With the tight end continuing to be an integral part of the Browns “offense,” the team has decided to part ways with second-year end Martin Rucker. His roster spot will be filled by former Jacksonville Jaguar tight end Greg Estandia.
As you may have already seen, the Browns signed 6th round draft picks Don Carey, Coye Francis and James Davis. According to the OBR, all three signed 4 year contracts. With the earlier signing of Maiava, that makes 4 draft picks left to sign deals. Of course, they are Cleveland’s top picks- center Alex Mack (1st rd.) wide outs Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi (2nd rd.) and linebacker David Veikune (2nd rd.).
Here are some other stories making the rounds as time crawls towards training camp-
-Martin Rucker hopes that he will get his chance to play with the departure of Kellen Winslow. I can assure you Mr. Rucker, that depends upon your ability to read the defense and improve your blocking.
-The Detroit Lions and their fans are getting geared up for their meeting with the Browns. It appears that new Lions coach Jim Schwartz was undefeated last year against the AFC North while he was the defensive coordinator for the Titans. Um, how can I put this? You are not the Titans. [Read more...]
Will Kellen Winslow Jr. be remembered for having some of the best hands on the football field? Or will he be for a premature end to a rookie season followed by a knee injury sustained thanks to a motorcycle accident, leading to multiple surgeries over the course of the last few seasons?
Either way, it may not matter to him as he is the recent recipient of a six-year, $36.1 million extension that makes him the highest-paid tight end in the history of the National Football League.
The ball started rolling in the right direction when the team dealt tight end Kellen Winslow for two draft picks on the first day of NFL free agency. Many were surprised that the team made a move on Day 1, and perhaps the team did not help themselves by doing something so soon. Especially considering that they have very little since then.
If I sound a bit cynical or even frustrated about this, I am. I don’t know what the team plans on accomplishing by having their only free agent signing to this point playing the exact same position that we just traded away; one that was considered to already be “of depth.” The only thing that I gather from the addition of Robert Royal is that Steve Heiden’s recently repaired knee may not be up to speed by the start of the season. I just hope that this doesn’t knock Martin Rucker further down the depth chart, as we’ll be reminded once again this April that we traded away our third-round draft choice for his services.
The Plain Dealer’s Tony Grossi gave a brief recap of the damage done in Monday night’s game against the Eagles. While many players survived the skirmish, a couple did not.
Likely being added to the injured reserve – ultimately ending respective seasons – will be tight end Steve Heiden and rookie linebacker Beau Bell.
Heiden tore his right ACL and strained his MCL after Eagles defensive lineman Broderick Bunkley rolled on the back of his leg. And no, it was not after being shoved from behind by Kevin Kolb. Beau Bell also fell victim to the knee fairy, and will have arthroscopic surgery. If you’re keeping count, that is officially 10 Browns players that are done for the season. (Ten! Ah ah ah ah…)
Assuming that Kellen Winslow does not return against Cincinnati this week, Darnell Dinkins will be your starting tight end with rookie Martin Rucker following closely behind. After watching Dinkins drop an easy six two nights ago, I say we just give Rucker the shot. After all, we traded up for the guy – let’s see what we have. Here we go Brownies! (Sigh…)
The injury report from yesterday’s Browns practice was released in the evening. I was not surprised to see most of the names on the list. Sean Jones is still out with his knee injury. As is Martin Rucker. Neither players participated in any point of practice.
Also not surprising was that Donte Stallworth missed yet another practice with his mysterious pre-game hamstring injury, and may not play in what is now his third straight game. But two other players also missed Thursday’s practice: Willie McGinest (hamstring) and Eric Steinbach (shoulder).
Limited in practice were Josh Cribbs, now experiencing shoulder problems; Braylon Edwards, also with a shoulder; Jamal Lewis, Shaun Smith and Ryan Tucker.
Browns rookie Tight End Martin Rucker has a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and keep him out of action for 4-6 weeks. I for one was very impressed with the 6’4″, 260 pound Missouri Tiger both in the Jets game, and at camp. Rucker was getting plenty of reps with the first and second teams with Winslow, Heiden and Cieslak all nursing injuries. In fact, what was a position of strength for the Browns is slowly disintegrating.
Speculation here, and elsewhere had the Browns fishing for a CB by dangling one of the TE’s. Rucker’s play was making guys like Darnell Dinkins and Brad Cieslak expendable. Now, it may be tougher to trade Dinkins away, knowing that Rucker won’t be able to go until after week 3 of the regular season. [Read more...]
Gee, it would be nice if this article was a positive upbeat article about the Browns beginning OTA’s wouldn’t it?
The Browns did indeed begin voluntary workouts yesterday. Twelve voluntary conditioning slash practices will take place over the next three weeks. There will be another round of voluntary workouts prior to training camp. Why the special emphasis here? Two Cleveland Browns did not participate in these vol… oh you get the idea.
Center LeCharles Bentley was the first MIA player. He has not yet taken his team physical that would clear him to play for the Browns. He was supposed to be in New York yesterday to be seen by his personal physician before coming to Cleveland. Let’s remember that Bentley was given a clean bill of health by his doctor last year before Cleveland doctors failed him. I can’t imagine that the answer is going to be different this time from his guy, but none the less Bentley insists that he will play somewhere this year. I hope he does, and I hope it is for the Browns.
The other player not on the field yesterday was Browns TE Kellen Winslow. From Mary Kay Cabot-
Winslow has been in San Diego rehabbing his surgically repaired knee, but it’s still unclear whether his absence is health-related or has more to do with the fact he wants to re-do his contract. Winslow’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, reached by phone on Tuesday, said, “I have no comment on Kellen’s situation.” [Read more...]
Day 2 of the NFL draft was really day 1 for the Cleveland Browns, and to nobody’s surprise, GM Phil Savage was wheeling and dealing to move around and get the players he wanted. The first pick for the Browns was supposed to be the 122nd overall, but fearing the LB they wanted wouldn’t be there, Cleveland traded with Dallas to move up and get Beau Bell, the UNLV linebacker that scouts are thinking will play an inside position. From the Browns official site-
First, the Browns traded their 122nd overall pick and their fifth-round pick (155th overall) to Dallas for the 104th overall pick.
With that selection, the Browns took UNLV linebacker Beau Bell, an inside linebacker prospect that made 320 tackles in his career, including 126 as a senior. He also managed 27 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks.
Savage said he expects Bell to bring a hard-hitting presence to the Browns’ linebacking corps that they might’ve been lacking before Sunday.
“This guy is kind of a hammer type hitter,” Savage said. “If you saw some of his highlights, he knows how to finish. He brings some explosion at the end of plays. We feel like he’s a powerful tackler.” [Read more...]