WHERE ARE THE BLASTED PUFFS OF SMOKE?
With Antwan Peek entertained by the Browns yesterday and Roderick Hood visiting Berea today, Browns fans wait patiently (or less-than-patiently) for signs that another player will be imported to fill some of the gaps in the team's depth chart.
Well, keep waiting, Buster.
At this moment, neither player has inked anything except perhaps various areas of their arms. But time isn't on the Browns side.
A well-placed Browns source tells The OBR that there is "a very good chance" free agent cornerback Rod Hood will make all of his scheduled visits before deciding on a destination. Hood visited with the Browns today and will visit the Cardinals, Giants and "possibly another team" in the coming days.
JUST SAY "NO" TO MISERS
Even with Paul Brown Stadium enriching the coffers of reformed skinflint Mike (son of Paul) Brown, the Bengals lost a key component to a rival over a sum that doesn't seem that huge in these days of mid-eight-digit deals for offensive guards.
The Bengals had offered Eric Steinbach a seven-year, $44 million contract in the middle of last season, but the offensive lineman and his agent, Jack Bechta, hedged their bets that he would be able to get at least a Steve Hutchinson-type contract in the offseason.
The twosome's line of thinking proved to be correct as the deal signed by Steinbach is worth approximately $500,000 more in total compensation than the deal Hutchinson signed with the Vikings last year and, more importantly, contains $1.5 million more in guaranteed monies
DEFENSIVE END EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Free agent defensive end Alvin McKinley will visit the Chiefs early this week, The OBR has learned. McKinley, a five-year veteran, is not likely to return to the Browns as the club looks to upgrade the position. The Browns had DE Kenyon Coleman in Berea yesterday, although that particular swap might challenge the notion of "upgrade".
Three teams have expressed interest in free-agent wide receiver Dennis Northcutt: the Lions, Jaguars and 49ers. As of yet, though, the veteran receiver has no visits scheduled.
UPDATE: Northcutt was signed by the Jaguars 5 years / $17 million. Sight unseen, apparently.
TO TELL THE TRUTH
Remember when we told you last night that we were told by sources close to OG Kris Dielman that signing fellow OG Eric Steinbach meant that the Browns were going to be written off?
Believe it or not, a league source told scout.com that the Cleveland Browns, after signing Eric Steinbach, still were in the running for free agent G Kris Dielman. In fact, the source indicated that as of Friday evening, Seattle and Cleveland were the two teams that had the best chance to get him signed.
Scratching our heads over this one, we asked folks within the Browns organization if there was any truth to it. We were told quite clearly that "once we signed Eric there was no interest".
There's a little glimpse into the weird world of the NFL free agency season. The fog of war has nothing on how foggy it gets in 31 major US cities (and Pittsburgh) this time of year.
Scout.com Senior NFL Reporter Adam Caplan also contributed to his report.