Taylor: The Clock Starts to Tick...

Are the Browns actually sniffing around for veteran receiver help? Could Brian Robiskie make that need go away? John Taylor has the answers and explains why the clock is ticking louder than ever for the team's RFAs...

-- To answer your question, yes, the Browns have sniffed around Patrick Clayton and his availability.  To answer your next question, no, nothing is imminent on the trade front.  The current Dallas Cowboys receiver would certainly be a player of interest if he gets his wish and is released.

-- Speaking of receivers, has the light bulb gone on for Brian Robiskie as last year's rookie disappointment heads into his second season at the NFL level?  The early returns – both public and private – have been somewhat of a resounding "yes!", but at least one source warned of reading too much into what's been accomplished by not only Robiskie but any player at this time of the year.

-- With that said, a receiver currently on the roster upping his game would be a huge boost to the offense.  It doesn't matter if it's Robiskie or Chansi Stuckey or rookie Carlton Mitchell; finding another option already in Berea would be a boon to Jake Delhomme as he adjusts to a new offense and new teammates.

-- Owner Randy Lerner is said to be ecstatic with his prized front office additions, Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert.  While it may be an odd feeling to have just six months into the regime and zero games having been played, but, based on the turmoil and every-man-for-themselves attitude of previous and various regimes, Lerner feels feels he may have knocked one out the park – or at least has it heading toward the warning track – this time around based on how the key players in the organization are working together as (gasp!) one unit with one common goal.  What an amazing concept.

-- Of course, that won't mean squat if they can't turn this listing ship around but, what the hell.  They're undefeated thus far in 2010.

-- As the Browns Tuesday extended the qualifying offers of their five remaining unsigned restricted free agents, the quintet will now have until June 15 to sign the tenders or risk having their salaries for the 2010 season substantially slashed.  Three of those players – Jerome Harrison, Lawrence Vickers and Abe Elam – are expected to sign at some point before the drop-dead date.  The other two – D'Qwell Jackson and Matt Roth – are the most likely to push the club and not put pen to paper.

-- Specifically regarding Jackson, all the signs are continuing to point to his disgruntlement heading past the June deadline and into training camp if the organization does not decide to at least make a minimal effort to start talks on a long-term contract the linebacker craves.  And, more importantly, he feels like he's earned and deserves.

-- Personally, I'm of the impression that the Browns could really care less about Jackson or his feelings.  They're striving to do what's best for the organization, and it appears that they don't feel like one way to accomplish that goal is by handing a long-term deal to a player coming off injury.

-- Negotiations between the organization and the agents for their agents should start to get "hot and heavy" following the Fourth of July holiday according to one source.  There could, however, be some preliminary conversations between now and then.

-- For the most part – and given the expected ups-and-downs of a player at the position – the Browns have been "impressed and, honestly, somewhat surprised" at the progress Colt McCoy has made during his short time as a member of the organization.  In particular, Gil Haskell – hired in February as a special advisor to Holmgren –  has been impressed by what he's seen of the quarterback.  That does not even remotely mean, however, that the rookie will be even remotely involved in a battle for the starting job come training camp.  Barring any unexpected development – i.e. Delhomme's limbs falling off – of course.


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