Cole’s Latest: Browns, Draft, Revis, Wilfork

As free agency and the draft inch closer, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report figures to be busy, providing the latest buzz from around the NFL. Today, he has posted two videos passing along the whispers he’s hearing regarding the Browns’ plans at quarterback and what lies ahead for two key Patriots defenders. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights….

  • Jeremy Fowler of reported yesterday that the Browns are optimistic that Johnny Manziel, currently in rehab, will be ready to go for training camp, and don’t plan to walk away from the young quarterback. Still, according to Cole, it sounds as if the team is mulling the possibility of trying to trade up for one of the top two signal-callers in this spring’s draft. Cole reports that Cleveland prefers Marcus Mariota to Jameis Winston, and may be well-positioned to make a move, since no other team has two 2015 first-round picks to dangle in an offer.
  • Cole echoes a weekend report from Adam Schefter, indicating that the Jets and Bills will have interest in Darrelle Revis if he reaches the open market. According to Cole, the Jets will be a “major player,” particularly since Revis loves New York and would seriously consider a reunion with the team. Before Revis hits free agency though, the Patriots will likely try to work out a long-term agreement, and Cole says the cornerback will take a couple weeks to decide whether or not he wants to continue going year to year as he approaches age 30. Of course, the Pats could also simply pick up Revis’ 2015 option, but that would result in a $25MM cap hit.
  • Vince Wilfork‘s cap number for 2015 jumps up to nearly $9MM, and the Patriots could save most of that total by cutting him this offseason, as Cole observes. Given Wilfork’s shaky performance down the stretch (he recorded a -6.0 grade in the postseason, per Pro Football Focus) and New England’s tendency to cut ties with longtime contributors when they’re no longer providing value, that doesn’t necessarily bode well for the big defensive lineman. However, Cole says Wilfork likes the idea of going out on top, so it’s possible he’ll decide to retire.
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