Your Cleveland Football Browns were quick to replace injured Reggie Hodges by agreeing to terms with punter Richmond McGee late Wednesday afternoon.
McGee will join fellow footballers defensive back Dimitri Patterson and linebackers Archie Donald and Eric Gordon as the new kids on the Orange and Brown block in Berea. Donald and Gordon are of the undrafted free agent variety, but all four players are – like the attempted Brodrick Bunkley trade – of familiarity with the current Browns front office and coaching staff.
Patterson has been in the league since 2005, but has spent the last two seasons with (wait for it…) the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2010, he started nine of the 16 games in which he appeared and registered career-highs in tackles (62) and interceptions (four), while also recording his first career sack. Also an undrafted free agent in his own time, McGee was picked up by the Eagles in 2008. He most recently spent time with the Chicago Bears, however, where he was waived just three days ago. For good measure, McGee was the punter on the 2005 Texas Longhorns team; current Browns quarterback Colt McCoy was a redshirt freshman that very year.
Archie Donald’s ties go back to the University of Toledo where his 424 tackles rank sixth all time. If you’re wondering just how Donald and Toledo have familiarity with the current Browns front office, we should remind you of our piece in 2009 which linked then Eagles general manager Tom Heckert to his longtime friend Tim Beckman. Beckman just so happens to be the head coach of the University of Toledo football program. Beckman and Heckert’s childhood friend Billy Davis (whom was also mentioned back in 2009 with ties to the Browns) just so happens to now be the Browns’ linebackers coach. Donald, as stated above, happens to be a linebacker.
To complete the circle, Gordon – not the shooting guard from the Los Angeles Clippers, unfortunately – spent his collegiate career with the Michigan State Spartans. Current Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, as has been discussed in the past, spent the early portion of his football coaching career with the East Lansing, Michigan program. Gordon’s 49 starts in four seasons set a Michigan State record. The 225-pound outside linebacker is considered undersized for the NFL but his skill set reportedly wowed scouts during the Michigan State pro day. For a team looking to add depth to a relatively weak linebacking corps, the additions (regardless of how permanent) of Donald and Gordon make complete sense. What they can do in their shortened tryout to make the final roster remains to be seen.