The game of "he said, he said" continues to swirl around the Browns' quarterbacks. The Browns insist Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson will be on the roster to compete for a starting job in training camp, but until that happens, the trade rumors will continue.
The Jets, Lions and Buccaneers are teams likely looking for a quarterback, and according to reports, the Broncos preferred Quinn to Kyle Orton before they acquired Orton and three draft picks from the Bears for Jay Cutler.
There are reports general manager George Kokinis and coach Eric Mangini are not thrilled with either of their quarterbacks and they are considering using the fifth pick in the draft on Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez.
The argument could be made the Browns would be giving up on Quinn too quickly unless Mangini and Kokinis are absolutely convinced he will never be anything special. Quinn started only three games in the chaotic 2008 season and he broke the tip of the index finger on his throwing hand in the second.
Sometimes teams rush to judgment too quickly. In 1987 the Buccaneers had the first pick in the draft. They took Vinny Testaverde and traded Steve Young to the 49ers for a second-round draft pick and a fourth-round pick. They were convinced Young was a bust, but Bill Walsh thought Young had potential and made the trade, though the 49ers already had Joe Montana. Young went on to have a stellar career with the 49ers and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Anderson his convinced the fans don't want him; he doesn't have Quinn's polish, he isn't a fashion model as Quinn is, he didn't go to Notre Dame (he went to Oregon State) and he wasn't a first-round draft choice. He did throw 29 touchdown passes in 2007, but that doesn't seem to matter to fans.
Last week the Chicago Sun-Times reported Cutler could've nixed a trade to the Browns because he did not want to play for Mangini. Cutler is represented by Bus Cook, who also represents Brett Favre. A few days later, Bus said the report was untrue; he said Cutler had no opinion of Mangini.
--LB Eric Barton, the former Jet signed to replace Andra Davis at inside linebacker, is entering his 11th season in the NFL. Davis played seven seasons for the Browns since being drafted as a rookie in 2002, the last six as a starter. Despite playing three fewer seasons, Davis has exactly 100 more career tackles -- 833 compared to 733 for Barton.
--WR Joshua Cribbs has told coach Eric Mangini he would like to continue covering punts and kickoffs. Thought is being given to lessening those duties for Cribbs so Cribbs doesn't take a beating and wear down as the season progresses.
--In 2007 the Browns made 192 first downs by passing the ball. Last year that number dipped to 127 -- a difference of 65 and an average of four a game. Overall the first down total dropped from 315 to 233 despite an increase of nine by penalty. They made 22 first downs by penalty in 2008 compared to 13 in 2007.
--WR Donte Stallworth will be arraigned on DUI manslaughter charges on April 23, two days before the draft. Stallworth does not have to be present at his arraignment; he can enter a plea through his attorney.
Stallworth faces four to 15 years in prison for hitting a pedestrian on March 14 as Stallworth was driving his black 2005 Bentley. Mario Reyes, 59, died from his injuries.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Obviously, we've got one down south that's local (Beanie Wells) and we're going to take a look at him in terms of how he can help our football team. I think there's a lot of talent there." -- Browns general manager George Kokinis on the running backs in the 2009 draft.