July 31, 2014

NFL News: Browns claim running backs Bobby Rainey and Dennis Johnson

We knew the Browns would be active, and guessed that running back could be addressed. Now, it apparently has. According to Aaron Wilson and Jason La Canfora, the Browns have claimed Bobby Rainey and Dennis Johnson respectively.

The two running backs are almost identical physical specimens. Rainey is 5’7″ and 207 pounds and Dennis Johnson is 5’6″ and 196 pounds. Presumably, these signings are meant to help the Browns cope with the loss of 5’8″ and 195 pound Dion Lewis.

Rainey has floated around the Baltimore Ravens between the practice squad and short stints on the active roster since being undrafted in 2012. Johnson was cut by the Texans and at least a few comments I’ve read around the web were hoping that he would make it to their practice squad. Johnson played at Arkansas behind Knile Davis, so he was overshadowed.

This could be a case where the Browns are making an “either/or” decision on these two players, or maybe they have designs of keeping them both and cutting loose someone like Brandon Jackson.

[Related: NFL News: Cleveland Browns roster by position]

NFL Rumors: Browns interested in Seattle’s John Idzik for front office?

Jason La Canfora tweeted that the Browns, while focused on the head coach, might also be interested in a cap/negotiator for their front office.

Idzik comes from a football line. His father (also named John) won a Super Bowl as an offensive backfield coach when the Baltimore Colts won Super Bowl V.

Idzik’s duties in Seattle are described on the Seahawks profile page as follows:

With Seattle, Idzik oversees player negotiations, the team’s compliance with the NFL salary cap, player personnel transactions, all football operations budgets, staff and team contracts, team travel and most aspects of the day-to-day football operations while also remaining active in player evaluations. In addition, he serves as the club’s primary liaison to the NFL Office and represents the club at League meetings.

It’s hard to say where Idzik might fit in because nobody has published an organizational chart of what Joe Banner and Jimmy Haslam ultimately want. Is Idzik a player personnel / GM candidate or another candidate for an executive VP on the football side of things to assist Banner with the salary cap and contract negotiations?

[Related: Browns’ exhaustive coaching search is refreshing]