This, That, And The Other (6/27)

There are these things called "draft choices". In fact, we here at the OBR have been known to gather together and quaff a few (dozen) adult beverages on the day they arrive. Sort of like (insert religious holiday of your choice). The tricky bit, though, is that they have to be signed. What's the deal with that?!? Well, John Taylor has got the scoop (again)...

This, that and the other from the world of your Cleveland Browns:

  • As far as the negotiations with the first three picks in the draft—Joe Thomas, Brady Quinn and Eric Wright—are concerned, sources close to all three players tell The OBR that while there have been "some discussions" in the last seven to ten days, no substantive progress has been made on a deal for any of the Big Three.  One source did say that Wright was closer to reaching agreement than the other two, but also noted that "that should be expected at this point".
  • The remaining three draft choices—Melila Purcell, Chase Pittman and Syndric Steptoe—are in much the same boat as McDonald: all three are close to an agreement, but a deal is not likely for another 1-2 weeks, at the earliest.
  • As one agent, who asked to remain anonymous, said, "The Browns like to let everything around them settle, then start serious talks."  In other words, the Browns like to see what everybody else is paying, then ramp up negotiations and close the deal quickly.
  • Through a league source, and confirmed by the player's agent, The OBR has learned that the Browns have signed fullback JR Niklos.  While the agent, Josh Wright, would not give any specifics to the deal, a source close to Niklos tells The OBR that it's a one-year deal.
  • Niklos spent the last two seasons in NFL Europe after being cut from the Chiefs at the end of training camp in 2006.  The 6'2", 229-pounder is from Columbus and signed with THE Ohio State University after high school before transferring to Western Illinois.  Niklos has never appeared in an NFL regular season game.
  • A recent non-scientific polling of several front office personnel around the league finds a virtual 50/50 split as to the opinions of Romeo Crennel's immediate future in Cleveland.  Five of those questioned felt that Crennel would not make it through the entire 2007 season without being fired, while four felt he would coach an entire sixteen-game schedule.  Of the nine, only two felt he would be the head coach of the Browns when the 2008 season rolled around.
  • So, what exactly does the above mean?  In the grand scheme of things, nothing.  But it does reveal that it's not just the media or the fans who view Crennel as somewhat of a lame duck coach.  As one exec said, "(Crennel) is a great guy and a great (defensive) coordinator, but as a head coach?  The jury is still way out and that's why all of these rumors are out there."

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