It's the off-season and it's all about the rumors. They're flying fast and furious again today, so we're back to deal with a second round of rumors, some of which have just appeared in the last 24 hours.
The Skinny: The Cleveland front office led by Phil Savage, will not do anything to accommodate the brain trust in Baltimore, unless the return is significant. At this time, there is absolutely nothing to lead me to believe the Browns and Ravens are on the same path regarding solving the Baltimore's QB issues.
The Rumor: The Cleveland Browns have been tough in negotiations with QB Derek Anderson due to the team not wanting to engage in a long-term deal, and get possibly stuck overpaying the player who performed reasonably well for parts of one season. In turn, the team seeks another team to set the price for the QB, which the Browns could then evaluate the options further.
The Skinny: Phil Savage has offered what he feels is a fair deal to the player. The deals that Romo in Dallas and Schaub in Houston received were amazing, especially the Romo deal. With Brady Quinn waiting in the wings, the team has refused to negotiate the long-term deal Anderson's reps have been pushing. The best thing that could happen at this point is that Anderson receives an offer as a restricted free agent and the Browns could then move forward from that point.
The Rumor: The Browns have been in secret talks with representatives for New England cornerback Asante Samuel and a deal could be reached immediately after the start of the free agent player signing period.
The Skinny: Do not discount the Browns desire to have a legitimate shutdown player at the CB spot, especially one who plays in a system very similar to what the Browns are running or want to utilize. As for a deal in place or the parameters already established, it would not be too difficult to realize what type of deal would be necessary, as it would be based off what Nate Clements signed for in San Francisco a year ago, and the Browns were a players in that negotiation.
The Rumor: The Browns have been in discussions to add former Denver linebacker Al Wilson to the fold, in hopes of improving the porous Cleveland run defense.
The Skinny: We believe Wilson has not been given a medical examination by the Cleveland Browns and is not a priority of the team (at this time). Cleveland is looking at players that the organization believes can come in and fit into the scheme and play. Injuries can occur at any time, but the organization has not taken an approach where they count on a player coming off a significant injury to fill a need. At some point Wilson may be seriously considered, but that time is not today. Once players come off the board in free agency, the plan may change.
The Skinny: Stallworth fills the need for speed and ability to stretch the field for the Browns, the question is: Can he stay healthy and productive? The answer hasn't always been in the affirmative in the past. If the price is right, I can see the Browns taking a look at Stallworth, but have heard nothing of substance at this point leading me to the belief the team has locked onto him.
The Rumor: The Browns are going to place an emphasis on improving the defensive line, with the belief the linebackers are adequate in the scheme.
The Skinny: The Browns are looking at players within the front seven of the defense, as well as in the defensive backfield. In the end, we may see as many linebackers added to the roster as we see defensive linemen, as the organization wants to improve the perimeter defense of the ends and outside linebackers, while adding physical presence types in the middle of the line and inside linebacker. To cut to the chase, there is going to be change within the ranks.