The off-season already feels old for the Cleveland Browns as it’s been 35 days since they last played football on December 29. As the Browns seem set to announce Kyle Shanahan as their offensive coordinator, and as we sit back and think about how Seattle decimated the Broncos in the Super Bowl, I have a few hopes for the Browns.
I want a new stadium. A modern, open-air, architectural beauty of a venue placed right in the heart of the city. One that looks like it is straight from Flight of the Navigator. It has curves and construction and impressively bright lights with jaw-dropping views of the downtown skyline. One that holds in all of the sound, creating a true home field advantage. One that celebrates the fans just as much as it does the history of the team and the players who currently occupy its inhabitants up to 10 times per calendar year.
Defensive end Brian Sanford has sign a deal with the Cleveland Browns, the team confirmed on Thursday morning.
ESPN’s Adam Caplan first reported news of a two-year contract on Christmas Day.
Sanford, 26, might be most well known in Cleveland for being Seattle’s return in the eventually voided John Moffitt trade. The vocal Moffitt, who then retired from football, said the Browns failed his physical due to a salary dispute.
That trade was announced back on Aug. 19. It was voided days later. Sanford then was waived by the Browns on Aug. 31 and has spent the season with the Oakland Raiders, bouncing back and forth on their roster. He was released for good on Dec. 7.
The Browns had an available roster spot since placing Davone Bess on the reserve/non-football illness list prior to last week’s game. They likely needed additional defensive line help with both Phil Taylor and John Hughes not practicing on Tuesday.
Long-term, it’s perhaps a curious move to give Sanford two years. This past offseason, the team shored up its front seven in drafting Barkevious Mingo, plus signing Desmond Bryant and Paul Kruger. The unit has shined occasionally throughout the year, but has been inconsistent over the past couple months.
Cleveland (4-11) enters Sunday’s game as six-point underdogs in Pittsburgh (7-8). An upset would knock the Steelers out of playoff contention, although they’d still need help from several other teams to lock up the AFC’s final wild card spot.
That was interesting.
The Browns and Seattle Seahawks made a trade yesterday sending DE Brian Sanford to the Seahawks for offensive lineman John Moffitt. The guard was in Berea today, but just before practice he was brought back into the locker room. It seems the Browns didn’t like what they saw in Moffitt’s physical.
Moffitt was drafted in 2011, but has already been through multiple knee and elbow surgeries. It appears the Browns weren’t willing to take the risk on Moffitt’s repaired body, not with guards Shaun Lauvao and Jason Pinkston already out for multiple weeks with injuries.
So the Browns retain the rights to Brian Sanford, which they could try to trade again for another lineman. The Seahawks didn’t waste any time trading Moffitt to Denver right after the Browns rescinded the deal.
Meanwhile, rookie Garrett Gilkey will start against the Colts on Saturday. Oniel Cousins is also under consideration for the job until Pinkston or Lauvao is able to return.
Sorry gang, no more fun pictures of Moffitt.
I was reading an otherwise great article today at Grantland by Bill Barnwell that pointed out how bad a job Jacksonville Jaguars GM Gene Smith is at his job, when a snippet caught my attention. While talking about Josh Scobee and his contract from the Jags, a footnote said the following about Phil Dawson.
Given that kickers are incredibly inconsistent from year to year, I still suspect that the Scobee deal will end up looking bad in a couple of years. And yes, two other franchise kickers (Phil Dawson and Matt Prater) have also been perfect this year, but given that they were both below-average in terms of their accuracy last year before being franchised, does that really prove that kicker accuracy is a predictable thing?
Granted, Barnwell didn’t say anything about Phil Dawson and his abilities. He very well could have been speaking more to the value proposition of franchising a position like kicker where the return on investment is inconsistent. Then again, just in case he was besmirching the impeccably awesome name of Phil Dawson, I’ve prepared an over-reactive defense of everyone’s favorite Browns kicker. And honestly, why shouldn’t I considering the fact that pretty much every miss of Phil Dawson’s 2011 wasn’t his fault? [Read more...]
Each week this season, we’ll take a seat in our very own WFNY Browns film room and break down a little tape from the previous week. Do enjoy.
I spent some time going over all 4 of the Browns’ field goal attempts from last Sunday. You probably don’t need reminded that 2 of these kicks were successful, and 2 were blocked. Both of the unsuccessful kicks were blocked by Red Bryant, a 6’4″ 323 pound DE for Seattle. Before we look at the pictures, let me say a couple of things. Red Bryant is bigger than 6’4″ 323. And for a guy that size, he has some impressive agility.
Thank James Harrison. Seems like an odd thing to say on a Cleveland-based sports blog, but it is true. The NFL was on the path to over-regulating tackling and hitting anyway, but James Harrison’s plays against the Browns (including a near decapitation of Josh Cribbs) are pretty much the reason we find ourselves watching the NFL as it is today. Even Browns fans seemed to be upset with Mike Carey’s unnecessary roughness call. I understand that completely. I am not in love with the rules as they are either, but you can’t put this toothpaste back in the tube. The NFL is being safety conscious, and you might as well learn to live with it. Yesterday’s play was a bit on the soft side, but these pictures will show you why it was called. In the end, the rule has everything to do with form and intent and less about the end result. Meaning, Colt McCoy doesn’t have to go off on a stretcher for the play to be illegal form.
First, notice the positioning of Mike Carey with relation to the play where he threw the flag.
It’s almost starting to feel like game days are the respite from the craziness that is swirling around the Browns these days. Between the offense and the Peyton Hillis contract and the general malaise of Browns fans, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. Well, Game Day is Game Day, so here’s hoping the Browns can tune out some of the distractions. The Seattle Seahawks come to town,
The Browns might be catching a bit of a break, as the Seahawks’ offense is actually worse on paper than is Cleveland’s and Tavaris Jackson may not play with a pec injury (hellooooo, Charlie Whitehurst!). However, the reigning NFC West [gulp] Champs are coming in off of their bye week. They’ve been averaging just 288 yards per game on offense, good for 30th in the league. They only average 83 yards per game on the ground, which should help the Browns defense a little. End of the day, the teams are 26th and 27th in the league in points per game, with Seattle at 18.8 and Cleveland at 18.2. This could be a snoozefest. The Browns have the edge on the stat-sheet defensively, giving up 45 fewer yards per game, and roughly one point less per game (23.4 to 24.4). So, where rubber meets road on the scoreboard, these two clubs appear to be pretty evenly matched. Feel the excitement! Without further ado…
The Browns Will Win If…
Mitch: How long you going to do this? In 10 years are you going to be the President of the Cleveland Browns?
Holmgren: Well, you know it’s hard to tell for sure. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be 10 years. We still have our home in Seattle. The kids are there. The grandkids are there. I don’t think they’re going to be moving anytime soon. Our vision is to get back into that area at some point. Exactly when that is? I’d like to see improvement here and lay the foundation here so that they can feel good about the team again before I make any changes.
Mitch: What kind of team are the Seahawks going to face this week on Sunday? Is it a good football team? Is it an O.K. football team? What’s your honest assessment of what kind of Browns squad you’ve got over there?
Holmgren: You’ll watch us play, and you know we’re a young football team. You combine the youth we have on the team and a new coach and at times we kind of look young out there. And then at other times we actually play pretty well. I think we play pretty good defense. Dick Jauron, who’s the defensive coordinator, is doing a heck of a job. Ray Rhodes is on the staff who you know. They’re doing a great job. [Read more...]
Nothing to do with the WWW, but I used WFNYTickets yesterday for the first time and it was a breeze! Scored 18 (yes, 18) tickets to the Browns v. Titans game on 10/2 for $30/ticket….I thought this was a steal since everything else was $60+ ! Already got FedEx shipping confirmation and a tracking number. If it’s always this easy, looks like I found my new ticket purchasing tool. Great work on getting that thing to work like it does!
Thanks for that Joe. Your chance to grab tickets is just a click away.
There is a generally accepted NFL Draft Pick Value Chart that most NFL front offices use to gauge value of picks for trade purposes. It is a point system where the first pick is worth 3,000 points and Mr. Irrelevant is worth two points. The idea being that if you wanted to trade the 25th pick in the draft with a value of 720 points for the 6th pick of the draft worth 1600 points, you would have to make up somewhere in the neighborhood of 880 points.
If you have the 25th pick in the first round, chances are you have the 57th pick in the second round which carries a value of 330 points. In essence, when you add up your first and second picks (720 + 330 = 1050) you are still drastically short of the 1600 you need to get into the sixth spot. In other years, a team could make up ground like that by trading a veteran player. Without that option this year, teams will have to mortgage the future and trade future picks.
It is 100% worth it to mortgage the future for this year’s draft. [Read more...]
In one of the stranger stories out of the NFL a couple years ago, Quinn Pitcock retired after his rookie season with the Indianapolis Colts. Pitcock wasn’t an afterthought in the draft either. He was originally selected in the third round of the 2007 draft. After having his rights waived by the Colts this year, Pitcock decided to work out for the Seattle Seahawks. Now according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, the former All-American and All-Big Ten Conference player from 2006 is preparing to play again at the age of 26.
Quinn Pitcock played in nine games with 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks his rookie year for the Colts. The Colts had big plans for him, but Pitcock decided, for some reason, that he didn’t want to play football anymore. According to reports at the time, Pitcock had doubts about signing his rookie contract. Then, he reportedly almost quit in the middle of his rookie year before finally pulling the trigger and retiring during training camp before his second year. Bill Polian and the Colts were distressed by Pitcock’s retirement because they also lost out on their other DT Ed Johnson because he couldn’t stop himself from smoking pot.* Apparently, the whole retirement thing didn’t take any more than that rookie contract he signed with the Colts. [Read more...]
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Philadelphia’s Tom Heckert has been named the new General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. The general manager for the past three plus years for the Eagles, Heckert brings instant credibility to Cleveland despite the fact he likely will not be able to sign with the club until after the NFL playoffs are over for his team. As a reminder, WFNY was one of the first on the Heckert beat two weeks ago when Scott reported that he was coming to town for an interview with recently hired Mike Holmgren.
Stick around for updates throughout the day from the local publications. Schefter’s report also states that it is possible Seattle’s director of pro personnel Will Lewis could join the Browns front office as well. Keep on chugging Holmgren, it is looking like a good off-season so far.
While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your daily viewing pleasure. Have something else you think we should see for tomorrow’s post? Send it to our fancy tips email at email@example.com.
Seattle keeps on pouring over to Cleveland with that organization expected to hire Pete Carroll as the face of their franchise. Keep an eye out over the weekend to see if is Lewis or Heckert as the new GM: “Browns president Mike Holmgren interviewed Seattle director of pro personnel Will Lewis for the Browns general manager job Friday and said through Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis ‘it went very well.’” [Mary Kay Cabot/Cleveland Plain Dealer]
How much would you pay Josh Cribbs? This post questions what is worth the price: “With the recent contract of Devin Hester getting top dollar, is not paying Josh Cribbs top dollar smart? I believe so, I think Cribbs needs to get paid more money then what he is currently. Cribbs is a Return man but also did help the offense this year move the football the last part of the season.” [Randy Ward/Browns Gab]
Amidst all of the Josh Cribbs controversy is the ongoing search for a general manger of the Cleveland Browns. As reported here two days prior, Philadelphia Eagles general manager Tom Heckert spent a few hours in Berea to discuss his possible future along side Mike Holmgren.
While there has been no reported contract offered to Heckert, WFNY has been told that things went very well. Echoing a report that surfaced in The Plain Dealer, we have heard that Heckert has canceled his trip to Seattle where he was to interview for their vacant general manager position.
Also heading to Cleveland for an interview is Seattle’s current director of pro personnel Will Lewis. While this interview would in fact satisfy the infamous Rooney Rule, The OBR reports that there is a possibility that multiple high-level individuals are added to the Browns front office. Heckert, as reported, may be in line for a position that would in fact be a layer in between Holmgren and the would-be general manager.
For those that are concerned about the “cart before the horse” decision of retaining a head coach without a GM, keep in mind that any candidates that are currently with other teams must wait until their respective seasons come to a conclusion prior to accepting positions elsewhere within the NFL. With Eric Mangini and staff being retained, the rest of the front office building blocks appear to be coming to fruition, all during Holmgren’s first week on the job.
(Yong Kim / Philadelphia Daily News)
Reports out of Seattle tonight are that Mike Holmgren has officially turned down a “senior leadership position” with the Seattle Seahawks. Many NFL pundits are making the jump that his decision to spurn Seattle means he will join the Browns. There are conflicting reports bouncing on twitter about whether or not the position he turned down was one with complete autonomy or a position in which we would be “joining” the current power structure and working within their guidelines. It was initially reported in Seattle that he turned down a “Club President” position with complete control but that does not appear to be the case. Peter King is “guessing” he turned down Seattle because the money in Cleveland dwarfs Seattle’s offer and he would have much more control in Berea. The OBR, as usual, is all over the Browns-Holmgren courtship and theorizes his preference for Cleveland has less to do with money and more to do with organizational structure – namely one where there’s Mr. Holmgren and everyone else below him. It’s obviously a logical step to think that his decision to not re-join the Seahawks organization means he could be heading to Berea in the future. But let’s not assume it’s a done deal simply because he turned down the Seahawks. Regardless, that’s your breaking news on the Holmgren front this evening.
Image courtesy of Chuck after Mr. Holmgren came out yesterday in his radio interview in Seattle and announced his distaste for the term “czar.”
Former Seattle Seahawks coach and current prospective Cleveland Browns President of Operations Mike Holmgren took to the Seattle airwaves this afternoon. On Seattles KJR (950 AM), the Super Bowl-winning coach announced…well, nothing. But he did discuss the past week worth of activities and continued to hint towards an announcement sooner than later.
The Associated Press reported that Holmgren’s appearance on Seattle’s biggest sports radio station would possibly lead to him announcing his future plans. Along with discussing the current playoff race and the never ending debate about resting players for the postseason, Holmgren touched on the job opening in Cleveland, but failed to “announce” any sort of agreement between another team and himself.
Holmgren spent a good portion of this week in Cleveland where he met with Randy Lerner as well as several members of the Browns coaching staff. Holmgren claims that the meeting was more informational than anything else, getting to know the area as well as the team. [Read more...]
Magic Mike Holmgren came and went. After spending about a day and a half in the city of Cleveland to meet with Randy Lerner as well as a few select members of the coaching staff, he has reportedly returned back to his home in Seattle without a contract. But did he?
The big news yesterday was the fact that Holmgren was even in town. We are hearing that the checkbook of Randy Lerner was opened right out of the gate, ranging from paying for Holmgren’s travel to and from Cleveland all the way down to the meals that were consumed. And given that Holmgren’s agent Bob LaMonte was reportedly present at the meetings, thinking is that dollar amounts were at least mentioned a few times in attempt to get the former GM/head coach to call Cleveland home. [Read more...]