Tag Archives: Free Agency

Taylor Dealt to Arizona

The Cleveland Browns have traded CB Jamar Taylor to the Arizona Cardinals for a sixth-round draft pick.

Taylor, a 2013 second-round choice by the Miami Dolphins, was acquired by Cleveland in a trade that saw them deal the 223rd selection in the 2016 NFL Draft for Taylor and the 250th pick.

With the addition of the 5-foot-11, 192 pound Taylor, the Cardinals instantly gain an experienced corner to a roster in need of just that. He will likely battle to start across from perennial All-Pro CB Patrick Peterson.

Taylor, 27, started 29 games for the Browns over the last two seasons , tallying three interceptions.

With the off-season signings of cornerbacks EJ Gaines, Terrance Mitchell, and TJ Carrie, and the selection of Denzel Ward with the fourth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Taylor was likely the odd man out and probably would not have made the Browns final roster out of training camp.

This is the third trade made by new GM John Dorsey that saw him get value in return for a player that would have likely been cut before the season when you factor in the trades of quarterbacks Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler to Washington and Jacksonville respectively.

Stunner: Browns Acquire Osweiler

In a move that stunned the NFL the Cleveland Browns have acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans via trade on Thursday.

In the deal, the Browns sent a 2017 fourth-round pick to the Texans who in return for Osweiler, a 2017 sixth-round pick and a 2018 second-round pick.While the move surprised many it is actually one of the rare deals that works out great for both parties involved.

The Texans get out from under the $16 million in cash owed to Osweiler and the $10 million cap hit he would have had after they signed him to a four-year $72 million contract in 2016. The money can now give the team the flexibility to sign Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo whom the team feels can lead them deeper into the playoffs than their defense has over the past two seasons.

The Browns give up a late fourth-round pick, most likely a compensatory pick, and now have added a third second-round pick in the 2018 draft and have already fielded calls for Osweiler who they are not looking to keep. If they fail to trade Osweiler, the team will likely release him. His $16 million would count as dead money on the cap in 2017, but if the team also releases quarterback Robert Griffin they would save nearly $7 million and in turn only be forced to take the hit for $9 million of Osweilers contract after subtracting RGIII.

While most think that it would be impossible to find a taker for Osweiler,the Browns are willing to pay half of his 2017 salary. At $8 million for 2017 it’s not a terrible option, especially after seeing Mike Glennon get $15 million per season from the Chicago Bears. Osweiler is guaranteed $16 million this season but nothing in 2018 or 19, so any team trading for him could pay $8 million for one season and then move on if they do not want to pay the $18 million he is due in 2018 or $13 million base and $4 million roster┬ábonus in 2019.

The original trade was shocking, but after seeing the details it looks like a very smart trade for the Browns front office, essentially buying a 2018 second-round pick for possibly $9 million and whatever else they can get from the deal. It is an NBA like trade for an MLB like front office in the NFL.

Browns Add Zeitler and Tretter in O-Line Overhaul

After losing two offensive linemen last season in free agency to begin 2016, the Cleveland Browns have set out to restock their offensive line in 2017.

On the first day of free agency, the team locked up left guard Joel Bitonio to massive $51.2 million extension and then made former Bengals right guard Kevin Zeitler the highest paid guard in NFL history when they signed him to a five-year $60 million deal with $31.5 million of that guaranteed.

The $12 million annual average value surpasses the $11.7 million per season that the Raiders gave guard Kelechi Osemele.

Guard was not the only position the team wanted to sure up to begin the new NFL league year as they also added former Packers center J.C. Tretter on a three-year deal that will allow the team to upgrade at center a year after seeing a massive downgrade in play at that position.

The addition of Zeitler not only strengthens the Browns offensive line, but also weakens a division rival who lost their starting left tackle as well on Thursday.

Browns, Britt Agree to Deal

According to various reports the Cleveland Browns and former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt have agreed to terms on a free agent contract. 

The deal is said to be a four-year pact worth $32.5 million. 

The six-foot-three Britt is coming off a season where he caught 68 balls for 1002 yards and five scores. 

At 28 years-old, Britt has been in the NFL for eight seasons, five with the Titans and three with the Rams. 

The addition of Britt could be the end of Terelle Pryor’s time in Cleveland, as the deal Britt agreed to is similar to the one the team was offering Pryor, as I reported Tuesday. 

Browns Will Allow Market to Set Price for Pryor

With NFL free agency set to begin on Thursday at 4 p.m. the Cleveland Browns still have one of their best offensive weapons about to set the market in wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. 

According to someone with knowledge of the negotiations between Pryor and the team, the Browns have offered Pryor no more than $8 million per season on any offer, while Pryor and his representatives are seeking more than $10 million per season. 

The Browns, rather than bid against themselves, are looking to allow the market to set Pryor’s value. It’s a dangerous move for a 1-15 football team who has struggled to keep talent in the past, but it also is something many teams such as the Patriots tend to do. While it works out for the best in New England, if Pryor walks it could be another black eye for the fledgling orange and Brown and another kick in the teeth to the teams overly loyal fan base. 

There are at least five teams very interested in Pryor, led by the Philadelphia Eagles, who would welcome the 6’4″ former quarterback with welcome arms. 

Will it work out for Cleveland? Only time will tell. 

Browns Playing with Fire as Pryor Heads Towards Open Market

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday, Cleveland Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said that the teams plans regarding wide receiver Terrelle Pryor have not changed.

The teams still wants him back.

Then, during the same press conference, Brown said that the team “won’t panic” if their leading receiver in 2016 is not on the roster in 2017.

Hmmm…you’re kind of sending mixed signals there Sashi.

Wednesday was also the deadline for teams to tag players with the franchise or transition tags. The Browns chose to do neither with Pryor and with no deal reached, the 6’4″ wide out is now seemingly headed towards the open free agent market if they cannot reach a deal by March 7 at 4 p.m. when teams can begin contacting unrestricted free agents.

Had the Browns chosen to place the franchise tag on Pryor, he would’ve received a one-year deal worth $15.7 million. Pryor and the Browns would have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal or allow him to play out the one-year deal. If another team signed Pryor the Browns would also have the opportunity to match or receive a first round draft pick.

Had they chosen to use the transition tag on Pryor, the one-year deal would be for $13.3 million. The team would still have an opportunity to match any deal Pryor received but would get no compensation if they let him go. The deadline for a long-term deal would also be extended an extra week to July 22.

By choosing to use neither tag, the Browns are playing with fire. Pryor has zero reason to agree to a contract by March 7 after the team failed to complete a deal while they had basically exclusive rights on the emerging playmaker. On top of that, the comments made on Wednesday by Brown, who in most cases I have given the benefit of the doubt, makes it sound like the Cleveland Browns are once again the smartest team in the room.

Pryor is not an elite number one receiver at this point in his career and one of the tags would have been likely overpaying a guy with only one season of production, but they would have allowed the team to maintain nearly exclusive rights on one of their best players and given the team a chance to continue to change the way other teams look at the fledgling franchise.

Once his time comes on the open market, what will keep Pryor true to Cleveland? Yes, he has stated his love for the team, the city, and head coach Hue Jackson, but Pryor, more than anything, wants to win and get paid. If a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, who have their quarterback in place for the 2017 and look to be on the rise offers Pryor a deal for anything near what the Browns offer, why wouldn’t he be intrigued?

The Browns are still years away from contending. They have no answer to the never-ending quarterback question. They are still looked as a joke of a franchise who has let talent walk away year after year. After reaching a deal with LB Jamie Collins, they had a chance to remove that stigma briefly if they could also bring back their number one offensive free agent as well. Now, it is anybody’s guess where this ends up going, but the ball is no longer in the hands of the Browns. It is going to be passed around like one of the franchises failed draft picks.

Pryor may be back. He may not. Either way, the fire department should be on speed dial in Berea.

Browns Agree to Deal with Colquitt

The Cleveland Browns and punter Britton Colquitt have agreed to terms on a four-year deal. 

Colquitt, an undrafted free agent from Tennessee in 2009, averaged 45.3 yards per punt for the Browns after being cut by the Denver Broncos. 
With Colquitt now in the fold and Isaiah Crowell tendered earlier on Tuesday, only Austin Pasztor and Terrelle Pryor remain unsigned.