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“Over the past two weeks or so, several draft-related websites have made note of players who have confirmed that someone affiliated with a certain team has met with team. Between the East-West Shrine game and the North-South Senior Bowl, here are the players the Browns have reportedly reached out to:
- TE Josh Hill, Idaho State – EW
- OT Earl Watford, James Madison – EW
- DL Will Pericak, Colorado – EW
- LB A.J. Klein, Iowa State – EW
- OLB Cornelius Washington, Georgia – Senior Bowl
- LS Carson Tinker, Alamaba – Senior Bowl
The list of players that the Browns’ scouting staff talked to is probably far greater than this, but at least this can get the discussion rolling on a couple of select players.” [Pokorny/DawgsByNature]
“In his first six NFL seasons, Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has made annual trips to Honolulu seem as routine as ones to Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
Heading into Sunday night’s Pro Bowl, just five players have been selected by their peers to the last five all-star games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. But among the decorated handful — which includes Baltimore’s Ed Reed, San Francisco’s Patrick Willis, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald and Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware — Thomas holds a dubious distinction:
He’s the only one never to appear in a playoff game.” [Reed/The Plain Dealer]
MLB.com ranks the top shortstop prospects in baseball, with the Indians’ Francisco Lindor coming in at number two on the list.
“2. Francisco Lindor, Indians: The eighth overall selection in the 2011 Draft was a Midwest League All-Star and a Futures Game participant in his first full season. A tremendous defensive shortstop, this Florida high school product has a good approach at the plate from both sides, runs well and should grow into some more power as he develops. He has off-the-charts makeup and he’ll still be a teenager for the entire season, so he’s far ahead of the curve.” [Mayo/MLB.com]
“The cameras cut away from Jimmy Haslam just when things were getting good on the NFL Road Tested episode recounting the Browns’ trip to Dallas.
Haslam, if you recall, had engaged legendary Cowboys’ player-personnel guru Gil Brandt in conversation after Brandt said he liked several of Cleveland’s young players.
“Really?” Haslam said. “Who do you like?”
Friday, we got the answer on The Hooligans. Along with a lot more interesting comments from Brandt on Brandon Weeden, Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi.
Asked to fill in the cracks on which Browns players he likes, Brandt said:
“I think you have two very good offensive tackles. (Mitchell) Schwartz is a very good football player and everyone likes Joe Thomas…I think your center (Alex Mack) is a good player. (Phil) Taylor is a good player. You have good receivers. I like (Joe) Haden I like your running back (Trent Richardson). I think you have the nucleus of a pretty good football team.” [Hooley/ESPNCleveland]
“Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy played just 39 snaps in a relief role in three games during 2012, but his playing time and performance from his first two seasons in the NFL have increased his 2013 base salary from the league minimum to $2.325 million, according to the NFLPA’s base salary database.
McCoy, a 2010 third-round pick out of Texas, started 21 games over his first two seasons in the NFL, completing 400 of 685 pass attempts for 4,309 yards with 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. McCoy’s base salary was escalated by $1.5 million when he played in 47.18 percent of the Browns’ offensive snaps as a rookie. McCoy added another $250,000 to his 2013 salary when he took 82.41 percent of the snaps and reached certain performance incentives in 2011.” [McIntyre/Shutdown Corner]