Friday, February 29, 2008

Free Agency Day 1

Its been an eventful 12.5 hours. We trade our second round pick for a defensive tackle, and then sign Derek Anderson to a three year extension.

I've posted about Derek Anderson enough. Its a good move to hold onto a potentially-elite quarterback for not alot of cash. Sure, the 1st and 3rd round picks were tantalizing, but A) there was no guarantee anyone was going to give up the picks to sign him, and B) Brady Quinn is no sure thing, and the last thing we want to go through is another long search for a QB.

The Corey Williams trade is still something I'm trying to decide on. He sounds like he'll be a great addition. A 6-4, 313 pound guy with 14 sacks over the past two seasons should be able to plug holes and create pressure in ways that we've been pretty desparate for. That being said, he's not a spring chicken (turns 28 before the season starts), he's not elite, and he's not cheap. Could we have found someone better with our second round pick? Probably not, at least as far as having an immediate impact. But pretty soon Phil's going to have to settle down his wheeling and dealing and return to fundamentals of building through the draft.

I'm not saying that any of Savage's recent moves were bad. As he showed in rebuilding the offensive line last year, the free agents can be valuable when they let your previous high draft picks show their talents. If a rebuilt Defensive Line can freeup our linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties to show what they're made of, then its a great investment.

This is just day one. We still need more warm bodies on the defensive line, and I wouldn't be surprised to see us bring in a wide receiver or line backer. So its good for a start.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Restocking the D-line?

PFT is reporting that we have worked out a trade with Green Bay for Corey Williams, their franchised Defensive Tackle. No word yet on what we are giving up.

So expectations were right on, Phil Savage is still making his bold moves. I fear we have yet to see how bold.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another New Bronco?

With word that the Browns have cut Orpheus Roye, the question on everyone's lips is "How long until Denver signs him?"

Tony Grossi makes a good observation: With this cut, along with the decision not to use Simon Fraser's restricted status to make him an offer, the D-line is set to go from just plain bad to short-staffed and bad. Unless Savage has some free agency/trade shenanigans up his sleeve. . .

Its hard to see what he might have planned, though. There aren't many top-flight d-linemen out there, so unless he's intending to overpay for an at-best mediocre line, he must be planning on making a splash elsewhere. Where could it be? Wide Receiver? Cornerback? Linebacker? Or maybe he's just planning on giving Ryan Pontbriand a $30M bonus if he completes more than 20 touchdown passes this season.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Paying Kellen

Peter King had this note this morning:

    I think, speaking of the Browns, that there's something not quite right about Kellen Winslow sniffing around for a new deal with three years left on his contract. Didn't the Browns pay him every dime when he was down with serious leg injuries after a 2005 motorcycle accident? I'm not saying he ought to be bowing to the organization forever, but he's been a Brown for four years. For the first two, he gave the Browns five catches, total. For the last two, he's been outstanding -- 171 catches and high impact. See the new set of problems you have when you actually win a few games?
I think King has a few things mistaken (I'm just going off memory here, so don't quote me):
>> After Winslow's injury, most of his outstanding bonus payments were shifted to the end of his deal. However, he did lose out on $1M as a penalty for his stupidness .
>> However, that is just working off what he could have been otherwise owed. And while Winslow's original deal was termed a "blockbuster", he ended up missing out on millions of escalators due to his missing his first two seasons. That money that he missed is just gone.

If Kellen had gotten the full value of his rookie deal, he would have been overpaid. Given his missing those first two seasons, he's now probably a bit underpaid. Does he "deserve" to get a new contract to make him whole? No. But then again, does the Browns' current contract "deserve" that Winslow sacrifice his body and future ability to walk for the teams' success like he does?

I'd have no problem seeing us give him a bit of a bump. The Postens are gone and he's not only very humbled, but he's proven a dedication to the game and his team that is pretty amazing. Its better to do it now, in a position where you're holding all the cards, than when he's a few days away from being a free agent.

Friday, February 22, 2008

He's back, but is he still hungry?

The Browns resigned Jamal Lewis, with a deal for three years that is reported to be worth $17M (just over the 1 year $5M contract he played under for '07).

It might be less than he could have gotten elsewhere, but its no bargain. If he can give us three years close to what we got in '07, it will be worth it. The only concerns are injuries, or if he decides to start his retirement while he's still on the clock. He's no longer playing for the next contract, so it really comes down to how much of professional is he. Most reports are that he is a good team player, so lets hope they're right.

I'm glad we got him signed. I'm not in the Jamal Lewis fan club, but I'm also not in the Football Outsiders/MBTL Jamal haterz association, either. He's a veteran back who is reliable if not explosive, and has the ability to make teams pay for their mistakes. He is no Jim Brown, but he is a definite improvement on anyone else the new Browns have had.

We should still draft a running back if we can get good value, but with Jerome Harrison, Jason Wright, and Lawrence Vickers on the roster, that is not a high priority.

Hopefully I can recycle this post next week and fill in Derek Anderson's name.