North Notes: Kessler, Browns, Harrison, Bears

The Browns reportedly did not promise a starting job to Robert Griffin III, and it sound as though rookie third-round pick Cody Kessler has a shot to win the quarterback job in Cleveland. “We truly believe in competition here,” Browns executive Sashi Brown said, according to Mary Kay Cabot of “We’re realistic about where our roster is at that slot and we want to find a long-term answer. I think it’s as critical for everything we’re going to do here.”

Here’s the latest from the North divisions…

  • The Browns did not know cornerback Jamar Taylor would be available ahead of the draft, said Brown, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Cleveland acquired Taylor today for a seventh-round pick.
  • Even if the Bears had drafted a quarterback today, they still would have signed backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, GM Ryan Pace told reporters, including Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun Times (Twitter link). Chicago wanted a veteran behind Jay Cutler, hence the signing of Hoyer to a one-year, $2MM deal.
  • Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin both expect James Harrison to return for the 2016, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazetter (Twitter links). “He’s working out awful hard for a ‘retired’ guy,” said Tomlin.
  • Defensive tackle Vernon Butler contends the Lions told him they would draft him if he were available with the No. 16 pick, but Detroit ultimately chose offensive tackle Taylor Decker. Lions GM Bob Quinn denies that his club promised anything to Butler, who was chosen at No. 30 by the Panthers. Justin Rogers of has the full details.
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