Events are breaking quickly this morning, and John Taylor and Adam Caplan are already working the phones and digging into what should be an exciting 48 hours for Cleveland Browns fans.
Here is the latest from John and Adam, posted both in Ask the Insiders and special for this morning's update:
ERIC STEINBACH: Despite assertions from several sources last night that a deal was already done, the OBR contacted Steinbach's agent in the wee hours and we were told that there wasn't a deal in place yet. Cleveland is, however, Steinbach's first visit this morning, and we expect him to be arriving mid-morning. Here's the latest from JT:
"Steinbach will meet with the Browns this morning, and, The OBR has
learned, is scheduled to fly out of Cleveland this afternoon for an early
evening visit with the Buccaneers. The Browns are optimistic that they can keep
him in Cleveland and get him signed, but were privately miffed that he would
schedule the visit to Tampa for today and not tomorrow.
Could it be that the Bucs visit was an attempt to put the screws to the Browns and force their hand early? We'll begin to find out this afternoon at some point."
Adam Caplan dropped by a few minutes ago and offered his take on the Bucs wooing of Steinbach:
"If he gets out of town without signing, it's likely because Tampa Bay wants to play him at LT. Profootballtalk.com is right about this. I checked on it and Steinbach only played one game at LT last year but as you know, LT pays a lot more than guard so we'll see what happens. Savage will have to do a pretty good sell job on this one. The agent has a lot of leverage."
DEFENSIVE LINE HELP: The Browns will also be looking at defensive linemen, although those interests are perceived to be secondary to chasing CB Nate Clements and Steinbach, both of whom are in Berea today and could sign deals. Here are John's thoughts about a possible target:
"One name who was brought to my attention this morning as a possibility
for the Browns defensive line is Craig Terrill. He's a restricted free agent
from Seattle who was tendered at a level that the Browns would only be required
to give up a sixth-round pick to sign.
He played DT for the Seahawks, but has the size and the athletic ability to transition to a 3-4 DE.
Not saying that he's blazing bright on the Browns' radar, but don't be surprised to hear his name in connection with Cleveland in the coming days."
NATE CLEMENTS: Adam Caplan broke the news last night that Clements has been targeted by the ever-annoying San Francisco 49ers. While it's largely believed that Clements is in town visiting with the Browns this morning officially, we're still looking to get confirmation from the team or Clements people. As of the moment (9AM), consider it probable but unconfirmed.
Here was our scoop last night on Clements from John:
"The buzz is growing that the Titans will swoop in after midnight and make a very serious effort to land Clements. Now, this could very well be coming from Clements' camp in an effort to wring every last dollar out of a team (coughcoughBrownscoughcough), or it could be a very real effort on the part of the Tennessee organization. One person I spoke with sees it as a combination of the two. Don't you folks just love free agency? Stay tuned…"
When it comes to probability of signing, here's John's latest thoughts:
"Until ink is put to paper, both the Niners and Titans pose a very real threat to Clements signing with the Browns. I'm still very confident that Clements first choice is Cleveland, provided that the money is right. I think that was even in my story from Tuesday."
MIKE DOSS: The OBR has been pouring cold water on this one since Day One, and so far the team seems to be doing what we expected. Doss clearly would love to play in Cleveland, but the Browns feel good about their situation at safety. Adam Caplan also noted in chat last night that the Colts tried to deal Doss last fall. The Browns let Brian Russell go, which probably shows all anyone needs to see. Here's JT's latest take:
"The staff is high on Hamilton and, from what I've been told, there is no interest on the part of the Browns in Doss. All of the noise regarding Doss to C-town is coming from himself and his camp."