FRANCHISE TAG FOR DA?
The NFL Network's Adam Shefter "reported" last night that there is speculation running around the NFL that the Browns will go beyond giving restricted free agent-to-be Derek Anderson the highest tender for an RFA and place the franchise player tag on him.
Here's the precise quote from Schefter, pulled from the Watercooler thread on the topic, which is already seven pages long as of 7AM (thanks "OhioStyle"!):
"Well they're going to continue on with him. The question is how they do it. And everybody has assumed up until now that it would be using the highest tender on him, which is about $2.45 million dollars. It would mean that any team that signed Derek Anderson to an offer sheet, Cleveland would have the chance to match or get a 1st and 3rd round pick. But now, the latest scenario floating around the league that was told to me on Thursday, is that the Cleveland Browns could decide to slap their franchise tag on Derek Anderson even when he's is a restricted free agent meaning that if another team signed him to an offer sheet and the Browns decided not to match it, Cleveland would get back 2 number 1 draft choices. They're already without one for the trade for Brady Quinn. I don't think Cleveland's letting Derek Anderson get away, but this is another scenario--the last RFA in the NFL to get the franchise tag was none other than Terrell Owens back in 1999 after his third year with San Francisco. So it hasn't happened in eight years, but it could happen again with Derek Anderson."
The idea here is that a "mere" first and third pick isn't enough compensation for Anderson and that a franchise tag, which would require multiple first-round picks, is the appropriate price for the Browns quickly-emerging quarterback.
Jeff Schudel of the Lake County News-Herald talked about this with me last night on the OBR Radio Program, and we were both pretty incredulous about the rumor. Tagging Anderson would require that the Browns pay him the average of the top quarterback salaries in the league, which are extremely high. That's a tremendous investment at a single position, particularly for a team with holes that need to be filled at expensive positions (running back, defensive line) via free agency. Browns GM Phil Savage had not responded as of late last night to inquiries made during the show.
Looking at Schefter's quote, he certainly doesn't appear to have heard this from the Browns, and appears to quoting some speculation within the league about what the Browns might do. In other words, there's really nothing to this right now.
This is a nice bit of hysteria for the Browns, and they get props from me if they deliberately planted it via one of the NFL's pet journalists. Anything that can push up the demand for Anderson is a good thing for the Browns, and therefore for Browns fans. On the surface, the move doesn't make much fiscal sense in the salary cap era unless the Browns are absolutely convinced they can get a couple top picks for Anderson, or unless there's a deal for Quinn in the works.
I speculated two weeks ago on the OBR program, after victories over two winless teams, that Anderson's value was at it's peak and would likely fall during the remainder of the season. I hope I'm wrong on that, but Anderson's performance against the Steelers contained a half similar to, for example, Anderson's first half against the Raiders. As he climbs into national view, Anderson will be viewed more critically, and Browns fans know that his game isn't without holes at this point.
LINEBACKERS BACK AT WORK
As we reported yesterday morning, the Browns were hoping that a day off on Wednesday for linebackers Willie McGinest (hamstring), D'Qwell Jackson (ankle), and Antwan Peek (knee) would help them recover in order to face the Ravens on Sunday. The players had between Sunday and Thursday off, and all were able to participate in practice yesterday on a limited basis. McGinest worries me because hamstrings are always tricky, and he certainly didn't look at full speed against Pittsburgh. Leigh Bodden (back) and Shaun Smith (knee) were also limited on Thursday. Yesterday's injury report has been uploaded to the Muni Lot.
- The Practice Squad / IR page has been updated.
- Yesterday's injury report has been uploaded to the Muni Lot.
- Gameballs and Goats will be posted this morning.
- We don't yet have the archive file from SportsTalkCleveland of last night's radio broadcast. We hope to have it this morning. You can keep an eye on their archives page if you want for the WMA format version.
- We have a ton of articles queued up for posting today, including the latest from "Vinny the Fly".
YESTERDAY'S OBR ARTICLES
Scout.com NFL Power Rankings
Adkins: What Really Happened Sunday (subscribers)
Can Ravens Repeat Steeler Success?
OBR News-o-Rama: 11/15 AM
Scout.com: Richard Angulo Profile (subscribers)
Steuber's 2008 NFL Mock Draft
FROM THE NEWSWIRE
Lorain Morning Journal - Browns would rather face McNair
Jeff's article is brilliant, because he and I are in agreement with this. That's all it takes for me, really.
Akron Beacon Journal - Browns seek to amend passing game
I like having Sam Rutigliano around, but could we please hear from someone other than him, Donovan, Dieken, and Grossi? Thanks.
Canton Repository - GM Savage has a good eye
More Dieken (sigh). Heard him on the radio this morning as well. Whatever.
Chronicle-Telegram - Lorain county's leading news source
We were pimping Peek before Savage signed him. His constant injury problems has been one of the real 2007 downers. I don't think we've seen the real Peek yet.
Baltimore Sun - Taking different paths
Browns heading up, Rats heading down. In the rollercoaster NFL, that impression could change in three hours on Sunday.
Canton Repository - Browns' GM hints Josh Cribbs will do more
Thank you. Make sure that Chud and RAC get the message.
Baltimore Sun - Rolle practices, likely still out vs. Browns
Shame. Real shame.
There's a ton more on the newswire, but the above stories were the ones that got my attention this morning. Your mileage may vary. Subscribe to the RSS feed if you want a daily intravenous tube of Browns info.
FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
I guess that most of the Browns bloggers have decided that there's nothing new to say today. Here's the latest from those who, like me, are still babbling on a Friday.
Barry Bonds Indictment Documents - Smoking Gun
The feds go after Barry Bonds, because Bud Selig won't. Where is our Kenesaw Mountain Landis who will fix baseball? Someone give George Will a baseball bat and tell him to get to work.
BOING - Good Evening (John Hodgman)
John Hodgman's blog is as quirky and economical as you would expect.
Teran Video 87 - Youtube
There really is nothing better than a trailer for a shakycam movie reproduced in grainy video via a cell phone. This is the best 'net version of the new trailer for Cloverfield, if you like that sorta stuff. I do.
Blogs Pass Newspapers on Meaningless Graph - Valleywag
Writing stuff is easier when "facts" don't need to get in the way. Welcome to the new journalism. Good luck with that, world.