Reality Bytes: The RFAs

Are things quiet regarding the Browns restricted free agents? A little too quiet, perhaps? Lane Adkins takes a look at some developing situations on the Browns roster, including the skinny on players who might still head for the exits...

For weeks, the Browns' restricted free agents have received little to no interest on the open market. The same can be said about those garnering any attention from the Browns. As theOBR has reported in our "Ask the Insiders" forum extensively, the Browns have been busy readying for the draft and dealing with free agent players from other teams.

- One of those RFAs, ILB D'Qwell Jackson, remains unhappy with his contract situation. Jackson was one of the players that was informed his contract situation was to be addressed by the organization under the guidance of former general manager George Kokinis. With a new team president (Mike Holmgren) and general manager (Tom Heckert) at the helm, their own FA and RFA players have not been a priority. The potential is growing that Jackson could be dealt on draft weekend.

- RFA OLB Matt Roth quickly became a fan favorite and force within the Browns defensive scheme after being claimed by the Browns following his release by the Miami Dolphins. The physical Roth is one of the team's free agents that is expected to be part of the organization's long-term plans.

- Another player often discussed in theOBR's "Ask the Insiders" forum is fullback Lawrence Vickers. Vickers, arguably one of the best - if not the best - blocking fullback in the league could be dealt. Vickers, also a restricted free agent, has received little interest from the Browns and there has been speculation that a handful of NFL teams are intrigued. With the addition of RB/FB Peyton Hillis via a trade with the Denver Broncos, Vickers may be expendable.

- The trade of DT Corey Williams to Detroit, coupled with the recent gun charges against NT Shaun Rogers and the advancing ages of DE's Robaire Smith and Kenyon Coleman, has the Browns interested in adding quality and depth along the defensive line. It is not out of the question for the Browns to look to address this area in the draft, possibly early during draft-weekend. With the marginal available talent in free agency, the draft has really become the only viable means to upgrade this area.

- The Browns - namely, Tom Heckert - can state the team is not concerned about the WR position all they want publicly. The truth is that the organization has heavily scouted the WR's in the draft and are poised to select a speed-type WR, no later than the middle rounds of the draft. The belief here is that second year WR's Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie can be solid contributors, but the offensive unit does not possess a quality, deep threat to help stretch the field.

- Early in the free agent player signing period, the Browns were believed to have had an interest in RFA WR Brandon Marshall. The Denver Broncos tendered Marshall at a first round tender, which any team offering the player a contract would have to give the Broncos a First round pick, if they do not match the offer, After some internal discussion, the Browns decided not to get tied up in discussion for the WR, as the Broncos quietly made any team listening aware they are willing to move the dynamic WR, but want the first round compensation.


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