Lane Adkins: What We've Been Told

DA rumors abound, but have the Browns actually talked to any teams about a deal? What star defensive free agent would take center stage if he remains available? Lane Adkins has the scoop on these questions, and much, much more.

- While Cleveland Browns' head coach Eric Mangini was somewhat open and diplomatic when addressing the media recently, the new man in Berea held all the cards. Even as Mangini discussed the roster and players in a limited manner with the press, the head coach and his staff have spent endless hours dissecting film and evaluating personal, as well as those sidelined by injury during the 2008 season.

Mangini is expected to make additional roster moves in the coming months, if he is able to land the personnel he wants to improve the quality and schematic changes expected in the 2009 season. This initial wave of players being released is believed to be the beginning stages of creating salary cap space, which is also expected to be directed toward restructuring some contracts to get them in line with the structure the new regime is attempting to create.

- Questions have surfaced recently regarding the impact of salaries such as QB Derek Anderson, RT Kevin Shaffer, NT Shaun Rogers and DE Corey Williams will have on the ability to secure talent this off-season. Recently, theOBR has confirmed that the new regime in Berea, Ohio, had not spoken with the representatives for the aforementioned players about restructuring their respective contracts -- yet.

- Shaffer and Anderson could be two players the Browns will attempt to deal with in the immediate future due to their roster position, salary and cap consequences. While news and notes regarding Shaffer are nil, talks about Anderson and a potential trade continue to heat-up. As of this writing, theOBR has been informed the Browns have spoken with no less than two teams regarding Anderson's availability.

- Another area of interest for the Browns this off-season is at the WR position. Quality and depth is considered limited due to injuries surrounding the dependability of Joe Jurevicius and Donte Stallworth, along with the inconsistency issues which riddled the play of Braylon Edwards. Heading into this off-season, the Browns are non-committal regarding Stallworth and need to evaluate Jurevicius as he rehabs from numerous knee procedures due to staph infections.

- Given the state of the Browns' defense, the LB spots are generally believed to be of the utmost importance to Mangini and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Void of consistency and overall quality at the positions, the staff is intent on adding component players to fit within the scheme, starting with serviceable veteran types in free agency and with the hope of landing a fit in the draft. The names Eric Barton and Channing Crowder have crossed my desk in recent days, though Crowder does not appear to be a serious consideration at this point in time.

- As the free-agent player signing period begins in less than three weeks, the Browns are not expected to be a major player; not due to lack of salary-cap dollars, but rather looking to immediately improve a few key spots on the depth chart without getting caught-up in the trading and signing spree which the organization conducted last season. So, there is not going to be an Albert Haynesworth signing for all those terribly interested in putting the big DT next to Shaun Rogers.

- Oakland Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha is one player the Browns would love to acquire this off-season, and the feeling is mutual. Asomugha, one of the best cover corners in the game, has a great respect for Ryan and would be exceptionally receptive to reuniting with his former coach. Now, how to orchestrate his escape from Oakland?


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