Assuming all goes as planned, the Browns will have a three-day window (starting next Monday) to exclusively deal with their own free agents. Rife with gaping holes in many positions – specifically those considered “skill” – the Browns newly constructed team of coaches will join forces with the year-old front office regime to see just who will be back in the Orange and Brown once the curtain is lifted.
Rick has already laid out what should be the first priority for all things contract, but with the obvious aside, who among the current crop of Browns free agents should be given another run with the rebuilding franchise?
|Mike Bell||Running Back|
|Jayme Mitchell||Defensive End|
|Evan Moore||Tight End|
|Derrick Robinson||Defensive End|
|Matt Roth||Defensive End*|
|Alex Smith||Tight End|
|Robaire Smith||Defensive Tackle/End|
|Chansi Stuckey||Wide Receiver|
|Floyd Womack||Offensive Lineman|
|Billy Yates||Offensive Lineman|
*For all intents and purposes, we’ve listed Matt Roth as a defensive end given that would likely be his position within the Browns’ new 4-3 defensive scheme. Robaire Smith can play either position on the defensive line in thei scheme.
The team has given tenders and/or franchise tags to Dawson, Wright and Moore. What this means under the new labor agreement remains to be seen.
Given that the Browns have spent considerable resources along the defensive line, it would be understandable if players like Mitchell (what a great investment) and Robinson are sent on their ways. Despite being a fan favorite, Lawrence Vickers’ days in Cleveland appear to be drawing to a close with the drafting of Stanford’s Owen Marecic. Former ManJets Stuckey, Trusnik and Elam are expected to be squeezed out given the clean slate appearing to be put in place by the new regime.
The team obviously needs some help along the offensive line given the new pass-oriented offense, but are guys like Womack and Yates the answer? We will find out soon as the teams appear ready to reconvene following the ownership meetings that will take place later this week.
“You can either stress over it or roll up your sleeves and do the best you can,” Browns president Mike Holmgren said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We’ve got a hard-working group of guys who are pretty sharp. They’ve been working on it now, from what I understand, in this off-season. We’ll be as ready as anybody.”