8:23 Good morning Browns fans! Back online a little early. I'm going to have to focus on getting new information today, but will read every tip and question that comes in. We'll get to as many as we can.
8:33 FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer has reported offered up that Donte Stallworth will be visiting the Cleveland Browns. This would not be unexpected, and matches up with our conjectures prior to the start of free agency.
8:34 Looking to confirm that Carolina is one of two teams that, as we reported last night, are interested in Derek Anderson. At this point, we don't consider that rumor to be anything more than conjecture based on need.
8:37 DT Corey Williams became a Cleveland Brown when Williams was traded from the Packers in exchange for a 2008 second round pick, according to the multiple sources and confirmed by the OBR. Williams, who received the Franchise tender from the Packers prior to the start of free agency, is expected to receive a multi-year deal from the Browns.
8:42 Williams contract, as reported previously, is for six years and $38 million. We are looking to get lower-level details on this.
8:43 [Comment From MJO]
Stallworth visiting anywhere?
8:44 Donte Stallworth will be visiting the Browns: LINK
8:45 We're feeling very good this morning. The trade for Williams, visit from Stallworth and early interest in Calvin Pace ties to what we had been saying prior to free agency. One thing which surprises me, which was NOT in this morning's blog recap from last night, is that the team has a real interest in LB Roosevelt Colvin. No details on that beyond interest from within Berea - no offer, etc. But it's surprising to me based on Colvin's recent injury history.
8:49 For those asking: We do not yet have specific teams tied to Derek Anderson, although the Carolina conjecture makes sense. The Williams deal appears to be done contingent on a physical. Lane Adkins was concerned last night about the compensation which has been reported, and we'll let you know ASAP if it turns out to be more complex than Williams for a second-rounder.
8:52 [Comment From Bubba]
Last night, the NFL Network had the Browns cap space as 16 mil, but the PD reports 37 mil. Big difference. Which is closer? Thanks
8:54 Bubba - We have been reporting numbers much closer to what the NFL Network has been reporting over the last month. We believe the actual number is closer to $18-19 million with the release of Roye. What gets me - if the Browns had $37 million, would they really be sweating Andra Davis' contract? This is despite the fact that I always take what Tony Grossi writes very seriously, and don't discount his sources at all. Ours simply are telling us something very different. The Miami Dolphins, however, are the ones with $37 million per our sources.
8:58 [Comment From Iupuiguy82]
pace has a meeting setup with miami per the miami herald
8:59 That makes total sense. We have been saying that we felt that Pace wouldn't be an immediate signing since there will be competition for his services. The Dolphins, Patriots, and Browns are all interested. Note the Parcells/Belichick ties there, since conjecture is that Pace is very well set to play ILB in the 3-4.
9:00 [Comment From brownstilldeathdowepart]
A source linked Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, to Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Cleveland, with Denver called a ''dark horse." I keep hearing Paces name, So you think Briggs is out of the Question?
9:01 We reported last night that the Browns had contacted Briggs. This is the first mention outside of this blog that I've seen tying the two together. Lane reported that it was merely "interest" at this point. I don't believe that Briggs is at the top of their list.
9:04 [Comment From Jay]
Savage must have wind of likely DA signees right? No way that he'd be this "unconcerned"?
9:05 Jay - We had sources inside of Berea telling us yesterday, before free agency started, that the team thought that there was one very serious contender for DA's services. I believe they had that in mind when they began talking to the Packers about Williams. I do not see the team giving up a second rounder if they don't think they're going to get more picks at some point. Savage is simply too fervent a believer in building through the draft.
9:14 [Comment From vadawg]
If we sign someone like Stallworth would Tim Carter or Travis Wilson be on his way out?
9:15 VaDawg - If Carter isn't on his way out already, I need to have a talk with some folks in Berea. As Adam relayed Wednesday night in his chat, Romeo Crennel was not saying very positive things about Wilson when he was in Indy. He essentially said Wilson needs to prove himself on specials, which is not something you probably say about a player you think is about to emerge as your #3 WR.
9:27 Speculation that the Saints might be intersted in Marcus Stroud. Pre-dates the signing of Brian Young: LINK
9:28 This morning's report on the possible future of Asante Samuel, from Patriots Insider. We poo-pooed reports that the Browns were going to be all over him as free agency began, so we're feeling kinda uppity this morning about it. LINK
9:29 [Comment From Flint]
The Dolphins are expected to offer Calvin Pace a deal similar to the one Adalius Thomas and Joey Porter commanded last off-season. The acquisition of Pace would almost certainly shift the Dolphins into more of a permanent 3-4 defense, as Pace struggled in 4-3 schemes for his first four years in the NFL.
9:36 [Comment From Guest]
Where would LaBoy fit, ILB, OLB?
9:46 Inside word on Cleo Lemon, if anyone cares. We reported last night that he will visit the Giants and Jags, and Giants Insider's Ken Palmer is reporting that Lemon does not think he will sign with the Giants. This is only relevant as a fallback in case Anderson leaves.
9:58 [Comment From Tnbrownie]
Last night you said that the Browns were casting out a "wide net" in FA this year. Does that mean they are just looking for a good deal this year instead of maybe focusing on certain players like they did in the past?
9:59 TNBrownie - I believe that it means that the Browns view a number of front seven players as sort of being in a pack, ranked close together. The will talk to a number of them and look for the best value.
10:01 [Comment From hammb]
ESPNRadio just reported that DA has agreed to a multiyear deal in Cleveland?
10:03 We're digging into the ESPN Radio report.
10:11 [Comment From brownsforlife]
just saw the by line stating ap states da signed to multiyear deal on espn 2
10:14 LINK TO AP STORY (thanks Spaz)
10:31 [Comment From Tom]
Based on the Lewis Sanders fiasco a few years ago, I think any official confirmation on this (along with other signings) won't be done until the ink is dry. Makes for a long wait.
10:31 [Comment From Jimmy]
POSTED 10:25 a.m. EST, February 29, 2008 ANDERSON STAYS PUT Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that the Browns have agreed to terms with quarterback Derek Anderson on a three-year deal. Schefter reports that Anderson will receive over $14 million in guaranteed money. The three-year contract gives the Browns an opportunity to defer the ultimate decision in the Derek v. Brady debate. It also allows the Browns to bench Anderson if he tanks as the starter; with a six-year, big-money deal, the Browns as a practical matter would have been required to give Anderson more opportunities. The loser in all of this is Brady Quinn, and it traces to his 2007 holdout. If he had reported to camp on time, he likely would have been first in line to play after Charlie Frye. Also, because Quinn's incentives are tied heavily to playing time, his chances of earning big money have now dropped dramatically.
10:34 [Comment From JDailey23]
Thats a lot of cash...I just woke up, is the Williams deal official?
10:34 No press release or official confirmation, just a ton of reports all over the place.
10:38 The Browns could give him a multi-million dollar, guaranteed roster bonus, one that would all count against the cap right now, instead of one huge signing bonus that would be spread out over the three years. - JT
10:39 How the money is guaranteed will be very important as to whether DA's deal is "tradeable". -- JT
10:46 Reaction in the comments to this is very, very negative, similar to our poll. What I would say is let's hang on a little to see how this plays out and how the contract is structured to judge it.
10:46 You can all but forget trading DA this year. Any talk of a "trade-friendly" contract is meant to imply dealing him AFTER this year, if need be. He will be on the roster in '08. -- JT
10:47 Quinn won't demand a trade. Not yet. Now, after this year, and he's not the starter... -- JT
10:50 Note on Berrian, from Tampa Bay live blog: I was also told by our Scout.com Senior NFL Reporter Adam Caplan last night, just after our first blog ended, that if Bernard Berrian can get out of Minnesota without a contract that the Bucs could make a play for him.
10:50 Also, speculation this morning that the Eagles might try to trade Lito Sheppard if they sign Asante Samuel to a deal.
10:50 James -- Nobody here has been given the official word, but Withers (AP) and Schefter are solid reporters, so I would take it as he signed. -- JT
10:51 [Comment From David]
Does the DA signing make any sense to you guys???
10:53 David: Honestly? Not really. But, perhaps, there was no team willing to offer DA a deal close to what the Browns were offering, or weren't willing to give up multiple first-day picks. At first blush, before all of the details have come out, it does seem rather odd. -- JT
10:54 PRESS RELEASE FROM EAGLES:
Free agent CB Asante Samuel will visit the Philadelphia Eagles today. He will be available to the media at the NovaCare Complex today at 4:30 pm. The 27-year-old Samuel has spent the past five seasons with the New England Patriots, recording 22 interceptions in 75 career regular season games, and five more interceptions in 14 career postseason games. He was a fourth round draft pick of the Patriots in 2003 from Central Florida and has played for two Super Bowl championship teams following the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
10:57 FROM ADAM CAPLAN: Just spoke to the Browns, Anderson's deal isn't confirmed....yet.
11:03 [Comment From Kinder]
Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that the Atlanta Falcons are hosting Chargers running back Michael Turner for a free-agent visit.
11:03 [Comment From Kinder]
Kirwan also said that the Lions are expected to make a big push for Turner.
11:04 [Comment From Steph]
The logic to signing DA is keeping him on the roster for one more year and controlling his rights for two more years. If he flourishes, they can re-sign him long-term or trade him next year (with a salary cap hit presumable deemed liveable with). If he struggles, the Browns have a young back-up at a liveable salary. As JT said, the way the contract is structured around those guaranteed$$ is the key.
11:06 Steph: There ya go. - JT
11:06 [Comment From MrFrump]
JT-"Step in the Right Direction", could you elaborate?
11:09 MrFrump: First of all, that's Barry's nickname around here as well. As to your question, the base salary for this year's all counts against the '08 cap. That lessens the "guaranteed money" being reported, which means less money spread out over the life of the deal, which means less money that would amortize onto the cap if he were to be traded. And I really hate when reporters include the first-year base as part of the guaranteed money. It's very misleading. -- JT
11:09 [Comment From Whatchagot]
Salary isn't guaranteed in the NFL, is it?
11:11 Whatcha: for all intents and purposes, the first year base of any free-agent contract is "guaranteed". You're not going to sign a FA like DA, then cut him before the start of the season. Still don't like including it in the guaranteed money, though -- JT
11:12 Also, remember, it's not official yet. Just keep that in mind. -- JT
11:16 [Comment From David Warren]
JT, What is your personal thoughts on DA? If today you were GM of the Browns (not a bad idea by the way) would you of kept DA or would want to trade him?
11:18 david: I would have allowed the door to hit him in the ass on the way out as draft picks walked in. Keeping DA doesn't help the defense. The picks received in return had the potential to. And I like DA as a QB; just think that BQ will be better. -- JT
11:20 From Vikings Update: The Vikings are said to have sent Zygi Wilf's private plane to pick up Bernard Berrian Thursday night.
11:23 From the Tampa Bay blog: Aaron Stecker's agent has confirmed that he and the Bucs have talked about Stecker, but they have not set up a meeting.
11:28 For what it's worth, I'd say 80% of the comments are against the deal, about 20% are along the lines of "have faith in Phil". Oversimplifiication, but the mood is not positive. I think a lot of Browns fans were hoping for those picks.
11:30 From Adam Caplan: Vikings have the parameters of a deal with FS Madieu Williams and he's going to fly today to Minnesota. LINK
11:32 No official word had came out about the draft compensation for Williams, so it wouldn't be surprising if it ended up a third. I was told earlier this week that the Packers wanted a second, but would likely settle for a third -- JT
11:45 [Comment From sham]
Hey LA! Love you comments week in and week out. Do you believe that Corey Williams will make that much of an impact? Do you think the browns offered too much for DA?
11:47 sham - Corey Williams is a solid player that has continued to develop and come into his own. He has the ability to be very, very good and this organization must secure talent along the line for him to standout. I like the look of he and Shaun S,ith - LA
11:52 Amanda: I remain somewhat surprised and believe that there very well may be something more to the story. We noted last night, that something didn't feel right with those negotiations - LA
11:54 Nothing has been confirmed by the Browns or the Packers as to the compensation for Corey Williams -- JT