free agency they will replace both guards positions?
Adam Caplan: At least one will be replaced

mrslick36: Who will be our center in 07?
Adam Caplan: It would be a surprise if Bentley played this year.

donodawg: Is it now a certainty that McCutcheon is done?  If not, what is the likelihood of his return?
Adam Caplan: McCutcheon could be back in as their nickel, that's it

adogbtown: Adam, is Detroit going to franchise Cory Redding?  He might be a nice fit as a 3-4 DE.
Adam Caplan: He's marginal starter. Good guy though to have, good team guy. Can play DT or DE in a 4-3.

CCDawg49: Redding a fit for a 3-4 DE?
Adam Caplan: No, too small

adogbtown: I had heard Marinelli loves him and doesn't want to lose him.  He did have 8 sacks this year.
Adam Caplan: Overachiever type at best

EpsteinsMother: What veteran QB will Phil target?
Adam Caplan: Believe it or not, he may not again, which would be another bad mistake.

mikehey: you think they will go after center position in draft?
Adam Caplan: Second day maybe... more like free agency

saltn4dollars: Also, what about Robaire Smith from the Titans... Strong player... Could suit us well at DE
Adam Caplan: Him I'd take... Good fit for 3-4

buzz30: thoughts on alan branch
Adam Caplan: Top-10 pick, maybe top-5

howldawg: Adam what about okoye? Clearly not at 3/4
Adam Caplan: His size is the issue, came up a little to small physically at the Senior Bowl, really good player for 4-3///

ramllov: Adam, do you like this draft class as good or very good?
Adam Caplan:Ram: Good and bad at certain positions
howldawg: Adam strong at what position? weak at which ones?
Adam Caplan: Too much to type in the chat but we'll address it later in analysis

saltn4dollars: Is anthony wright a possibility?
Adam Caplan: I hope not... His ship came and went... Regressed of late.

EpsteinsMother: Is Rueben done in Cleveland?
Adam Caplan: Probably not this season but they need someone to push him badly

saltn4dollars: Alright, I know we don't need a safety, but what about giving Pool more reps at CB, and signing Michael Lewis at Safety?
Adam Caplan:Salt: Lewis was terrible this season... Couldn't cover me. Lewis was a good player at one point but lost his confidence.

donodawg: This is a tough question to phrase, but I'll try.  The impression I get is that Savage is picking all of the new coaches, not Crennell. That sounds like a dysfunctional organization lacking strong direction.  Not good.  Please tell me I'm wrong.
Adam Caplan: You would be right, sorry. I've made that pretty clear for months (in Ask the Insiders).  I'm not a RAC fan but what Savage has done to him is an insult to anyone. They should have fired him, instead of embarrassing him like they have been.

plumpgrizzlybear: Will the Titans tender Randy Starks?  He is still young and could fit as a 3-4 end if he still has an upside.
Adam Caplan: I highly doubt it, marginal starter.

silverbullets27: Odds of the browns taking Richardson of the Buckeyes to play DE?
Adam Caplan: Way too early to speculate on draft. Im more on free agency now.

adogbtown: Adam, is Phil on the hot seat or just Romeo??
Adam Caplan: No, Savage isn't but he should be based on what he's done

jmiller40: It sounds to me like Phil has lost confidence in Romeo but does not want to admit the hiring was a mistake.
Adam Caplan: There's some truth there but I think Lerner wanted him to get one more season

jmazzulo920: Any interest in Tully Banta-Cain?
Adam Caplan: Could be, good fit for their scheme

saltn4dollars: Just another quick thought... Leonard Davis and William "Tra" Thomas... thoughts?
Adam Caplan: Thomas is almost done playing, back problems and other issues. As for Davis, I'd take him to play guard - that's his position, not LT.

jmazzulo920: How about the Antawn Peek-Grantham connection from Houston?
Adam Caplan: I'd take Peek, could 3-4 rusher

jmiller40: What do you think our free agent focus will be?  I am hoping for quality guards.
Adam Caplan: Guard, C, RT, CB

saltn4dollars: Davis could be a good LG for us, much better than andruzzi, but may cost us some
Adam Caplan: I'd pay it

jmazzulo920: How do you see either Ron Edwards or James Reed fitting into our 3-4?
Adam Caplan: Both are backujps

adogbtown: Adam, wouldn't Andre Guroude be an upgrade over Hank Fraley and he could play some guard if/when LCB returns.
Adam Caplan: Gurode would be a huge upgrade. Fraley is a backup on a good team, but you're looking at a one-year deal and he'll be looking for more

mrslick36: I guess it is safe to say that Dorsey didn't work out.
Adam Caplan: I wouldn't take Dorsey if I had an arena team

jmazzulo920: WHat do you think of Chris Brown from Tennessee? I think he'd be an excellent change of pace in a rotation with Droughns?
Adam Caplan: Injury prone, needs to be in a finesse offense, wouldn't work in CLE

howldawg: Adam any chance at the OLB A Thomas being available? Any browns interest?
Adam Caplan: I think BAL puts franchise tag on him... SF if he gets free

jmiller40: What is our offensive identity going to be?
Adam Caplan: Power running game, vertical stretch is what I'm told, much like SD

ramllov: Browns will need a QB who can throw deep for this type of scheme
Adam Caplan: Yep, and Anderson is the only one on the roster who has an arm

mrslick36: What do you expect from Winslow in 07?
Adam Caplan: Big numbers now that he'll be 100% or close to it after the scope

adogbtown: I hear teams are going to be using the franchise tag more liberally this offseason, due to the increase in the cap.
Adam Caplan: Makes no sense, they never pay close to top dollar

buzz30: Can we expect winslow down the middle for more than 5-10 routes/ open up the running game
Adam Caplan: He shouldn't be dragging his leg so he should do better

saltn4dollars: Ccould we see Rodney Bailey get a 1 year contract this off-season?
Adam Caplan: Bailey was an upside player years ago but I would only bring him in if I couldn't get anyone else

zkramp: What do you think will come of WR Travis Wilson?
Adam Caplan: #3 WR this season, if he has a good off season
zkramp: Is he good?
Adam Caplan: Good size, talent

royswift: Sorry to reask a question, but what are our chances of landing Terdell Sands FA from Oakland?
Adam Caplan: ROY: hard to say, they have options at DT. It's an issue of who else they're considering in free agency.
royswift: Thanks.  He seems like a possible plug in at NT.
Adam Caplan: Roy: I was at Raiders camp last season, he's huge - like 6-7.

donodawg: Any thoughts on how much Roye has left?  I've been a big Roye fan but the tank looked close to empty last year.
Adam Caplan: Not much - he really aged last season

mrslick36: What impact do you see next year afterlosing our special teams coach?
Adam Caplan: Probably a drop-off in coverage

adogbtown: Adam, what's more likely, Savage drafts a QB or he goes after a young vet, like David Carr, Kyle Boller, Joey Harrington, etc.???
Adam Caplan: Depends on what they do in the first round

drdawg12: With Chud's offense, will an upgrade at QB or RB be more important?
Adam Caplan: Both are issues

adogbtown: Adam, your thoughts on Dallas hiring Wade Phillips???
Adam Caplan: Ad: Great DC, marginal HC...
adogbtown: ditto Norv Turner... Guess they didn't have much to choose from
Adam Caplan: Agreed... totally... I would have gone with their OC last year, Sparano.

adogbtown: Adam, why was Dallas able to get Jason Garrett away from Miami when the Dolphins denied the Browns permission???
Adam Caplan: Because at that time MIA wanted to see if they needed him. Keep in mind CLE was denied permission to talk to Sparano twice... that happens a lot

saltn4dollars: dam, what's your FA big board look like
Adam Caplan: 200 deep, lol, I have a file Im looking at now as we speak here.

zkramp: what are the chances of the Browns making serious push for Clements
Adam Caplan: They may look at one of those top CBs because of what happened to Baxter. Bodden is good enough as one of the starters but they need another solid one. Problem is after Samuel and Clements there aren't many left...

saltn4dollars: Roderick hood, possibly, but he's just above average.
Adam Caplan: Hood is a nickel - good in that role.

CCDawg49: Does baxter get cut next year?  or IR?
Adam Caplan: Depends where he is by their OTAs

JANKO: Do you think that the browns would have any interest in london fletcher-baker, boy would he look good in a Browns uniform...
Adam Caplan: Fletcher was terrible last season

royswift: Since D. Minter (CB) was injured most of the season, is he an unknow?  If we sign a stud CB, then we pretty much are writing off Minter as Bodden and Holly would fill out our CBs?
Adam Caplan: Developmental player but needs a lot of work... some upside there.

saltn4dollars: Holly is promising
Adam Caplan: Holly is a backup - they need a solid cover CB

amore: Looks like Lerner is going cheap on the coaching staff this year so he can spend big bucks next year - maybe Cowher
Adam Caplan: He has nothing to do with it, he's letting Savage do what he wants. Savage is hiring guys he knows.

jrbro: Will they be able to land someone like Clements?
Adam Caplan: They have the cash to do so

zkramp: Are there any 3-4 DL 2007 starters in the draft after Branch?
Adam Caplan: We'll see what we find out during the combine

donodawg: Any chance Andruzzi will retire?  I appreciate his effort, but it looked like his legs were shot.  It was painful to watch at times.  Any chance at some recovery of his skills?
Adam Caplan: He would be a solid backup now

saltn4dollars: Alright, How about Banta-Cain opposite Wimbley? it's time for him to get more starting time...
Adam Caplan: A possibility - there are a bunch of good 3-4 OLBs in free agency

CCDawg49: Adam, thoughts on moving leon williams to OLB?
Adam Caplan: CC: He has the size to do it... I'm interested in see how he develops
CCDawg49: I'd love to see him on the fireld more
Adam Caplan: Agreed

amore: So if the offense sucks again this year does Savage go along with Crennel?
Adam Caplan: I think Crennel is gone before mid season if they dont have a winning record

amore: What do you think of Andre Davis?
Adam Caplan: Not as good as his tackles would indicate, good but not great

JANKO: who do you see replacing northcutt on punt returns?
Adam Caplan: Could come in draft or free agency.... Cribbs KR

EpsteinsMother: do you see the Browns going after Randall Gay in FA?
Adam Caplan: No... they have those types of CBs now

amore: Who will be the Browns head coach in '08?
Adam Caplan: Ferentz would be the best guess. with his ties to savage. That's the way savage is.

CCDawg49: and savage keeps his job?
Adam Caplan: Yep. From what I hear, the owner really is backing Savage

Adam Caplan: Probably not but not out of the question

donodawg: Not blaiming you, of course, but the idea of firing RAC not now, but in mid-season, is incompetence on management's part. That really pi**es me off.
Adam Caplan: It is what it is. They've taken all of the power away from RAC

darboman: Will paying dielman huge money hurt in the long run
Adam Caplan: Overachieving type of player, who has gotten better each year.

mrslick36: Adam, how would you describe the current Brown's scouts?
Adam Caplan: Decent, not great.

buzz30: thanks guys it goes fast

Adam Caplan: Did you guys hear the radio show on Tuesday? I thought we had some good stuff on there.
adogbtown: Nice scoop on the verducci and sullivan hirings BTW
Adam Caplan: I think I had 7 of their coaches before the papers... So we're off to a good start this year.

Adam Caplan: Oh you mean on Troy Smith, he's a #2 QB. That's it.

Adam Caplan: BTW, I'll be hosting on sirius tomorrow night... 8-11 PM EST.
CCDawg49: 124, adam?
Adam Caplan: I'll give a shout out to the OBR.
CCDawg49: Cool, I'll listen.

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