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“Even after the knee surgery, it appears likely that Varejao will be worth the rest of his contract, which means the trade market could be huge for the guy on both draft night, and during this offseason. Even if other GMs regard Varejao’s 2012-13 numbers (14.1 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 combined steals/blocks in 36 minutes a game) as a fluke, they can still be more than persuaded into dealing for a player in his prime that works at a position that is hard to fill.
Especially when you consider the fact that less than half of the money owed Varejao in 2014-15 is guaranteed. Teams wary of the luxury tax can deal for him as a one-year rental for 2013-14, and then waive Anderson and only have $4 million go against their payroll. Or deal him to a team attempting to cut just enough salary to get below the luxury tax line. This means he’s still a fantastic commodity on the NBA’s trading block. Maybe not for Eric Bledsoe (unless the Clippers badly screw up and deal away a sure star in the second year guard), but for all manner of enviable assets.” [Dwyer/Ball Don’t Lie]
Projecting the Tribe’s 25 man roster- “With Russ Canzler gone again, I’ve pushed Rule 5 selection Chris McGuiness to the DH spot, but only as a placeholder. If nothing changes, the Indians will likely rotate players in and out of the DH in order to take advantage of offense/defense or platoon spits, in addition to giving players a quasi-day off (such as Carlos Santana on Sunday afternoon). At this point I think Ezequiel Carrera has to lose his spot on the roster, as he’s out of options and without a lot of 40-man competition with Neal and Canzler out of the way. If the Indians don’t sign Jim Thome or bring back Travis Hafner, that last bench spot could go to anyone, whether it be infielder or outfielder.” [Ryan/Let’s Go Tribe]
“At this point, the reported December rumor from the Boston Globe that Lombardi would trade for New England backup Ryan Mallett has to be given credence. The Browns haven’t commented, but given the way they hired Lombardi after dismissing his hire, and given the way they said things came together on his hire in the past week to 10 days after it had been reported for months, well, anything seems possible. Especially a rumor that might link Lombardi to a passer associated with Bill Belichick, such as Mallett.” [McManamon/FSO]
Reviewing Winn and Hughes- “Going into the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns had a huge need at the defensive tackle position. Although Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin were penciled in as the starters, the team knew they had to add depth at the position so they could create a rotation. In 2011, Rubin and Taylor played the second and 16th most snaps respectively amongst all NFL defensive tackles. This high number of snaps played by Rubin and Taylor negatively attributed to the Browns’ run defense as they finished the season 30th against the run. There just wasn’t the depth at defensive tackle to give Rubin and Taylor sufficient time off the field.
Knowing all of this, on the second day and third days of the 2012 NFL Draft, former Browns’ General Manager Tom Heckert invested a third round pick in John Hughes and a sixth round pick in Billy Winn. Hughes is a stout defensive tackle that rarely gets knocked back at the point of attack. Although he is known as a run stopper, Hughes can put pressure on the quarterback from time to time because of how hard he works. Winn, on the other hand, is a very good athlete for the position and has the versatility to play up and down the defensive line. He has the strength to hold up at the point of attack and he also has the athletic ability to get after the quarterback, along with dropping into zone coverage or spying on the quarterback from time to time. [Leister/Browns Draft]