First, they signed linebacker D’Qwell Jackson to an incentive-laden deal reportedly worth up to $4.5 million. Don’t get too caught up in that number though. It won’t mean a whole heck of a lot if D’Qwell can’t get healthy and stay healthy. In fact, I am guessing that the Browns will be watching carefully during training camp to see if they will keep him. Of course, what constitutes “training camp” remains to be seen given the labor situation.
Overall, I am happy the Browns are giving D’Qwell a chance. I know a lot of Browns fans who have been down on D’Qwell. He has been really banged up the last two years, but I am still rooting for him. D’Qwell amassed a lot of tackles, but one prevalent thought seemed to be that said tackles were always 4-7 yards downfield. What I saw was some speed and a nose for the ball even without a solid defensive line in front of him. Either way, it is a low-risk maneuver for the Browns to see if D’Qwell can still play in the NFL. I am happy to see D’Qwell get a chance to regain a healthy career in Cleveland.
Yesterday the Browns also signed Seneca Wallace to a three year deal. The rumor mill has it that Seneca Wallace wanted a chance to start if he re-signed with the Browns. The Browns have had many supportive words for Colt McCoy in the last few weeks and Wallace still put pen to paper to come back to the Browns. If McCoy comes in totally flat, you never know, I guess. Maybe Wallace will get a shot? As of right now though, all indications are that he will start the season below Colt McCoy on the depth chart.
After what we saw a year ago from Wallace, his return strikes me as good news. Wallace is a solid, professional backup. He can make some plays and you aren’t terrified at the thought of handing him the ball. You can’t say much better about a backup quarterback without fully embracing constant controversy. I would guess Jake Delhomme won’t be back, but I wouldn’t mind having him around if he re-works his contract. I was impressed by his willingness to be a team first guy all last season.
Next up, the Browns put a second round tender on tight end Evan Moore. This means that if another team signs Moore, they will have to give the Browns a second round pick for the right. It pretty much guarantees that Evan Moore will be back in Cleveland. Moore has shown flashes of how productive he can be, but unfortunately he took a few too many headshots this year. Hopefully those were more like freak occurrences rather than a sign that Moore is destined to be on IR.
Last, but not least, the Browns made what some fans find to be a controversial move in using a second round tender on the much maligned Eric Wright. Eric Wright had a bad season. He also was a fall guy even when his “help” failed to show for him on occasion. Who knows? Maybe the Browns front office thinks that Wright will benefit from playing in the new Jauron defense that will supposedly rely more on speed and athleticism.
In the end, the Browns need depth at corner. They might get to it in free agency or in the draft, but they were scarily thin at the spot this past season. With that in mind, I am happy to have Eric Wright back and competing for a spot. He will be competing with Joe Haden, Sheldon Brown and Coye Francies. Plus, I really expect the Browns to acquire another guy or two to compete in training camp. Who knows? Maybe even Patrick Peterson with their first pick in the upcoming draft.
If that is the case, Wright would be playing in the slot and nickelbaclk. I think I can deal with Eric Wright being the rich man’s Terry Cousin.