Cleveland Browns Rumors & News

Browns RB Isaiah Crowell Not Attending Workouts

Although the deadline has passed for restricted free agents to ink offer sheets with rival clubs, Browns running back Isaiah Crowell has yet to sign his second-round RFA tender and is not attending Browns workouts, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.Isaiah Crowell

Crowell is one of three restricted free agents tendered at the second-round level who hasn’t yet signed his tender, a list that also includes Broncos kicker Brandon McManus and Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman. If and when Crowell does ink the tender, he’ll be scheduled to earn a non-guaranteed $2.746MM base salary for the 2017 season. While Crowell did reportedly draw interest as an RFA earlier this year, it was always unlikely another team would sacrifice a second-round pick in order to add a running back with limited results at the NFL level.

That doesn’t mean Crowell can’t be traded at some point, but he’d need to officially sign his tender before that can happen. The Browns have expressed interest in collegiate backs such as Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Joe Mixon throughout the predraft process, so it’s possible Cleveland could use the No. 12 or No. 33 pick on a runner while dealing Crowell away. In addition to Crowell, other backs on the Browns’ roster include Duke Johnson, George Atkinson, and Darius Jackson.

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Latest On Browns’ Mitch Trubisky Interest

Earlier today, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported the Browns were still mired in a Myles Garrett-vs.-Mitch Trubisky debate despite the former being the consensus top talent in the draft. More came out of Cleveland on Friday night to support the Browns are legitimately considering the North Carolina product.

The team is both pondering a trade-up for the former Cleveland-area high school quarterback and selecting him at No. 1 overall, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports. Cabot adds that the pro-Garrett vibes coming out of Sashi Brown‘s Wednesday press conference do not mean the team is going to take the defensive end, noting the Browns are “strongly considering” bypassing the Texas A&M sack artist and selecting Trubisky.

Cleveland’s line of thinking here is believed to be that the pro-Trubisky contingent within the Browns’ decision-making structure is uncertain he will be there at No. 12 and isn’t sure the team will be able to swing a trade back into the top 10 to select him. Sources informed Cabot the team is ready to select its quarterback of the future.

During the second-year GM’s pre-draft presser, Brown said the Browns have “just about finalized” their decision at No. 1. While that was believed to be interpreted as a sign the team was ready to take the best player available, sources told Cabot that Brown may have meant Trubisky is the emerging consensus choice.

Cabot also hears the 49ers are a threat to take Trubisky at No. 2 overall, and that the North Carolina-honed signal-caller won’t last past the Jets at No. 6. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported earlier this month some Jets officials are high on Trubisky, and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report noted the team could serve as a trade partner for the Browns if they wanted to get back into the top 10.

If the Jets are entertaining the thought of using another high pick on a passer, the Titans hold the No. 5 pick. Tennessee had to surrender a 2016 third-rounder and 2017 second-round choice to Cleveland in order to move from No. 15 to 8 to select Jack Conklin. The price could be similar for the Browns, who have been more known for stockpiling draft picks than trading up for talent since the Brown- and Paul DePodesta-led front office took over.

The Browns have turned down offers for the No. 1 pick, Cabot reports, but after the team traded out of No. 2 last year and passed on Carson Wentz, it’s now poised to make that quarterback pick this year. Cabot adds that the Browns missing out on Trubisky would result in them moving on to Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes — presumably with their No. 12 pick. Of course, a GM told NFL.com’s Charlie Casserly he believes two quarterbacks would go in the top nine selections. In that scenario, the Browns would have to trade back into the top 10 if they wanted to draft the second-best quarterback on their board.

This would wrap up another complex Browns pre-draft process. Reports about the Browns’ astronomical grade on Garrett and team brass being awed by his Combine showing eventually leading to a Trubisky pick would be quite interesting. As would the possibility that owner Jimmy Haslam, who was possibly connected to having made the decision to trade up for Johnny Manziel in 2014, being involved in the decision-making process, as La Canfora suggests he could be.

Browns Owner Wants QB At No. 1?

Complicating the divide between the Browns’ coaches and their front office regarding the No. 1 overall pick: Jimmy Haslam is believed to be weighing in on this process.

The team’s owner “badly wants” a quarterback, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). As the draft nears, Haslam has been asking about this draft’s quarterback class and wondering why there hasn’t been much clamoring for a passer at No. 1 overall among the team’s decision-makers (Twitter links, via La Canfora).

While this would seem to open up a bigger issue for the Browns, who have seen Haslam make quick decisions regarding previous head coaches during his tenure, the team still has a chasm between its coaching staff and new-era front office about which player to select first overall.

The coaching staff continues to prefer Myles Garrett, with La Canfora echoing what we’ve heard before about Jackson’s preference for the Texas A&M defensive end. But the front office, per La Canfora, is leaning more toward Mitch Trubisky as the pre-draft process enters its final week.

Trubisky has evidently made a late push for a Browns team that has probably experienced the biggest trouble at the quarterback spot of any team during the 21st century. The Cleveland-area native, though, could be viewed as a reach at No. 1 overall due to his one year of starting experience and the constant scrutiny about this year’s quarterback class having been present throughout the pre-draft months. But the Browns are also believed to be pondering a move up from their No. 12 spot to select the North Carolina-developed passer.

The owner weighing in on the process would certainly appear to throw more weight behind Trubisky. Haslem wanting to leave the draft with a surefire starting signal-caller doesn’t necessarily mean the Browns are going to pass on Garrett, but it might mean the team will trade up from No. 12 or use multiple picks as currency in a trade. La Canfora tweets a trade scenario would be welcomed by Browns brass, as it would “appease” Haslam and allow the franchise to select Garrett. The Browns have been linked to Jimmy Garoppolo throughout the offseason, but the Patriots have shown increased reluctance to unload Tom Brady‘s backup.

Of course, Browns GM Sashi Brown said earlier this week the team doesn’t envision a trade for a veteran quarterback. So, the complicated offseason — one that has the Browns still trying to work a trade to get Brock Osweiler off the roster — continues in Cleveland.

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Browns Willing Pay $10MM Of Osweiler's Salary In Trade

  • Shortly after Cleveland acquired Brock Osweiler from Houston last month, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported the Browns were willing to eat around half of the quarterback’s $16MM base salary for 2017 in order to trade him. It turns out the exact number is $10MM, tweets La Canfora. It seems likely that the Browns will eventually cut Osweiler if they’re unable to trade him, but given that he’s still on the roster, both executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and head coach Hue Jackson have said that they expect him to compete for the team’s starting QB job. Of course, the Browns will probably add another signal-caller in the draft (be it Trubisky or someone else), perhaps lessening Osweiler’s chances of making the club.

Browns Cut Alvin Bailey, Tracy Howard

The Browns have cut offensive lineman Alvin Bailey and a pair of defensive backs, Tracy Howard and Trae Elston, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com (Twitter link).

Alvin Bailey (vertical)

Bailey, the most notable of the three, spent just one season with the Browns, who signed the ex-Seahawk as a free agent last March. The 25-year-old ended up playing in 14 of the Browns’ games (five starts) and ranking as one of Pro Football Focus’ worst guards. Bailey’s two missed contests came on account of a December suspension stemming from a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. That ban was the result of a September arrest on a DUI charge.

Howard, 22, caught on with the Browns last spring as an undrafted free agent from Miami. He appeared in all but one of their games and worked mostly on special teams, playing nearly 42 percent of snaps and returning seven kicks. Howard also saw a decent amount of action defensively (25.2 percent of snaps), and totaled 16 tackles.

Elston, undrafted out out of Ole Miss a year ago, didn’t suit up for any regular-season games as a rookie. He instead spent time on the practice squads of the Browns, Saints and Buccaneers.

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Browns Would "Be Proud" To Draft Myles Garrett

Browns head coach Hue Jackson reportedly likes Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett more than some members of the team’s front office do, but executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown made it clear Wednesday that he’s also fond of the possible No. 1 pick. “We’d be proud to have him,” said Brown (via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com). Meanwhile, vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry downplayed worries that Garrett took too many plays off with the Aggies. “Sometimes those concerns are a little bit overstated,” Berry offered. “The reality is in college football the number of snaps these defensive linemen have to play on a down-in, down-out basis is usually greater than what they’ll have to play at the professional level.”

Browns Considering Trade Up For Mitch Trubisky?

The Browns may be mulling a trade up from pick No. 12 in order to select quarterback Mitch Trubisky, according to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter links). The Titans at No. 5 and the Jets at No. 6 could be potential trade partners as Cleveland seeks to jump ahead of the Bills at No. 10.Mitch Trubisky Instagram

Speaking to the media earlier today, Browns general manager Sashi Brown indicated he isn’t totally averse to the idea of trading up, but noted he isn’t interested in converting multiple picks into a single selection on a regular basis. “Open to it,” said Brown. “Positioned to do it. Don’t want to make a habit of it.” Peter King of TheMMQB.com recently speculated Cleveland could move up — perhaps as high as No. 2 — in order to acquire a quarterback after selecting Myles Garrett first overall.

Multiple reports have linked Trubisky to the Browns, and the club was reportedly considering him with the No. 1 pick at one point. But even if Cleveland goes with Garrett with the draft’s first pick, the club has enough ammunition to move back up in the first round. In addition to No. 12, the Browns own picks No. 33 and No. 52 in the second round and No. 65 in the third round. In 2018, they have two extra second-rounders, an extra fourth-rounder, and an extra sixth-rounder.

Tennessee, sitting at pick No. 5, doesn’t need a quarterback, and is in an excellent position to trade back if it so chooses. Notably, the Titans traded the first overall pick in 2016, sending the top selection, a fourth-round pick, and a sixth-round pick to the Rams in exchange for a first-rounder, two second-rounders, a third-rounder, a 2017 first-rounder, and a 2017 third-rounder. New York, meanwhile, could use a signal-caller, but may prefer to amass draft capital as they begin a rebuilding process.

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Browns Unlikely To Trade For Veteran QB

The Browns don’t envision trading for a veteran quarterback, general manager Sashi Brown told reporters, including Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link), today. Depending of Brown’s definition of the word “veteran,” that could rule out pursuits of the Patriots’ Jimmy Garoppolo and the Bengals’ A.J. McCarron.Jimmy Garoppolo (Vertical)

[RELATED: Browns Likely To Keep No. 1 Overall Pick]

New England reportedly isn’t willing to deal Garoppolo, but that hasn’t stopped the Browns from inquiring. The Patriots’ price for Garoppolo has varied, but Cleveland’s No. 12 pick isn’t going to get a deal done. The Browns aren’t willing to trade the No. 1 overall pick in exchange for a quarterback, so they may simply not match up with the Patriots on a swap.

The Bengals, meanwhile, aren’t actively shopping McCarron, but are willing to trade him (and would even be comfortable shipping him within the AFC North). Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com recently hinted Cincinnati would be open to sending McCarron and the ninth overall pick to Cleveland for pick Nos. 12 and 33. Using Chase Stuart of Football Perspective‘s draft value chart, that deal would imply McCarron is worth the 44th overall selection on his own.

At present, the Browns’ depth chart at quarterback includes Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and Brock Osweiler. Although Osweiler had been expected to be traded or released, Brown said today the ex-Texan will have a chance to compete for the starting QB role, tweets Marc Sessler of NFL.com. Of course, that sentiment could simply be lip service until Cleveland decides how to proceed with Osweiler.

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Browns Likely To Keep No. 1 Overall Pick

While the Browns have received inquiries into the first overall pick — including from one club that was interested in moving up for a quarterback — Cleveland is likely to stay put at No. 1, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter links). “We feel really good about picking at one,” said general manager Sashi Brown.Sashi Brown (vertical)

The Browns, notably, traded away the No. 2 pick to the Eagles last year, acquiring a bevy of picks in the process. In exchange for No. 2 and a 2017 fourth-round pick, Cleveland picked up a 2016 first-rounder (No. 8 overall), a third-round pick (No. 77), a fourth-round pick (No. 100), a 2017 first-round pick, and a 2018 second-round pick. Brown said it would be a “surprise” if Cleveland moves down in a similar manner this year, tweets Cabot.

Trading up in the first round, meanwhile, could also be on the table, as Peter King of TheMMQB.com recently speculated, but Brown doesn’t sound fond of that idea either. “Open to it,” said Brown. “Positioned to do it. Don’t want to make a habit of it.” Cleveland owns a smorgasbord of selections in the first three rounds, but the club isn’t ready to turn multiple picks into one on a regular basis.

Finally, Brown called reports that Cleveland’s front office is torn between edge rusher Myles Garrett and quarterback Mitch Trubisky “false,” but also said total consensus is not the end goal. “Even if we all agree, we constantly are pushing each other,” said Brown. “Our job is not to agree.” Brown also said Cleveland won’t convey whom it intends to select before the pick is officially announced next Thursday, per Cabot (Twitter links).

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Playing Through Injuries Kept Joe Haden In Browns Uniform?

  • Joe Haden‘s willingness to play through injuries last season may have kept him in a Browns uniform, the cornerback explained to Scott Patsko of cleveland.com on Tuesday. New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams told Haden he would have advised the team to move on from him had he not gutted out his groin issues. “When I first got here, I went to his office and we talked for a while,” said Haden. “He told me, ‘If you didn’t play through your injury, I would tell them to get you out of here.'” Haden last year suited up for 13 games, eight more than he appeared in during an injury-marred 2015. The two-time Pro Bowler was the subject of trade rumors during the fall, but the Browns elected to keep him.