Highlights from Ask the Insiders

Hard-core Browns fans know where the action is these days: in the infamous Ask the Insiders forum, a forum as notable for the scoops it gets as the media people who lurk to see what's being said! Topics today include the DA and Lewis negotiations, the scoop on potential free agents and whether RAC will get caught up in Spygate. Join us!

BROWNSRTHEBEST04: Jamal Lewis and his agent... Two things on this: 1.) how are the talks going any closer? and 2.) Adam stated that both Lewis and Corey Williams have same agent so do you think that there may be some structural talks in regards to Williams being a free agent?

LANE ADKINS: The negotiations (as limited in discussions as they have been) appear to be on track with both parties expecting to have a deal done prior to the beginning of free agency (2/29). While I have not received specifics from a -primary- involved in the discussions today, I have heard we are looking at a three-year deal, with the third-year involving a team/player option at a significant dollar value. As for discussions about Williams, you know this is something that agents and teams do not ever conduct :-)

ICONOCLAST88: I wasn't for sure how to phrase the subject, but my question is if we sign Derek Anderson to a three year deal . . . will he be the 2008 starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns barring injury . . . or will Quinn still be waiting in the wings if DA continues his inconsistency? (ie: What if DA leads us to a 3-5 record with 10 TDs and 15 INTS).

LANE ADKINS: A potential signing (or appearance of_ keeps the proper perspective in place, within the locker room, the league and within the organization itself. Depth at the QB position is valuable. Anderson did lead this team in a direction of progress and this should not be discounted. Getting this deal in place provides the organization and namely the team in place to proceed and let the chips fall where they may.

This team needs to gain a sense of stability and this is an important aspect within this organization. In the end, Brady Quinn was drafted to be the man at the QB position and Anderson has skewed the senses somewhat due to his unexpected rise. If anything, Savage wants to let this situation play itself out.

RAMLLOV: Free agency is less than two weeks away. I was reading the last issue of the Pro Football Weekly. It had an article or a portion of an article.  The author made the comment that Phil Savage should get what he could for DA. I just wonder if that is an accurate assessment for DA? I have read the various threads, especially our Pure Football Forum, which has his supporters and those who hope they get a real good first and third for him. I just wonder what our insiders opinion on DA is and should Phil Savage get as much as he can?  Make sure he deals him in the next 30 or so days?

JOHN TAYLOR: My opinion on DA is in an earlier thread, and, if I were Phil, I would get what I could for him now.  Brady's the future, IMHO, and DA is not.  Get what you can for him while his value--relative to how he was acquired--is high.

LANE ADKINS: Savage is a realist and there is a common belief that Anderson's value is not as high as many would want or believe. Tough call? I do not see the organization doing anything to secure Anderson as being the face of the team, much less the leader of the offense. Time will tell.

SCOUT63: Insiders.....Seems like Darwin Walker was a solid DT prior to last season when he battled knee and elbow problems.  He has the size to play 3-4 DE, do you believe the Browns would have any interest?

LANE ADKINS: Getting nothing on Walker from a Cleveland perspective.

RAMLLOV: I did receive some nice information on O. Roye the other day.  I believe the salary for 2008 was $5.5 and the cap savings was $3.0 or $2.5. If Andra Davis was cut was is the 2008 salary and what is the cap savings? Do you see any other players that will renegotiate their contracts to provide additional cap money for 2008?

JOHN TAYLOR: Davis has a cap number of roughly $3.9 million this year.  That number does not take into account a $200K roster bonus that's payable on or around, I think, March 15. If the Browns were to release Andra before June 1--and do not use one of their two post-June 1 veteran cut designations--and after the roster bonus is payed, they would realize a net savings of around $1.6 million against their cap.  If they release him now and designate him as a post-June 1 cut, or simply release him after June 1, they would realize a net savings of around $3 million.

RAMLLOV: The media, team and general public continue to say, the Browns need a big run stopping ILB.  The conversation goes further, that until they do, they are not going to have a good defense.  If that is all true, who is the guys or guys the Browns could sign.

During our Adam Caplan chat last night, this area was discussed.  The focus that an ILB could be one of the two early free agent positions filled in the first 24 - 48 hours of free agency.  Phil Savage has been known to go hard early in free agency.

This message like an earlier message remains the same.  Who is or are the guys who are currently in this free agent class that can fill that role?

Hobson, LB, Jets, FA from the NY Giants and Bolek (sp) LB, Atlanta are three names that have been parts of conversations.  None of these guys look like the sledgehammer type the Browns need.  I had thought Karlos Dansby was the guy, but he got franchised.

Is there someone out there or is one of the guys mentioned have enough to fit the bill?

LANE ADKINS: Hobson is a nice fit and is a player that will be considered. Plenty has been noted about Lance Briggs, but he is not the ideal fit, position-wise and financially for this team.

Dansby would have been a nice acquisition and the Cards should be commended for recognizing the skills of Dansby.

Being said, Calvin Pace of the Cards is yet another player which could fill a deficiency with the Browns.

GORILLADOG: 1. Are the Browns and DA really close on a three year deal or is Phil Savage posturing a bit, in the event a deal doesn't get done the Browns will look like they put forth a good faith effort to sign him? 2. If a three year deal does get done, does this make it easier to trade DA?

LANE ADKINS: There is going to be posturing to a degree, but the GM is of the belief a deal is going to be reached, in time. How the deal is structured will determine the potential ease of dealing him in the future. From what I have been told, the Browns have upped the guaranteed dollars and have eased up on incentives being a major factor in the contract dollars.

MIKEHEY: Is there a limit to number of players they can talk to at the combine? Is there a limit the number browns can bring in before the draft?

JOHN TAYLOR: There is no limit to the number of players they can talk to/get medical records on at the combine, and I believe that they can bring in 30 players for official pre-draft visits.

RAMLLOV: Travis LaBoy, DL, free agent - LB? I was asked on our Tap Room if this player could play LB.  He goes about 6-3, 260 to 265. He was discussed in the Pro Football Weekly 2004 draft preview as a potential 3-4 OLB pass rusher like Mike Vrabel. Could he make the transformation?  Is he a type of player that could get a reasonable contract and actually develop into a solid OLB?

ADAM CAPLAN: Yes, he can play OLB. In fact, there were teams that looked at him for the draft that year at that position. He's injury prone and not durable but as a rotational pass rushing OLB in a 3-4, he could be a nice fit.

Buzz30: I realize it's been asked before but....  PFT SAYS 16.7 UNDER / YOU GUYS SAY AROUND 16 UNDER / ASK THE COMMISH SAYS 31 UNDER /
A POSTER SAY HE KEEPS A SPREADSHEAT AND WERE 30 SOMETHING UNDER. Can someone give us a definitive number( with all the cap increases and likely to be unearned credits, etc.) before Feb. 29th. Thanks Guys for the answer to this over asked question.

BARRY MCBRIDE: This information isn't publicly available, so we can't give it to you. We can only tell you what our sources tell us.

We're confident of our numbers, despite PFT reporting something similar. ;-)

Ask the Commish and the guy with the spreadsheet have only publicly reported information to base their guesses on (and AtC may be using old guess-timates which came out of a Florida paper).

Calculating salary cap totals is really freaking hard. Trust me, I've tried it. If you try to do that with the sparse info that gets released publicly, you're pretty much going to struggle. Teams simply don't release enough details, and reports are sketchy enough, that it's really tough to come up with an accurate number.

CBDAWG: Any word on any kind of nuggets coming out of Berea? cuts, signings, restructuring, visits, tryouts, hair cut appointments, etc, etc. I will take anything. The silence is killing me.  Do any of you guys actually think we will have something announced BEFORE Feb 29th?

BARRY MCBRIDE: I think you'll see at least one deal get done prior to that time, although I continue to be cynical about what downside players might see from hitting the free market. I've said all along that I think that the smartest thing for Jamal Lewis to do is not sign a deal until after he's seen what other teams have to offer, but the Browns seem convinced that he wants to be here and that a deal will get done.

All that can go on right now is contract talks with existing players and the team's potential free agents. The team isn't officially allowed to talk to anyone under contract to another team until 2/29.

DCARBETTA: Is to me that Bill B's former assistants will start to get some attention on this thing at some point.  Has anyone asked Romeo about what he knew, what he saw, etc.?   How long until those questions come? And secondly, does this tarnish their reputation at all, or does Bill B. take all the heat on this?

LANE ADKINS: I wouldn't be so quick to believe this perceived practice is/was limited to the Bill Belichick coached teams. I do not believe spygate will land in Berea and I am fairly certain head coach Romeo Crennel has no knowledge of any of these reported practices. Some will lean on this and use it as a basis to question the ability of the well-coached Belichick teams and their/his place in history.


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