Taylor: Circling The Browns

The latest buzz about the Browns, including a salary cap update and a (surprising) continuation of some off-season trade talks. Will anything happen? Maybe not now, but the stage for the 2009 off-season is already being set...

-- As it stands right now, the Browns have a little more than $9 million in cap space available to them. Obviously, that number will increase/decrease based on the composition of the final 53-man roster and who is released to get down to that number.

At this time – and up until the 53-man roster is set – the top 51 salaries plus prorated signing bonuses, performance bonuses and workout bonuses – among other factors – count toward the current salary cap.

-- Teams continue to sniff around the Browns regarding the availability of their top two quarterbacks, but the Browns steadfastly refuse to even remotely entertain the notion of dealing either Derek Anderson or, in particular, Brady Quinn at this point let alone enter into discussions about it.

As one source put it: "Teams are simply laying the groundwork for off-season discussions. They know there's almost no chance of a deal (involving either of the two QBs) right now or even in the near future. But if the Browns decide to deal one or the other (following the '08 season), teams will be ready to jump in on the bidding."

Let me stress this again, so as to avoid any type of confusion: there is literally a zero-percent chance the Browns will move one of the two before the trade deadline in October. That, however, will not stop teams from kicking the trade tires, it seems.

-- Takeo Spikes signed with the 49ers a couple of days ago, so, to answer the inevitable question and get that out of the way: no, the Browns did not speak with Spikes' agent recently after showing some interest in the early part of free agency this past March and April. The only other teams besides the 49ers to show a serious interest in the 11-year veteran linebacker was the Lions.

-- For those who are curious, teams must cut down to no more than 75 players by 4:00 p.m. EST Tuesday, August 26. By 6:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, Aug. 30, teams must have their rosters down to the 53-man limit. Additionally, clubs are permitted to begin filling out their eight-man practice squads after noon EST on Aug. 31.

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