April 18, 2014

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Free agency brings hope for Browns … issues, too

If the Browns can land Bills free safety Jairus Byrd, seen sacking Jets QB Geno Smith last season, they may be able to live without T.J. Ward. (AP file photo)

Free agency begins Tuesday at 4 p.m. Negotiations officially started Saturday at noon. Teams were allowed to begin talking to agents about players whose contracts expire Tuesday, but NFL rules stipulate no deals can be reached and teams can’t talk to players who ended last year on other rosters — until Tuesday. The start of Read More…

Browns sign kicker Billy Cundiff to one-year deal

Billy Cundiff

BEREA — The Browns are still seeking a franchise quarterback and have myriad holes to fill on defense. Their special teams, however, are set for the upcoming season. Cleveland signed kicker Billy Cundiff to a one-year, $1.02 million contract Thursday, preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent this weekend. He made $840,000 last season. Read More…

UPDATED: Browns release wide receiver Davone Bess

Davone Bess

BEREA — Slowly but surely, the Browns are ridding themselves of the mistakes made by former CEO Joe Banner and ex-general manager Michael Lombardi. Cleveland’s latest corrective move occurred Wednesday, when it released troubled wide receiver Davone Bess, along with wide receiver Brian Tyms and linebacker Paul Hazel. Bess was a massive disappointment during his Read More…

Browns put transition tag on center Alex Mack, can match any offer sheets; free safety T.J. Ward headed for free agency

Browns fans would like to see a contract extension for center Alex Mack, a staple of the offensive line and one of the team's top players.  (AP Photo/David Richard)

CLEVELAND — Two-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack is likely to spend many more years with the Browns after the team designated him its transition player Monday. Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward, however, will enter the free-agent marketplace after Cleveland opted to use its lone available franchise/transition tag on Mack. “We looked at the collective Read More…

Report says Ahtyba Rubin could be next Browns player to be let go

Ahtyba Rubin

Defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin could be next to be jettisoned. The Browns reportedly are considering releasing Rubin, who is due to make $6.9 million in 2014, the last year of his four-year, $27.6 million contract. Profootballtalk.com, citing a league source, reported Friday that Rubin “likely will find himself in a salary squeeze under the new Read More…

Browns release LB D’Qwell Jackson, a respected veteran leader, to avoid paying $4 million roster bonus

Cleveland Browns' D'Qwell Jackson tackles New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The numbers didn’t add up for the Browns. Inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson will turn 31 years old early next season and was due a $4 million bonus March 16. So despite having more than $40 million in salary cap space, the Browns released the beloved team leader and defensive signal caller Wednesday afternoon. Jackson was Read More…

Haslam confirms Browns tried to trade for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh

INDIANAPOLIS — The boss confirmed it. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told USA Today the team tried to trade for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh before hiring Mike Pettine on Jan. 23. “There was an opportunity there, and it didn’t materialize,” Haslam told USA Today Sports on Sunday. Profootballtalk.com reported Friday the Browns nearly traded for Harbaugh, Read More…

Browns Notes: Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins at the top of the charts

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins makes a catch during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS — Sammy Watkins was described as explosive by Browns coach Mike Pettine. Smooth also fits. Watkins, the Clemson receiver who could be in consideration for the Browns with the No. 4 pick in the draft May 8, worked out Sunday for NFL general managers, coaches and scouts inside Lucas Oil Stadium. He’s been billed as Read More…

NFL Scouting Combine, Day 4: Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater “eats, sleeps, breathes football,” even when playing video games

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS — Teddy Bridgewater takes “football junkie” to the next level. Coaches crave players who can’t get enough of their sport, and the quality is almost mandatory in a quarterback. Cue Bridgewater and his Xbox. “I eat, sleep and breathe football,” he said this weekend at the scouting combine. “There’s not a moment that goes Read More…

Combine Notes: Browns coach Mike Pettine calls QB offseason priority, but drafting one at No. 4 isn’t guaranteed

Buffalo safety Jarius Byrd sacks Jets quarterback Geno Smith. Byrd is a possible free-agent target for the Browns. (AP photo)

INDIANAPOLIS — New coach Mike Pettine called improving the quarterback position an “obvious” priority for the offseason and said the search will be “meticulous.” But, like general manager Ray Farmer did earlier in the week, he left open the possibility of the Browns addressing another position with the fourth pick in the draft. “With the Read More…