OBR Blog: 3/5/2010

Follow the further adventures of a addled webmonkey lost and alone in the big scary world of NFL free agent commerce. REFRESH THIS PAGE FREQUENTLY as we'll be slamming updates throughout the day.

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ALSO: Yesterday's Dumbassery

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 10:56 PM ET

One Lost, One Gained

Right after free agency began, John Taylor let folks know that the Browns quickly placed a call to WR Kevin Walter's agent to let him know of their interest. Walter, clearly not a fan of snow, has elected to re-sign with the Texans. 

Adam Caplan contacted us just a few minutes ago to let us know that the Browns have, however, re-signed Ray Ventrone, a defensive back and special teams whiz that they decided not to tender yesterday. So, we've got that going for us. Which is nice. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 09:22 PM ET

Bannan's a Bronco

Scout.com's Adam Caplan reported yesterday that DT Justin Bannan was going to head to Cleveland to interview with the Browns. Unfortunately, Bannan never got past Denver, where the Broncos signed the ex-Baltimore Raven.

We surmise that Bannan signed with the Broncos for three reasons:

1. It's a return home, since Bannan played at Colorado

2. Bannan would start with the Broncos, and in Cleveland he would have to have the massive form of Shaun Rodgers shoved aside. One would infer that the Broncs would be likely to pay more for a starter than the Browns would for a back-up.

3. He spent a few years in Baltimore, and Denver is farther away from there than Cleveland.

Understandable reasons, all.

Normally, I'd spend a little time giving B-more a hard time by explaining how their getting weaker makes the Browns stronger. Well, they got Anquan Boldin today while we got a fifth-round pick for Corey Williams.

So, in sum, I think the day may have gone to the rats birds.  

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 09:17 PM ET

Transcript: Cribbs and Holmgren

If you enjoy transcripts of press conferences, click here

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 06:08 PM ET

Reximus Broncus

As Denver papers reported last night, Brown OL Rex Hadnot is spending some quality time in the Rocky Mountains pondering how his future will unfold. Specifically, Hadnot is pondering whether his future will include a lot more green pieces of paper issued by various Federal Reserve banks scattered around these fifty United States.

If a future which happens two hours later than this one because it's westward on the surface of the globe includes a lot more of those green pieces of paper, then that may drive Hadnot's decision. In fact, I can promise it will.

Hadnot is referred to by the Denver Post as a "run-blocking mauler", which is not quite as I remember him, but I will say that his performance in 2009 was a step up from 2008, when the right side of the line seemed to collapse completely.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 05:54 PM ET

Surprise! Josh Got a New Deal!

As expected, the short-notice press conference was about Cribbs' new deal, which should keep him happy and productive for the next three years. Here's the text from the press release:

"The Cleveland Browns today renegotiated wide receiver/kick returner Joshua Cribbs' contract by modifying its final three years.

Cribbs, 26, recently was named as the kick returner on the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team. The fifth-year pro is the NFL's all-time leader in kickoff return touchdowns with eight and was selected to his second Pro Bowl last season, when he became the first player in NFL history to amass 1,000 kickoff return yards in each of his first five seasons. Cribbs led the league with four total return touchdowns, three kickoff return scores and 1,994 total return yards in 2009. His return yardage total was the fourth-highest single-season figure in NFL annals. Along with his 2,214 return yards in 2007, he holds two of the top four single-season totals in NFL history. He finished 2009 with 2,510 all-purpose yards, the fifth-highest single-season total in NFL history. He also ranked third in the NFL in kickoff return average (27.5) and fourth in punt return average (11.9). He added 20 receptions for 135 yards and one touchdown, 381 rushing yards on 55 attempts with one touchdown and one pass completion for 18 yards.

A consensus first-team All-Pro selection as a kick returner last year, Cribbs was voted a team co-captain on special teams.  He was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice (Weeks 14 and 15) in 2009 and was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for December/January."

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 04:23 PM ET

Press Conference Coming at 4:45PM

The Browns have announced that they will hold a press conference at 4:45 this afternoon in Berea. I guess they assume we live closeby can drop everything to rush out there. 

This most likely is to announce the new deal for Josh Cribbs, 15 minutes before his thing in the I-X center. Whatever. Maybe it will be something different, so we'll keep our eyes open. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 04:17 PM ET

Buckeye Coming Back?

Another player Lane Adkins was talking about last night in our chat room is Seattle OG Rob Sims. The fourth-year player and Restricted Free Agent is of interest to the Browns and is interested in the Browns himself, as readers of this morning's chat transcript already know. That has also leaked out in the media, so we might as well acknowledge it here as well.

We've got Sims ranked as the #12 best available offensive guard in this year's free agency group. If he signs with the Browns, he instantly vaults up to #3, though, because acquires the power of North Coast awesomeness.

FWIW, part of the tricky bit about running a subscriber site, rather than one poppup up Netflix ads or whatever, is tossing tidbits from one side of the paywall to another. Blah.

If there's a quabillionaire out there who wants to underwrite the site so we don't have to do that, click the link above.

No, not the one that says "Yesterday's Dumbassery". The other one. Thanks.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 03:45 PM ET

Cribbs Gets New Three-Year Deal

This is now in the mainstream media, courtesy of Alex Marvez. We found out about this through sources close to the player on Tuesday and told subscribers about it in the Insider Blog. At that time, the deal was not supposed to be "official" until Friday, so we didn't blare it on the front page. We were sort of hoping Josh could announce it himself at the I-X center today, but that's not how the media works, I guess.

Props to Marvez for breaking the story nationally, though.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 03:29 PM ET

I Have Returned

I'm back on the blog. For some reason I came down with a pretty nasty headache and had to step away for a little bit. Maybe it's a diet consisting mostly of beer pellets sent by mysterious forces on the other end of an aluminum tube. 

While I was away, the Browns sent out a press release regarding their trade of Corey Williams to the Detroit Lions, elaborating a little on the trade parameters. As we relayed last night, the Browns indeed got a fifth round draft pick in return, although the press release offered up that the Browns had to throw in a seventh-round pick last night.

As I wrote last night and others have written today, it doesn't really feel like a fair exchange.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 12:56 PM ET

Fujita to Visit C-Town

The Times-Picayune says that LB Scott Fujita is scheduled to visit Cleveland tomorrow, along with some other visits we've highlighted. We have Fujita ranked as the fifth-best available OLB and the third-best unrestricted free agent at the position.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 12:53 PM ET

Live Shot of OBR HQ

Mostly accurate. Thanks Nonee!

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 12:27 PM ET

Chat Transcript Coming

Lane has been hanging in the chat room dropping a ton of 411. I'm turning this into a transcript which should be out soon. 

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 10:15 AM ET

More Off the Boards

The interwebs are reporting this morning that the Saints look set ot make OG Jahri Evans a wealthy man, and that the Vikings are circling in on CB Marlin Jackson.

No need to panic at this point, but the two represent the top-ranking OG and ninth-ranked CB on the boards.

On another note of no importance at all, look at the top available guards and the colleges they went to... Bloomsburg, Fresno State, Cal State-Bakersfield. Helps to explain why NFL teams have so many scouts.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 09:42 AM ET

Browns Call Two More Free Agents

John Taylor is on fire for our subscribers this morning, tracking down who the Browns have been talking to

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 08:33 AM ET

Browns Chasing Chester Taylor?

The Browns have pursued the Vikings running back before, most noteably when he was a restricted free agent with the Ravens and the apple of Phil Savage's eye. Are the Browns up for the chase again? John Taylor has the scoop for OBR Subscribers

Ya know, this might not be a bad time to try the seven day free OBR trial. Just sayin'. We hope you give it a shot, like it, and stick around.

Posted by:  Barry McBride
at 03/05/2010 08:26 AM ET

Browns Hoping to Swipe Ratbird DT

This morning's big news, in my limited view of the world at least, is that the Browns are showing an interest in snagging versatile DL Justin Brannan from the Baltimore Ratbirds, as noted by the perspicacious Adam Caplan in this crappy-looking blog.

Brannan has set up trips to visit the Browns and the Denver Broncos, the latter being a team that I've taken a sudden disliking to. Scout has been calling Bannan a free agency "sleeper". The gang in Berea seem to be wide awake as to his potential. 

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