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2012 NFL Offseason: Cleveland Browns

Draft Grades, Season Previews, Offseason Needs, Free Agents



Cleveland Browns (Last Year: 4-12)

2012 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
DE Frostee Rucker, DE Juqua Thomas-Parker.
Draft Picks:
RB Trent Richardson, QB Brandon Weeden, OT Mitchell Schwartz, DT John Hughes, WR Travis Benjamin, ILB James-Michael Johnson, G Ryan Miller.
Offseason Losses:
RB Peyton Hillis, OT Tony Pashos, G Eric Steinbach, DE Jayme Mitchell, S Mike Adams.

2012 Cleveland Browns Offense:
The Browns should have traded up for Robert Griffin. They didn't offer enough to beat the Redskins in the sweepstakes to move to No. 2 overall - apparently because they believed that the Baylor product was too small - so they were stuck with the fourth selection. Obtaining Griffin was Cleveland's one chance to escape the AFC North cellar and eventually overtake both the Steelers and Ravens. Mike Holmgren blew it.

Cleveland was still able to find a new quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft. The front office wanted to acquire Brandon Weeden in the second round, but panicked at No. 22 when its original target, wide receiver Kendall Wright, was snagged off the board two picks earlier. Holmgren had no Plan B, so he just opted to go with Weeden at that spot, which was just too ridiculously early for a quarterback who will turn 29 in October. There's no guarantee Weeden will even be successful; nearly every single Big XII quarterback has flopped recently because the conference is what this Web site's Charlie Campbell calls the "Arena League of College Football."

Weeden can't really be much worse than the brittle, weak-armed Colt McCoy, who was only remotely successful when he had a power ground attack complementing him. Weeden will definitely have that luxury with Trent Richardson, chosen third overall this past April. Richardson, the best prospect at his position since Adrian Peterson, is a strong runner who is very good at catching the ball out of the backfield. He's seldom going to leave the field because he IS Cleveland's offense. It'll be a major upset if he doesn't win Offensive Rookie of the Year and doesn't finish in the top 10 in terms of total yards from scrimmage.

The Browns will lean on Richardson so much because they don't really have any receivers to speak of. Their best one is second-year Greg Little, who led the league in drops per target. Little is athletic and has upside, but needs to improve his focus and work ethic. The good news is that Little has reported to OTAs in terrific shape, so maybe he's overcome his lacking maturity. The Browns can only hope so because he can be a No. 1 wideout; Weeden compared him favorably to Justin Blackmon.

There is no hope with the other receivers. Mohamed Massaquoi should not be starting for any team. Fourth-round rookie Travis Benjamin has great speed (4.36 40), but he's very raw and small. Tight end Ben Watson suffered three concussions last season, so another one could knock him out for a long time. Evan Moore, the team's pass-catching tight end, has never been utilized as much as he should have because he's always had to block.

Moore will continue to assist the offensive line because that unit hasn't improved very much. The only upgrade was made in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, where the Browns selected Mitchell Schwartz out of Cal. Schwartz projects as a rock-solid NFL right tackle, but obviously lacks experience. Still, he can't be any worse than Tony Pashos, who surrendered seven sacks last year. Schwartz will start next to third-year right guard Shawn Lauvao, a poor blocker who was guilty of 11 penalties and six sacks in 2011.

The two top lineman on Cleveland's roster are easily left tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack, both of whom are among the best players at their respective positions in the league. Sandwiched between them is left guard Jason Pinkston, who is coming off a truly horrible first campaign. Fifth-round rookie Ryan Miller will push him.





2012 Cleveland Browns Defense:
The Browns were one of the worst teams in the league last year, but their defense wasn't terrible. Though they were porous against the run and struggled to pressure the quarterback, they ranked 11th versus the pass in terms of YPA (6.93).

Improving the former two categories will be difficult considering that defensive tackle Phil Taylor, Cleveland's first-round pick in 2011, has been ruled out for most of the season with a torn pectoral. There's a chance he could return in late November, but the Browns' season will be lost by then. Taking Taylor's spot in the lineup next to the talented Ahtyba Rubin will be one of two rookies - either third-rounder John Hughes or sixth-rounder Billy Winn.

Cleveland signed two defensive ends this offseason, but neither will really improve a pedestrian pass rush that accumulated only 32 sacks (24th in the NFL). Frostee Rucker was a solid run-defender for the Bengals, while Juqua Thomas-Parker is a decent situational pass-rusher, but neither will really help the Browns boost their sack total. It will once again all be up to the young Jabaal Sheard, who tallied 8.5 sacks as a rookie. Five-and-a-half of those came after Week 10, so Sheard could take a leap forward in 2012.

The Browns didn't just dish out big contracts to mediocre defensive ends; they gave inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson a 5-year, $42.5 million deal in February. Jackson was overpaid considering the amount of money (or lack thereof) that the other top inside linebackers received on the market, but he's still a really good player. Jackson tallied 158 tackles, but has a dubious injury history. He played in just six total games in 2009 and 2010.

Jackson will need to stay healthy because the rest of the linebacking corps is unimpressive. Both Scott Fujita and Chris Gocong are major liabilities in coverage. Cleveland spent a fourth-round pick on James-Michael Johnson, who may have to step into the lineup prematurely if the two starters continue to struggle. Johnson will see time right away because Fujita will sit out three games for his role in Bountygate.

With two linebackers deficient in coverage, one would assume that the secondary was largely responsible for that aforementioned 12th ranking. That assumption would be correct. Joe Haden is awesome. The Pro Bowl cornerback limited opposing receivers to a 49.4 completion percentage.

The rest of the defensive backfield also played pretty well. Strong safety T.J. Ward was outstanding for the first half of the year, but had his season conclude unceremoniously because of a sprained foot. Usama Young and Mike Adams performed pretty well after Ward exited the lineup. The latter is no longer with the team, so Young will battle it out with 2011 seventh-rounder Eric Hagg for the right to start next to Ward. Hagg appears to have the edge right now.

The only area of concern in the secondary is the starting corner job across from Haden. Sheldon Brown was decent at times last year, but he celebrated his 33rd birthday this offseason, so he could easily regress. If he does, either Dimitri Patterson or Buster Skrine will take over. The former is just a mediocre talent, while the latter barely played in his rookie campaign.





2012 Cleveland Browns Schedule and Intangibles:
The Dawg Pound is just not an intimidating place to play. Since their expansion year in 1999, the Browns are a dreadful 37-67 as hosts (10-22 the past four seasons).

Joshua Cribbs didn't return well in 2010, but definitely rebounded this past season. His punt return average increased from 8.4 to 11.4, while his kickoffs extended from 20.4 to 25.0. He scored a touchdown as well. However, the Browns surrendered two.

Phil Dawson continued to kick well, nailing 24-of-29 attempts, including an unbelievable 7-of-8 from 50-plus. He was rewarded with a franchise tag this offseason.

Punter Reggie Hodges had a solid 2010 campaign, but suffered a season-ending torn Achilles in last year's training camp. The good news is that he's a full participant in OTAs.

The Browns don't have many winnable games on their schedule. Beatable non-divisional foes include: Bills (home), Colts (road), Raiders (road) and Redskins (home).



2012 Cleveland Browns Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):

Quarterbacks
Offensive Line
Secondary
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams
Receivers
Linebackers
Coaching


2012 Cleveland Browns Analysis: The Browns are a complete mess. Their alleged franchise quarterback is a 29-year-old who comes from a conference that has produced dud signal-callers over the past several years. His only play-maker is a rookie running back, while the right side of his offensive line can't block. The defense, meanwhile, lost one of its top talents to what could be a season-long injury.

It's going to be another very long year in Cleveland. The good news is that if the Browns are terrible enough, Matt Barkley will be waiting in April.

Projection: 2-14 (4th in AFC North)


2012 Fantasy Football Rankings


More 2012 NFL Season Previews

*** 2012 NFL OFFSEASON NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***


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One of the fans 04-29-2012 04:11 pm xxx.xxx.xxx1.96 (total posts: 2)
12     14

@Walt I largely agree with your assessment of the Browns draft.
My overall grade is B-

QB B.Weeden I think is C+ not a F. Browns should have not panicked and took him at #37

OT M.Schwartz I think was a B, maybe a round to early, maybe not.

The rest of the draft I agree with.

DT J.Hughes could have been had in 5-7 round, and if someone else took him so what, it wasn't like he was the only DT in the draft. Bad spot period, and for a backup to boot.

WR T.Benjamin again same as above.

Steelers and Bengals got better, Ravens probably as well.

Time will tell however, I can only hope they mostly workout.
random 04-29-2012 03:12 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.29 (total posts: 1)
31     18

because brandon weeden is not a franchise QB. hes a 6 year QB tops. franchise QBs are peyton manning and brett favre andrew luck and cam newton who can easily start for their team for 10+ years.

Brandon weeden will only last 5 years tops considering the division he is in.

He is an excellent player but his age combined with his baseball career ending arm injury lead me to believe that in the AFC north (which is arguably the most physical division in the NFL) he wont survive for very long.
jrodbass 04-29-2012 01:54 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.129 (total posts: 1)
32     31

How you can criticize the Browns for not having a franchise QB, and then criticize them again for picking a franchise QB?
TK from Lwood 04-29-2012 01:36 pm xxx.xxx.xxx2.97 (total posts: 1)
28     66

Hey Walt!

Try to check your biases a bit... You CLEARLY don't like the Browns and you CLEARLY are a Stillers homer!!

Try to be more objective as it relates to a team who is gaining on your favorite...
Colin 04-29-2012 01:31 pm xxx.xxx.xxx0.50 (total posts: 1)
33     48

Brandon Weeden will be the Cleveland Browns starting QB this year. I have never heard of any team getting an "F-grade" for drafting their starting quarterback. So there's that.

Second of all, you base all of your grades on big boards...really? There's a reason people like Bobby Massie fell so far in the draft: people like you don't know what they're talking about and GM's do. Almost every reasonable browns fan I know wanted a RT before WR after drafting TRich and Weeden. 1)We need to beef up the line for TRich. 2)In order to be successful, Weeden needs a clean pocket because he struggles under heavy pressure. So why draft a WR for him to throw to when WE DON'T HAVE A STARTNG RIGHT TACKLE. Good analysis, Walt.

Here's another interesting thing. You gave a pick that you predicted in your own mock a B+.....if you thought that was the best pick the Browns could've made before the draft, then how does it get a B+. How can you give a pick that you predicted lower than an A. If that's not enough, you said "I can't exactly bash this pick" like you were upset you didn't get a chance to rip on the browns.
I watch film, you don't! 04-29-2012 01:14 pm xxx.xxx.xxx6.59 (total posts: 2)
19     23

For those that keep talking about Hughes being a bad pick & "only depth", you're 100% wrong.

Hughes IMMEDIATELY enters the DT rotation of Taylor/Rubin/Paxson & takes over for Schaeffering.

Hughes commanded double teams allowing Wolfe free reigns on opposing QBs. Hughes biggest asset is in the running game. Sheds blocks with relative ease & wraps up ball carriers. Browns spent a lot of time investing in being able to stop the run, an Achilles heal since returning in 99'.
I watch film, you don't! 04-29-2012 01:01 pm xxx.xxx.xxx6.59 (total posts: 2)
37     21

Walt,
The easiest thing in the world is to look @ a bunch of draft boards & listen to media scouts for info, it sure beats watching film. For instance, you gave the Bengals an A on Sanu. A 4.7 40 guy that doesn't run good routes in the 3rd? Ya, great pick. Benjamin, a 4.3 guy who has actually timed @ 4.26 before, stretches the field, runs good routes, & has good hands & you say bad pick?

My favorite is your Millen comment on the Hughes pick. Hughes demanded the double teams allowing your B- grade in Rd 2 of Derek Wolfe. Remember the name Hughes & your comment too, in 3 years. At that time you'll call Heckert a genius & say D. Peko when trying to compare Hughes to someone else.

My 2nd favorite, QBs in the Big 12 don't succeed. Well, based on history, why scout a player? Genius work on that one Walt. Let's be honest, if Weeden is 4 years younger, he's a Top 10 pick. Maybe a reach, but the Browns were already scuffed with the RG3 deal. Speaking of RG3, Big 12 QBs don't succeed yet you say RG3 worth every penny & you give an A? Contradicting & hypocritical to say the least.

If your going to grade teams, at least make an attempt to scout players rather than relying on your famous "big boards" that are done by hacks who dont watch tape either.
Tae 04-29-2012 12:46 pm xxx.xxx.xxx7.55 (total posts: 1)
19     17

this site is so damn disrespectful to the browns just because they didn't take the players in the round you expected them to go does mean there bad picks that's bs really just because Weeden is 28 29 or whatever does mean he won't be good or maybe great player
and to all the fan that hate the picks the browns selected please don't be on there jocks when they start winning this year yall phoney asses !!!!!!
Fan 04-29-2012 12:43 pm xxx.xxx.xxx1.15 (total posts: 1)
14     14

Smelly was Richardsons lead blocker
Johnnyallstar 04-29-2012 11:13 am xxx.xxx.xxx88.9 (total posts: 8)
17     22

Browns were going to take it either way. If they didn't draft a QB early we would have been slammed for going into the season without getting one, and if we did, it was dumb and not at the right time. Frankly, they got starters at 3 positions, and depth elsewhere, and that's not too bad.

The biggest negative about Weeden in the first is that we could have taken an elite talent like DeCastro instead.
Wildinmystyle 04-29-2012 08:37 am xxx.xxx.xxx.229 (total posts: 2)
107     48

Walt has an obvious bias against the Brownies, he makes a negative comment on the Weeden pick because "there's the dubious history of Big XII quarterbacks flopping in the NFL" but says nothing about this about Tannehill and Griffin picks. Wish he would be consistent in what he says about picks.
WALT IS AN IDIOT 04-29-2012 07:29 am xxx.xxx.xxx.121 (total posts: 1)
78     69

I will stop coming to this site. You bash the Browns for not giving up everything they have for RG3...who will be mediocre at best. Then, you bash them for taking their QB that they wanted. They were going to trade back up into the first round to take him anyways. If they think he is their guy...then you MUST take him.

Whether or not you think Weeden is the answer, the guy has all the tool. MORE tools than Tannenhill. The age thing is overblown.
Bob 04-29-2012 01:00 am xxx.xxx.xxx9.79 (total posts: 1)
311     202

Richardson: A+ Best play maker in the draft, if you wanna be upset that they gave up some late round picks to secure him and drop it to an A then go ahead, but I'm glad they didn't risk losing him.

Weeden: B If not for his age he would be an A because he would have more time to develop, but at 29 he is going to have to play right away and take his lumps.

Schwartz: B+ Heckerts found some nice late round talent for the oline, so I was kind of suprised they went T over WR, but it fills a need.

Hughes: F No justifying this pick. Taken way too high for a depth player, in the 3rd round you can still find starters, especially with the level of talent on the Browns roster.

Benjamin: C- Like that they got a fast WR, but pretty hard to evaluate him with Harris as his QB, so I think its a pretty risky pick.

Johnson: B+ Love this pick. Good LB depth with potential to start.

Miller: C+ If he comes in and beats out Shaun Lauvuo it will be a better grade, but if its strictly for depth then grade remains the same.

Acho: A Great value pick. He does a lot well and has a huge football IQ and is super smart.

Winn: A+ Again good value. Showed flashes, but inconsistent. If the coaches can get him to bring it this will be a steal.

Wade: A+ Another great value pick at a position of need.

Smelley: C If they plan on using him at FB this grade will go up, but if they plan on only using him at TE, he wont make the team.

OVERALL: B+
They got the best RB, a gun slinging QB, a starting RT, and a speedster receiver as well as adding depth throughout the defense and getting some great value picks in the late rounds.

If Weeden becomes a star this would be an A+ draft, but the odds are against him, however as long as he plays better than McCoy and improves the WRs then the pick will be justified.
@Weeden F Really 04-28-2012 10:54 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.172 (total posts: 2)
6     13

problem with your comment is that your excerpt doesn't mention which round he hsould have gone to the browns.
Fletcher Dix 04-28-2012 10:01 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.104 (total posts: 1)
101     14

Wow Weeden ?
Browns should of Waited till next draft to select a QB...

Matt Barkley
Tyler Bray
Landy Jones
Tyler Wilson
Logan Thomas
ect. . .

All Under 28 , and way better then Weeden

Browns really F'd up . . .





2012 NFL Draft Grade: C-

Goals Entering the 2012 NFL Draft: No one wants to play for the Browns, per certain reports. Whether you believe them or not, there's no denying that this Cleveland team doesn't appear as though it's going anywhere. There's no franchise quarterback, while the offense as a whole lacks play-makers. The 2012 NFL Draft will be all about bolstering the scoring unit.

2012 NFL Draft Accomplishments: There's nothing worse than targeting one player in a certain spot and then panicking when that prospect is plucked off the board a selection or two earlier. That's exactly what happened to the Browns at No. 22. They were set to take Kendall Wright, but then had to reach for Brandon Weeden when Tennessee took him at No. 20. Mike Holmgren did not have a Plan B.

If Weeden can be a franchise quarterback, this will be a good draft class. However, that's unlikely. He'll be 29 soon, and by the time he figures things out, he'll be in his 30s. He'll be 33 when his first contract is up. Oh, and then there's the dubious history of Big XII quarterbacks flopping in the NFL. Weeden should not have been a first-round pick, and Cleveland must be heavily downgraded for that.

Some other choices didn't make much sense. Both John Hughes and Travis Benjamin were major reaches; the Hughes pick was particularly confusing because it didn't fill a need and failed to upgrade the offense. On the bright side, Trent Richardson will be a stud, while various late-round selections provided great value.



2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

3. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: A- Grade
This would be an A if Mike Holmgren wasn't duped into trading up to No. 3. Still, he gave up just a fourth-, a fifth- and a seventh-round pick for him, so I'm not going to penalize Cleveland very much. Trent Richardson is the right pick because he's the best player available and fills the greatest need. Colt McCoy was decent with Peyton Hillis before Hillis started dreaming about becoming a CIA agent, so maybe McCoy can become competent again.

22. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State: F Grade
I gave the Eagles an F last year for drafting a 27-year-old guard, so I'm dishing out yet another F for a geriatric player. Brandon Weeden turns 29 soon. By the time his first contract is up, he'll be 33. As in, near the end of his career. This move reaks of panic; Cleveland really wanted Kendall Wright, and Mike Holmgren apparently did not know what to do once the Titans made the surprise selection.

37. Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California: C+ Grade
There were three receivers worth taking here, so the Browns selected... a right tackle? What? I like Mitchell Schwartz; he projects as a decent pro. But who the hell is Brandon Weeden going to throw to? And what about Cordy Glenn and Jonathan Martin?

87. John Hughes, DT, Cincinnati: Matt Millen Lonely Night Kielbasa Porn Grade
I mocked John Hughes in the seventh round. He wasn't above No. 249 on any major big board. He doesn't even fill a need. This is a terrible selection.

100. Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami: D Grade
Scouts Inc. had the highest grade on Travis Benjamin than anyone else, and they slotted him at No. 173. This is not the type of pick you make atop Round 4.

120. James-Michael Johnson, ILB, Nevada: B+ Grade
I mocked James-Michael Johnson here to the Browns at this very spot, so I can't exactly bash this pick. It's a good one. The Browns are lacking in depth at linebacker, and Johnson is a good range fit in the middle of Round 4.

160. Ryan Miller, G, Colorado: B- Grade
I thought the Browns would take Ryan Miller in the sixth round, so I think this is a bit high for him. The pick makes sense though. He fits the blocking scheme and will provide much-needed competition for Jason Pinkston, who was terrible last year.

204. Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas: A- Grade
Cleveland was expected to select two linebackers in the 2012 NFL Draft. Emmanuel Acho is a fine selection. He's versatile and should have gone a round earlier.

205. Billy Winn, DE/DT, Boise State: A+ Grade
Major steal. Billy Winn could have easily gone in the third round. I actually like Winn better as prospect better than Cleveland's third-round selection John Hughes.

245. Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona: A+ Grade
I thought Trevin Wade would be a fourth-round pick. He was actually No. 79 on a major big board. This is great value and fills a need. The Browns need a No. 2 corner, and Wade should be able to compete for that job.

247. Brad Smelley, TE, Alabama: B+ Grade
The Browns don't need a tight end, but Brad Smelley provides a bit of value at the end of Round 7. Ben Watson will be a free agent next spring, so Cleveland needed a contingency plan at the position.



Season Summary:
Another year, another playoff absence. Since the Browns reentered the league in 1999, they've made the playoffs only once (2002). They're the only team in the AFC North that doesn't have a franchise quarterback, so maybe that's the reason why. Fortunately, they'll have a chance to land Robert Griffin this April.




Offseason Moves:
  • Browns cut DE Jayme Mitchell
  • Dolphins sign OT Artis Hicks
  • Broncos sign S Mike Adams
  • Browns sign DE Juqua Thomas-Parker
  • Browns re-sign OT Oniel Cousins
  • Browns re-sign CB Dimitri Patterson
  • Browns re-sign DT Brian Schaefering
  • Chiefs sign RB Peyton Hillis
  • Browns sign DE Frostee Rucker
  • Browns cut G Eric Steinbach
  • Browns re-sign TE Alex Smith
  • Browns re-sign G John Greco
  • Browns cut OT Tony Pashos
  • Browns franchise K Phil Dawson
  • Browns re-sign ILB D'Qwell Jackson


    Offseason Needs:
    1. Quarterback: There are a handful of Cleveland fans in denial about this, but Colt McCoy is not a franchise quarterback. The Browns will never be a perennial playoff contender until they acquire one. As mentioned, Robert Griffin could be theirs this April. Drafted Brandon Weeden

    2. Wide Receiver: The Browns' offense is so limited because they don't have a No. 1 receiver. Greg Little could be a nice secondary option down the road if he stops dropping passes. Cleveland could consider Alshon Jeffery or Kendall Wright with their second first-round selection. Drafted Travis Benjamin

    3. Right Tackle: Colt McCoy's not that talented, but he never had a chance because he was constantly running for his life. There are two major holes on Cleveland's offensive line. The most glaring one is at right tackle, where Tony Pashos surrendered seven sacks despite missing several weeks of action. Drafted Mitchell Schwartz

    4. Defensive End: Cleveland had only one player who could consistently pressure the quarterback - rookie Jabaal Sheard. Jayme Mitchell struggled immensely, so he'll need to be upgraded. Signed Frostee Rucker and Juqua Thomas-Parker

    5. Cornerback: Sheldon Brown is on his last legs, while fifth-round rookie Buster Skrine barely played last year. Skrine could develop into a solid cornerback, but Cleveland will still need depth (and a starter in case Skrine doesn't.) Re-signed Dimitri Patterson

    6. Outside Linebacker: Add in an inside linebacker if D'Qwell Jackson isn't re-signed. Chris Gocong was recently extended. He played OK at weakside linebacker last year. He could stay there, or move to the strong side depending on what the Browns do in free agency and the draft. Re-signed D'Qwell Jackson; drafted James-Michael Johnson

    7. Running Back: Peyton Hillis is as good as gone. Montario Hardesty can't stay healthy. The Browns need a talented running back to either complement Hardesty or replace him when he goes down again. Drafted Trent Richardson

    8. Two Guards: Make it two guards if Eric Steinbach, who is coming off back surgery, doesn't agree to take a pay cut to reduce his $6 million salary. Jason Pinkston and Shawn Lauvao did a poor job last year. Drafted Ryan Miller

    9. Free Safety: Mike Adams is a serviceable starter, but he's a free agent. Cleveland could stand to upgrade him anyway.

    10. Defensive Tackle: Depth is needed behind Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin. The Browns are really thin there. Drafted John Hughes

    11. Kicker: Phil Dawson had some issues in the middle of the season, but he still drilled about 82 percent of his field goals. He's a free agent, however. Franchised Phil Dawson







    2012 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Frostee Rucker, DE, Bengals. Age: 28. -- Signed with Browns (5 years)
    2. Juqua Thomas-Parker, DE, Eagles. Age: 34. -- Signed with Browns (1 year)



    Cleveland Browns Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. D'Qwell Jackson, ILB, Browns. Age: 28.
      Re-signed with Browns (5 years, $42.5 million; $19 million guarantee)

      D'Qwell Jackson is really good if he's healthy. He played in just six total games in 2009 and 2010, but he dominated in 2011 because he was finally able to stay on the field.

    2. Phil Dawson, K, Browns. Age: 37.
      Franchised by Browns

      Phil Dawson missed a couple of game-winners in the middle of the season, but he finished 24-of-29, including 7-of-8 from 50-plus.

    3. Mike Adams, FS, Browns. Age: 31.
      Signed with Broncos

      Mike Adams is a serviceable free safety. The Browns could upgrade him, but they have way too many other things to focus on this offseason.

    4. Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns. Age: 26.
      Signed with Chiefs (1 year, $3 million)

      Peyton Hillis is a tough runner with good pass-catching ability when healthy, but the problem is that he's always banged up. He's just way too unreliable, and his fumbling issues don't help.

      Update: Hillis reportedly has thought about quitting football to become a CIA agent. Umm... what? Teams will definitely question his dedication.

    5. Eric Steinbach, G, Browns. Age: 32.
      Eric Steinbach was once regarded as one of the better guards in the NFL, but he struggled in 2009 and 2010, and then missed all of 2011 with a back injury that required surgery. Perhaps he can rebound and become an effective player again, but that probably won't happen.

    6. Dimitri Patterson, CB, Browns. Age: 29. -- Signed with Browns (3 years, $16 million; $6 million guaranteed)
    7. Tony Pashos, OT, Browns. Age: 32.
    8. Brian Schaefering, DT, Browns. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Browns
    9. Jayme Mitchell, DE, Browns. Age: 28. -- Signed with Buccaneers
    10. Alex Smith, TE, Browns. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Browns (1 year)
    11. Titus Brown (RFA), ILB, Browns. Age: 26.
    12. Steve Vallos, G, Browns. Age: 28.
    13. Artis Hicks, OT, Browns. Age: 33. -- Signed with Dolphins (1 year, $2 million)
    14. Oniel Cousins, OT, Browns. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Browns
    15. John Greco, G, Browns. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Browns


    2012 NFL Free Agent Rankings Coming Soon



    Divisional Rival History:
    Baltimore Ravens: The old Browns have beaten the new Browns in the past eight matchups.
    Cincinnati Bengals: Carson Palmer was 9-3 lifetime against the Browns. Andy Dalton is now 2-0.
    Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh has won 22 of 23 against Cleveland.



    Features to be Posted This Offseason:
    1. 2012 NFL Draft Grades (Pick-by-Pick NFL Draft Grades as well - Live on Draft Day!)
    2. Detailed season preview
    3. Fantasy football projections
    4. Positional rankings
    5. Daily updates on free-agent signings


    More 2011 NFL Offseason Pages:

    DAL / NYG / PHI / WAS /
    CHI / DET / GB / MIN /
    ATL / CAR / NO / TB /
    ARZ / SEA / SF / STL /
    BUF / MIA / NE / NYJ /
    BAL / CIN / CLE / PIT /
    HOU / IND / JAX / TEN /
    DEN / KC / OAK / SD /




    2012 NFL Offseason Pages


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Aug. 1


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


    NFL Free Agents


    NFL Picks - Feb. 2



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