Cleveland Browns Rumors & News

Josh Cribbs Retires

Former ace return man Josh Cribbs has officially retired from the NFL, the Browns announced today. Cribbs, 33, hasn’t played since the 2014 campaign, but was a force when he was on the field. In eight seasons with Cleveland, Cribbs earned two All Pro and three Pro Bowl berths. Along with Leon Washington, Cribbs is the NFL’s all-time leader in kickoff return touchdowns with eight.

Browns To Meet With Takkarist McKinley

  • Moreau’s UCLA teammate, edge rusher Takkarist McKinley, will visit with the Browns in early April, per Courtney Fallon of NFL.com (Twitter link). After that, McKinley plans to meet with the Ravens, Steelers, Cowboys, and Lions, per Fallon. McKinley put up 10 sacks in 11 games for the Bruins in 2016.

Vikings, Four Others Interested In Rod Streater

The Vikings looking at free agent wide receiver Rod Streater, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The Colts, Seahawks, Browns, and incumbent 49ers are also in the mix, but Tomasson says that no deal imminent. "<strong

Streater, 29, is ranked as one of our top fifteen wide receivers left on the open market. Once upon a time, Streater appeared to be on the verge of big things with the Raiders. Unfortunately, after catching 60 passes for 888 yards in 2013, he was derailed by injuries. After appearing in just four games for Oakland between 2014 and 2015, he wound up with the Niners on a one-year deal. He had 18 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns for San Francisco while appearing in all 16 regular season games.

The Vikings have Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Jarius Wright, and Laquon Treadwell at receiver but Streater could be brought in to compete with Isaac Fruechte at the WR5 spot. The Niners technically have ten receivers under contract, including free agent additions Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, and DeAndre Carter.

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Seahawks Sign S Bradley McDougald

One of the best defensive players left on the board is now spoken for. Safety Bradley McDougald has agreed to terms with the Seahawks on a one-year deal, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. He’ll earn $2MM, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). The former Bucs notable was also mulling an offer from the Browns, La Canfora adds. Bradley McDougald (Vertical)

McDougald, 26, has been a full-time starter for the last two years. The former UDFA graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 42 safety last year, but he regarded more highly by traditional evaluation methods. In his four seasons with Tampa Bay, McDougald started 31 games and recorded four interceptions with 14 passes defensed. Once the Bucs signed fellow defensive back J.J. Wilcox to a two-year deal, odds were that McDougald wound wind up elsewhere.

In Seattle, McDougald will likely be the first safety off the bench to relieve Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. In Cleveland, we presume, he would have had a chance of starting. It’s possible that McDougald chose the Seahawks over the Browns because of their higher likelihood of winning in 2017 and the potential for him to boost his value as a part of a strong defense. McDougald is still young and he could cash in on a multi-year deal this time next year if he performs well.

Heading into Wednesday, PFR’s Dallas Robinson had McDougald ranked as the No. 2 safety left on the board behind T.J. McDonald. Darius Butler was ahead of both players on the list, but he circled back to the Colts when the second wave of free agency got underway. He was our No. 10 ranked safety at the outset of free agency.

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TE Kellen Davis Visited Browns

  • Free agent tight end Kellen Davis visited the Browns today, reports ESPN.com’s Field Yates (via Twitter). The former fifth-rounder has played in 24 games (16 starts) for the Jets over the past two seasons. In parts of nine NFL seasons, the 31-year-old has compiled 53 receptions for 579 yards and 13 touchdowns.

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Browns To Work Out Mitch Trubisky

  • UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky will work out for the Browns, Jets, 49ers, and Chiefs, among others, per Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Trubisky, considered one of the top-three signal-callers in this year’s class, is a surefire first-round pick and may be selected within the top five. Cleveland, for one, was said to be “strongly considering” Trubisky with the first overall pick, although that talk has died down recently.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/20/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Patriots released running back Tyler Gaffney, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Gaffney has an extensive history with the Patriots but hasn’t played in a game. He spent the past three summers with the team, failing to make New England’s 53-man roster out of camp in each. He vacillated between the Pats’ active roster and practice squad last year, so if history is any indication, a reunion at could ensue at some point later this year.
  • The Chargers re-signed previously non-tendered defensive end Tenny Palepoi, according to a team announcement. Palepoi missed the entire 2015 season with a foot injury but returned to action in 2016. He had 13 tackles in 13 games but wound up missing the last three contests due to a PED suspension. He still has to finish out that ban by sitting out one game in 2017.
  • Another Bolts move: ERFA wide receiver Geremy Davis signed his tender.
  • The Panthers announce they’ve re-signed cornerback Teddy Williams to a one-year extension. Mainly utilized in a special teams role, Williams played in only three games last year due to a knee injury. In 2015, he appeared in all 16 regular-season contests for the NFC champions.
  • Long snapper Jon Condo re-signed with the Raiders. Condo’s been the Silver and Black’s long snapper since the 2007 season after breaking into the NFL with the 2005 Cowboys. Given that long snappers have a precise salary range — 14 of them earn between $1MM and $1.15MM per year — it’s fairly easy to project Condo’s next contract’s AAV. The 36-year-old is the Raiders’ second-longest-tenured player behind Sebastian Janikowski.
  • Cody Parkey will have some competition with the Browns this summer. Cleveland added CFL kicker Brett Maher from the CFL. The 27-year-old hasn’t appeared in an NFL game yet. He’s kicked in Canada for the past three seasons, spending 2016 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Maher made 41 of 50 field goal tries for Hamilton. Parkey, 24, hit 20 of his 25 attempts and made 20 of 21 PATs.
  • The Redskins announced the re-signing of left tackle Ty Nsekhe. Washington placed an ERFA tender on Nsekhe, who at 31 is much older than players normally involved in these transactions. Nsekhe spent the past two seasons with Washington, starting in six games in that span. Four of those starts came last season while Trent Williams was serving a substance-abuse suspension.
  • After the Nick Folk signing created a stacked Buccaneers kicker depth chart, the team released John Lunsford, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Folk and Roberto Aguayo will battle for the Bucs’ kicker job, leaving Lunsford without a role.

Bradley McDougald Visits Browns

Bradley McDougald made his second visit of free agency, making a trip to Cleveland to meet with the Browns, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This comes after the veteran safety met with the Seahawks.

Cleveland still has more than $61MM in cap space and houses inexperience at safety. An Ohio native, McDougald made a career-high 91 tackles last season and matched his career best with two interceptions while a member of the Buccaneers.

The 26-year-old safety has been a full-time starter since the 2015 season for the Bucs despite arriving in Tampa as a UDFA in 2013. Cleveland has a host of younger safeties on its roster but no one as seasoned as McDougald, a Kansas University product. The Browns have former Eagles fifth-rounder Ed Reynolds, Browns 2015 fourth-rounder Ibraheim Campbell and 2016 Browns fourth-rounder Derrick Kindred as current safeties rostered. Pro Football Focus graded Reynolds as a top-50 safety but placed Campbell and Kindred as two of his worst back-line defenders in 2016. McDougald graded as the site’s No. 42 safety.

He would be a bigger addition for the Browns than the Seahawks due to this, and Cleveland certainly has the cap room to offer the fifth-year safety a better deal.

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Chargers, Browns Interested In Geno Smith

The Chargers and Browns have expressed interest in free agent quarterback Geno Smith, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). The Giants are also eyeing the former Jets signal-caller, and met with Smith last week.Geno Smith (Vertical)

Los Angeles re-signed its No. 2 quarterback Kellen Clemens last week, but he only inked a one-year, minimum salary benefit contract, meaning the Chargers would incur just $80K in dead money if they decided to cut bait with the 33-year-old. Philip Rivers has been remarkably durable during tenure as the Chargers’ starter, as he hasn’t missed a start since taking over more than a decade ago. As such, Smith wouldn’t be in line for much playing time if he opted to join Los Angeles.

The Browns, meanwhile, offers a wide open quarterback position, as the club is currently employing Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan (Cleveland also has Brock Osweiler under contract, but will reportedly trade or release him before he ever plays a down for the team). While the Browns will likely add a quarterback at some point in the upcoming draft, Smith would likely have a chance to earn playing time in northeast Ohio. For what it’s worth, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link) isn’t getting the “vibe” that the Browns are interested in Smith.

Smith, 26, started one game for the Jets in 2016, but tore his ACL in that October contest and missed the remainder of the season. The former second-round pick has only attempted 56 passes over the past two years. PFR’s No. 14 free agent quarterback, Smith could still re-sign with Gang Green if the club doesn’t find a better option.

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Three Teams Inquired On Kirk Cousins Trade

Three clubs have approached the Redskins about a Kirk Cousins trade within the past two weeks, but all three teams’ inquiries were declined, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. The Browns were not one of the clubs that asked about Cousins despite rumors a Washington/Cleveland Cousins deal could occur.Kirk Cousins (Vertical)

While Cabot doesn’t identify any of the trio of teams that did call on Cousins’ availability, it’s fair to speculate the 49ers were among the group. San Francisco has been linked to Cousins since the moment Kyle Shanahan was named the club’s next head coach, as the two enjoyed an excellent relationship while Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator.

In theory, a team like the Browns or 49ers could roll the dice and trade for Cousins without an agreement for a multi-year deal in place. The two sides would then still have several months to hammer out a contract before the July 15th deadline. If that’s unsuccessful, they would have him for $23.94MM in 2017 with the option of tagging him again for $28MM+ in 2018.

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