Are Browns Getting Horn-y For Receiver?

Your veteran possession receiver's future looks like one huge question mark. What's a playoff-aspiring team to do? If you're the Browns, perhaps it's time to start a mating dance with one-time Pro Bowler. John Taylor has the scoop on talks between the Browns and WR Joe Horn...

While all of the attention recently has been focused on the depth – or lack thereof – in the defensive backfield, the somewhat-dire situation at wide receiver has flown quietly under the radar.

Both Syndric Steptoe and Steve Sanders, while stepping-up their respective games in recent weeks, remain unknown and unproven; Braylon Edwards is recovering from a gashed foot, while Travis Wilson has regressed since an early training camp burst; Donte' Stallworth, thus far at least, has failed to validate his big-money off-season signing; and Joe Jurevicius was placed on the PUP list yesterday, meaning he will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season.

With all these question marks surrounding a supposedly solid position, will the Browns be forced to make a move to shore-up such a critical area?

If they do decide to go in that direction and bolster their receiving corp, 36-year-old Joe Horn could be the answer they are seeking. Maybe.

Horn's agent, Ralph Vitolo, told The OBR early this afternoon that he spoke with Browns director of player personnel T.J. McCreight this past Monday about the possibility of his client heading to Cleveland. While the Browns have an interest in Horn, it's likely not something they will pursue within the next 24 hours.

"From my conversations with the Browns, it sounds like they have interest (in Horn), but they are kind of waiting on an evaluation of their younger receivers before they really pursue Joe," Vitolo told The OBR.

"I think the game tomorrow night will give them a little better handle on their young guys, and how they will proceed as far as Joe is concerned."

Vitolo thinks that Horn would be a good fit for the Cleveland offense, and it would be a place where he could come right in and feel comfortable.

"Joe knows Dave Atkins (Browns senior offensive assistant coach) really well. He knows (head coach) Romeo (Crennel) too. And he was teammates with Donte' Stallworth in New Orleans a couple of years ago, so that comfort level would be there for him," Vitolo said.

The agent stated that he has spoken with Atkins, who was the Saints' running backs coach for five of Horn's six seasons in New Orleans, on several occasions since Horn's release from the Falcons. Vitolo has not heard from anyone in Browns management – including general manager Phil Savage, who was out of the office when the initial call was made – since they spoke on Monday, although the agent expects, one way or the other, to hear from them shortly after tomorrow night's pre-season game.

Vitolo also mentioned the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars as potential landing spots should the Browns decide to go in another direction.


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