Taylor: Fire at the Rumor Mill

Is Tebow really rising? Will Shaun Rogers be suspended? Are the Browns and D'Qwell on the outs? John Taylor has leaning on his sources to get you the answers you need. Now. Here.

-- In the hours since my piece was published last night, I've received a few emails from people wondering why there was no mention of Tim Tebow and if the absence of his name means he's no longer of interest from the Browns.  Simply put, no, it doesn't mean that Mike Holmgren & Company have suddenly lost or gained interest in the former Florida quarterback since his Pro Day last month.  It simply means that, based on what I've been hearing, the Browns have Texas' Colt McCoy rated higher than Tebow right now.  Bottom line is Tebow could certainly be in the Browns' draft mix depending on how things shake out come the first and second rounds.

-- Speaking of Tebow, one league source told The OBR that he's "never seen someone like [Team Tebow] putting out as much public and private spin for a player who's not even close to deserving mention as a [first rounder]."  The source said the people around Tebow "are working 24/7" to get the QB into the top half of the first round, then adds that "they could succeed, which would be a [very bad word] shame."  Take that for what it's worth as it's just one man's assessment when weighted against the growing tide of converted Tebowites.

-- Jacoby Ford and Carlton Mitchell are two wide receivers who have drawn the interest of the Browns this offseason, and will maintain their interest on draft day – provided they are still available past the second round.  Holmgren wasn't tossing out some pre-draft smoke when he said this club is in more dire need of a speed job than any white team in history.  Or something like that.

-- Another receiver's name to keep an eye on as the draft heads into its third day?  Ohio University's Taylor Price.  Given the depth of talent at the WR position and the vagaries of the process, Price could go anywhere from the second round to the fourth-fifth round, although the third round seems to be generally where those in the know around the league have him slotted.  The Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens are said to be very interested in the small-school prospect.

-- Early on in the draft process, nearly every single mock draft that came out pegged Florida's Joe Haden going to the Browns at No. 7.  Now?  Meh, not so much.  And with good reason as, the more tape on the corner has been viewed by the scouting department, the less certain the organization has become that the cornerback is "worth" expending a top-ten pick on this year.

-- If the Browns do not take a quarterback in the first two rounds – and that's certainly a possibility – Tony Pike remains very much on the radar.  The former Cincinnati QB has struggled somewhat this offseason, but the body of work he possesses from his Bearcats playing time should still allow the gangly signal caller to fall somewhere in the third round or shortly thereafter.

-- For those curious, there have been very little substantive discussions between the Browns and D'Qwell Jackson on a long-contract agreement.  In fact, that's the case with every other restricted free agent that has yet to sign his tender.  Suffice to say, Jackson and others are not exactly pleased with this development.  It's a situation to keep an eye on in the coming months.

-- There have been rumors making the rounds in recent weeks that the Browns are likely to trade Lawrence Vickers at some point before the draft.  If that's the case, it would come as a surprise to those close to the RFA fullback.  And the fact that it comes as a surprise to those close to Vickers makes a trade unlikely at this point in time due to the fact that Vickers would have to sign his tender in order to be traded.  As it stands now, Vickers is not technically under contract and therefore cannot be traded.

-- The Sheldon Brown/Chris Gocong trade likely would've been consummated the week before last – if not sooner – were it not for Brown's contract "issues".  Once those issues were squared away, the trade fell in place in relatively short order.

-- Speaking of Brown, the acquisition of the steady and productive veteran does nothing to change the Browns' plans to add at least one cornerback in the draft.  In fact, a couple of corners are not only not out of the question, but seems to be somewhat of a likelihood.

-- Before he was dealt from the Seattle Seahawks to the Detroit Lions, Rob Sims had drawn "tepid interest" from the Browns.  The club will likely look to the middle of the draft to fix the depth issues on the interior of the offensive line, although bringing in a veteran has yet to be totally ruled out.

-- The early word from those around the league is that Shaun Rogers will likely be the recipient of a one-game suspension from commissioner Roger Goodell for his gun "incident" at Cleveland Hopkins Airport last week.  If the big defensive lineman is indeed suspended, it remains to be seen whether he serves the punishment as a member of the Cleveland Browns or another NFL club.


The OBR Top Stories