--We have heard no rumors, or even minor innuendos of rumblings, that Braylon Edwards would be available on the trade market. In fact, it's the exact opposite. What we have heard is that the Browns might want to do something with Edwards' contract at some point in the near/not-too-distant future. Not only does Edwards carry a cap number of just over $7.7 million in 2009, he's also entering the final year of his contract. Provided the new members of the Browns organization are comfortable with what they've learned about Edwards in their short time in Berea, it would make sense for both sides to hammer out a new deal.
--The trade buzz surrounding Kellen Winslow, however, continues to grow incrementally with each passing day, although none of that talk is seemingly coming from the Browns. No Browns source would offer any clues either on or off the record, but people with knowledge of the situation have intimated that Winslow will still be on the roster when training camp rolls around. Whether that's with a new contract or not remains to be seen.
--There are a lot of people wondering why Eric Mangini would hire a wide receivers coach from the University of Minnesota for a spot on his new coaching staff. According to a Jets source, George McDonald made a "very, very strong impression" on Mangini during the former's time as an intern with the Jets. "Very hard working, detail-oriented, highly intelligent," the source said in describing McDonald, adding, "(Mangini) remembered him and reached out. He's the kind of coach Mangini likes to work with.
--The hiring of Matt Eberflus as the Browns new linebackers coach came as the result of an extensive statistical work-up of collegiate coordinators, done in part by defensive coordinator Rob Ryan with some input from head coach Mangini. Eberflus had not previously worked with any current member of the Browns coaching staff, but the research undertaken by the Browns showed he was one of the top three choices for the job. The Browns reached out to another unnamed college coach, but were rebuffed in those efforts. Incidentally, the contract signed by Eberflus is only for two years.
--Do not bet against the Browns at least kicking the tires of soon-to-be free agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh. While the price tag for the wide receiver is expected to be out of the range for what the Browns will have budgeted, "it doesn't hurt to look" one Browns source said. With the uncertainty swirling around Joe Jurevicius, and the Browns unlikely to exercise the roster bonus of free-agent bust Donte Stallworth, the club will be in the market for a veteran receiver this offseason.
--Speaking of Stallworth, a source close to the receiver tells The OBR that while there have been no definitive statements from the organization regarding the bonus and whether or not it will be exercised, the wide receiver has gotten the feeling that this will not happen.
John Taylor's "Rumor Has It..."
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