Browns poised to make big free agency splash

by Cleveland Frowns on March 13, 2013

Yes the defense added $75 million worth of beef up front in OLB Paul Kruger and DL Desmond Bryant, but that’s sort of burying the lede here.

Because Mary Kay Cabot said that Adam Caplan of Sirius XM radio said that:

“[H]e heard rumblings at the NFL Combine last month that the Browns are interested in Panthers free-agent quarterback Derek Anderson. The same rumor surfaced in January, and Anderson fueled it on his Facebook account by hinting he’d be re-united with Rob Chudzinski here and that he’d love to return.”

Of course, a Brandon Weeden/Derek Anderson quarterback competition wouldn’t just cause the space-time continuum to collapse on itself. It would end Cleveland.com and local sports talk radio as we know it (just think about it WAIT NO DON’T). Browns fans would flock from all corners of the globe to storm the gates of the mansions of Art Modell’s heirs until they agreed to take the fake Browns, too.

And we thought earthquakes were enough fun. That there could even be a single rumbling about such a thing.

Anyway, for folks who like the idea of the Browns having a good defense, yesterday’s additions (also including OLB Quinton Groves from Arizona) are exciting news. Kruger and Bryant are each ranked 6th-best at their respective positions by ProFootballFocus’s advanced metrics, and with Bryant, Atyhba Rubin, Billy Winn, and probably even Phil Taylor able to occupy any position along the 3-4 front, the Browns are theoretically as stacked with talent there as they’ve been since they played in Municipal Stadium. They still could use at least one more linebacker and two more defensive backs, but a front like they have now should go a long way toward covering up holes in the back end.

While at least a year or two late, it’s impossible not think that yesterday’s was just the kind of talent infusion that Eric Mangini envisioned when he set into motion his bold, comprehensive and far-sighted organizational rebuilding plan when Randy Lerner told him he’d have five years five years ago. Here’s hoping the new regime makes the most of the opportunity that Mangini made possible for them.

Believeland

Matt Borcas will be here tomorrow Friday with more on the new additions and related draft implications.

Images via @BrianMFloyd and @Samer_K.

  • BIKI024

    makes ZERO sense to move Phil in Year 3 of his 4 year rookie deal. will be very hard to get a player of his caliber for a measly $2m. maybe if he doesn’t fit into their longterm plans it would be wise to get some value for him next offseason, but at this point it seems premature. you can never have enough “big men who can run”

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      I’m not sure how well Phil can run but I didn’t mean to suggest they should move him. I was just pointing out that he’s probably versatile enough to play end as well as DT.

      • BIKI024

        wasn’t suggesting you were suggesting they move him, was just making a point since many people on twitterverse, radio, etc had suggested as much. if anything Rubin may be the odd guy out because of his contract, $6m per the next 2 seasons, but it seems seems wise to keep them all intact and unleash the hounds on the opposition.

        • Petefranklin

          If Rubin goes then the rest of those guys fold like a card house built in the muny lot in January.Rubin does the dirty work to make all the others look better on the line.

          • MichaelTheRed

            This I have to agree with. But I think that does change this year. Taylor is making some real improvements, if he stays healthy him and Rube are gonna be a terror. It’s old hat hear but fck, we could have run a nasty nasty nasty 4-3. We could have put bryant as one of the DE’s and drafted an edge rusher. Not a big Ansah fan especially for our current 3-4, but with the 4-3 we could run now….I might draft that kid as a pure edge guy. Let him learn how to stop the run over a couple seasons.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    NOTE THE FOLLOWING COMMENT IS ONLY DIRECTED AT IDIOTS.

    Autodelete engaged for any negative reference to the 2009 draft.

    Not that it has significant relevance at all here (except to idiots) (the
    Browns were obviously progressing mightily under Mangini, 2009 draft
    notwithstanding), but count how many teams did better than getting one Pro-Bowl level starter out of the first two rounds of that godforsaken draft.

    Naturally, farsighted picks of character guys are much less likely to work out when the rug is pulled out from under the 5-year plan after 3 months, but it’s also worth noting (AGAIN) (for idiots), that Robiskie was a local kid who was widely touted as the most NFL-ready receiver in that draft, the Browns knew they needed receivers, and who knows how those guys might have developed had they had a chance to play in a functional NFL offense with say a D-plus level QB and C-minus level colleagues in the receiving corps.

    • BIKI024

      yeah but they had DABES!

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        THE PATS DRAFTED RON BRACE AND DARIUS BUTLER BEFORE THE BROWNS PICKED MASSAQUOI. FIAR BELACHECK!!1!

        • rodofdisaster

          BRING BACK DREW BLEDSOE!

    • Beeej

      Couldn’t you just put a disclosure every time you mention Mangini’s* awesomeness?

      *The coach not the GM.

    • atdietz80

      Paul Kruger was taken in the second round of the draft that preceded the 2010 draft. Nice job by the Ravens after Robiskie, Mo Mass, and Veikune were off the board.

  • Brian Sipe

    Get rid of the drunk picture of Bryant… it is over played…

    I am sure if someone wanted to give up a lot(2nd or 3rd rounder) the Browns would listen, but I assume Taylor and Rubin are both here to stay

    • BIKI024

      2nd or 3rd rounder for a guy we drafted in 1st round 2 years ago that is only owed $4m the next 2 seasons??? good grief, well maybe Lombardi is as dumb as some as you people think.

      • Steve

        The guy missed an important stretch of developmental time, and may not be the same player he was before the injury. I know this is biki-land, but there are some downsides.

        • BIKI024

          biki-land? this is lebron’s world and i just live in it.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Agree to disagree re: how well the Bryant mugshot is playing here.

      • http://twitter.com/ChrisInCLE Chris Mc

        Especially seeing as how he was just named the Pope.

    • thebearchoo

      I heard this morning that Bryant went the Harvard and it really made me lean back in my chair and assess where I’ve gone wrong in my life.

      • MichaelTheRed

        bwwaaahaahahahahaahahhahahaahahaha

  • Bryan

    Quote of the year: ” Brandon Weeden/Derek Anderson quarterback competition wouldn’t just cause the space-time continuum to collapse on itself…”

    Wow. Anderson vs. Weeden.

    • BIKI024

      we’re in the market for a backup, wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to bring in a guy who has been in the system for 4 years and can help Weeds out. but of course i guess it comes down to how big of a distraction Chud thinks it will be since so many fans seem to have a bad taste in their mouth of The Moose.

      who are the other options anyhow? seems unlikely Mallett is going to be traded.. Matt Cassell? a rookie? Colt? unfortunately beggars can’t be choosers and for all the reasons above I wouldn’t mind seeing DA back in a Browns uniform, as only the backup of course.

      • nj0

        And actually, bringing in DA as backup might not be so bad. A lot of the Browns faithful still hate him so they’ll probably be less quick to call for him as starter.

        • BIKI024

          actually DA re-signed with Panthers last night..

          • nj0

            Thanks. Kinda disconnected. Kinda hate the NFL off-season actually.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        #FITZ4BROWNS

        • BIKI024

          i’d be down for that. Homeboy got a huge signing bonus last year so hopefully he will come in for a reasonable rate.

        • CleveLandThatILove

          The Brainiac Kids.

  • nj0

    Anyone with some knowledge of NFL history ready to go on record- which QB controversy contained the two most cumulatively terrible QBs?

    • BIKI024

      i’d have to believe the QB battles of the Browns for the past 14 years has had several cumlutively terrible QBs, if not worse than all the rest of them combined.

      • nj0

        I was thinking more mano a mano controversies, but fair enough. I remember Craig Krenzel being involved in a Chicago QB controversy. That’s pretty low.

        • Bryan

          Quinn v. Anderson is tough to top.

          Quinn Career Stats: 54%, 12 TD, 17 INT, 5.5 YPA, 64 rating

          DA Career Stats: 53%, 53 TD, 55 INT, 6.4 YPA, 69 rating.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            And Mangini will be raked over the coals for centuries for not having handed the starting job to one of these clowns at the break of camp. It’s obviously become far too easy for some folks to forget how bad it was here.

          • Bryan

            Agreed. Stealing a line from Usual Suspects: “The greatest trick Mangini ever pulled was convincing the world you could win 4 straight games without a QB.”

          • rodofdisaster

            I so wish I had my comments from the message boards back then. I was livid. Telling the difference between those two was like trying to guess the number of jelly beans in the jar. A couple of clowns….and time bore that out.

          • Beeej

            Anderson v. Fry? We all know who Dawg Pound Mike was rooting for.

  • fubar

    Aaaahhhh, the glorious autodelete feature. For those times when rational logic and fact eviscerate your argument but you are too arrogant and stubborn to admit that you might be wrong about something.

    Autodelete…. it’s like book bonfires for teh interwebs!

  • IRISHLOUDMOUTH

    PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT 1 DRAFT AS IF IT COMPLETELY BURIED THE FRANCHISE ARE INTELLECTUALLY BANKRUPT AND SHOULD BE CONSIDERED MENTAL MIDGETS. IF YOU WANT SOMETHING TO BLAME, BLAME THE 10 SHITTY DRAFTS THAT TOOK PLACE BEFORE 2009. THANKS.

  • Beeej

    Sorry to hijack but I’m assuming most of the regular visitors to this environmentally conscious, anti-fracking, Cleveland sports filled blog are probably against GMO as well. I just wanted to spread the word. http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/stop_the_monsanto_protection_act_today_senate/?akid=765.491842.oadUEn&rd=1&t=9

    • Petefranklin

      If they can engineer a tomato that wont split in the desert heat, Im all for it. Remember global warming is coming to a city near you. That is one thing I truly miss about Cleveland, growing tomatoes. Some peolpe say that you can grow here in Vegas with a lot of effort but it hasn’t worked very well for me.

  • dubbythe1

    Ok, Our line is looking Beastly now, good talent and great depth, need them to gel though.
    So whats next? I’m hearing rumors of Chudz TE project from Carolina coming over… who is going to break the ice with CB’s?
    Is there even a REMOTE chance #4 signs and finishes his career in Orange and Brown?

    • BIKI024

      rumor is that we’re going after Talib..

  • BIKI024

    Cleveland Indians (Harlem) Shake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE1ADwbo5Ls

    it’s at 304 views now, how quickly till 100k??

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns
    • BIKI024

      econ major no less!

      • MichaelTheRed

        Econ? The article say’s psychology.

        Anyway, how do you get in trouble at Harvard? I mean I understand the ACC and SEC where you have all your gangbanging buddies nudging you to go out to da club and get up in some. But what nefarious temptations are you warding off in Cambridge, MA? And one that he still won’t disclose to this day what he got caught for…?? I think this is what my uncle was talking about with the scuttlebut in Raider nation about the kid….he’s a wild card. Hey it could work out real well who knows.

        • Steve

          I’m not sure there is anything more naive than thinking the trust fund babies aren’t getting their noses dirty too. They just do a better job of covering it up.

          • MichaelTheRed

            I’m not sure there’s anything more confusing than trying to equate the streets of Miami with cambridge, MA. Those SEC and ACC kids are targets the minute they enter the program. And that’s not even talking about any gang affiliations that come up in some of these schools. Of course you can get into trouble in Cambridge Massachusetts if you really really wanna. Just on PED’s those kids get approached constantly by dealers. IMO the biggest schools look the other way on PED’s but tehre’s a certain element you get involved with when you go through back channels to get that stuff. One of my kids best friends played D2 ball and had to deal with that stuff….big time D1 ball? The pressure is unimagineable.

          • Steve

            If there is anything causing confusion, it is the assumption that all ACC/SEC schools are in Miami. Many are in lily-white quiet towns like College Park and Chapel Hill. Meanwhile, Boston is far from void of “nefarious temptations”.

            PED’s exist in the northeast too, and rich kids who have seen the benefits of taking shortcuts to success seem like the ideal candidates to push PEDs to.

          • MichaelTheRed

            Ok, not just Miami…Baton Rouge, Tallahasee,Gainesville. Just for starters. I’ll take being dropped off in the middle of the night “anywhere” in Cambridge Ma then certain area’s of the aforementioned cities. Again, you can get into trouble anywhere you want…but it isn’t in your face day in and day out like it is at those schools. It’s not even close enough to merit further discussion…seriously. Those schools have a hell of a time keeping their major sports athletes out of trouble….but at the same time they use that lifestyle as part of their recruiting efforts. You can’t even remotely compare what happens on those campus’s with the Ivy league campus’s in Cambridge.

        • The Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs

          Don’t underestimate the rough and tumble nature of Cambridge, MA. The live Rocky Horror Picture Show theater can get more than just a little out of control most nights.

  • MichaelTheRed

    hey browns, can I inside linebacker this offseason? thanks.

    • MichaelTheRed

      otherwise I’m going to start having anxiety attacks that there’s a possibility they’re thinking of taking Teo at #6. Preposterous I know, but this is the Browns.

      • BIKI024

        we have D’qwell on one side and on the current roster have JMJ, Gocong (if healthy by OTA), Robertson and Fort. I see no reason they would take Teo (or any ILB prospect) at #6 with those options right there. but if they traded down into the teens and picked up Teo there, as long as we got an extra 2nd rounder or something i don’t think that’s the worst move to make.

        at this point i would love to take Milliner there at 6, hopefully he’s there. if not then maybe move down for an ILB..

        • MichaelTheRed

          that was exactly my thoughts, if Mill is gone there’s no reason to stay at 6. But there’s plenty of teams that would move up to take some of those OLB/DE prospects. The Giants and Jets just for starters, both of them want either Werner or Ansah. We could ding them up pretty good for the 6 spot. If we do trade down and Teo is there, sure why not. If he’s not though what then? Just for shits and giggles, cause I already think we’re carrying too much DL, what if Hunt is there later in the 1st when we pick? I’m not a huge fan of his, his tape is so-so except for his FG blocking skills. But he could be a menace if he gets up to around 300lb’s and keeps most of that speed. So if Teo and Hunt are on the board, who do you take? Both are kind of projects at this point.

          • trashycamaro

            Lombardi likes the Giants philosophies of 1. build from the line out; 2. you can never have enough D-Line/Pass Rushers. I really would not be surprised if we still went DE/OLB, even with Grove in the mix, especially for someone like Ansah.

          • MichaelTheRed

            I’d prefer Jordan or Werner over Ansah. Ansah would be an AWESOME 2nd round sleeper for someone….just really iffy for me to take him at 6. He has real potential to be a massive flameout, but he could also be an utter stud.

  • jpftribe

    DA resigned with the Panthers, another case of MKC being plugged in.

    Kolb is going to get cut, untradeable with that contract. Hmmm….

  • atdietz80

    Cleveland Frowns. Rewriting history since 2009.

  • MichaelTheRed

    does Krugers really poor rating against the run worry anyone else? I’m on the fence. You have to think his pass rushing is gonna fall off cause we don’t have a defense like the Ravens. So is 10 or so sacks going to offset being one of the worst rated OLB’ers against the run? I actually don’t understand why, he’s a monster, he should be able to squat in all the run lanes and stack up at the point easily. His weight isn’t all in height either, he’s not lanky….he’s built like a tank. I dunno, maybe it’s something he can learn but I was always told stopping the run is almost something instnctual….like there’s only so much they can teach you and then it’s just how good is your nose for the game.

    • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

      I’m undecided on that, really. Rush OLB’s are really there to do one main job – terrorize the QB. Does anyone care too much how well, say, Dwight Freeney plays the run? I’m no 3-4 expert, but I’ve heard it said that the ILB’s are more responsible for stopping the run; that is, actually tackling the ball-carrier. The OLB’s job is to force the run back inside if it comes their way, the rest of the D can flow to the ball. Can Kruger do that? What does the tape show?

      • trashycamaro

        Yeah, Freeney’s days as a DE were based on building a lead behind Peyton then him + Mathis pinning their ears back to hit the QB. Indy was never a particularly strong defense. Freeney was a failure as OLB.

        Remember, this is part of the reason Kruger was not a starter.

        • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

          Absolutely. I only used Freeney as an example because he is, without question, a one-trick pony; but coaches recognize the value of that trick! QB pressures/hits disrupt the timing of the offense, and sacks kill drives and/or cause turnovers.

          Remember that one golden playoff year? We had Jamir Miller crushing QB’s every week – was he a great OLB/DE? Nope, but the effect was pretty dramatic. The next year he gets hurt and the D suffered a lot. I’d rather have the guy who consistently roughs up the other guy’s QB and might be a bit of a liability against the run, than watch the slow-motion pass rush give the QB all day to throw. If the rest of the D contains the run, everything will be fine.

      • MichaelTheRed

        no ur absolutely right, the OLB has to stack up at the point and force the run inside at the minimum. The best guys, like Harrison, can disengage from the blockers and either make the tackle or at the least be in on it. I know the rush OLB’ers main job is to rush the qb….but he “has” to be decent against the run. Aldon Smith is obviously a fantastic pass rusher, as long as Justin is in there with him apparently, but he also is decent at not getting blown out of the run lanes…which he doesn’t get alot of credit for. He’s a big reason why the 49′ers ILB’ers make as many tackles as they do. A good defense is synergistic and not reliant on one or two star players on every down. Not taking anything away from Bowman or Willis, but if the OLB’ers aren’t at least serviceable in routing traffic to the inside or stretching the angles out when a runner does bounce….the ILB’ers don’t eat, no matter how good they are.

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