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News » 4-12 Browns should drop Edwards

4-12 Browns should drop Edwards

4-12 Browns should drop Edwards

Thoughts as the NFL Draft looms . . .

1. The main objection to the Browns trading Braylon Edwards is they will have no one to catch the ball this season. Fans who have e-mailed me on this topic seem to think the Browns can keep Edwards, have a good draft and contend now. They also seem to believe that Edwards will return to his 2007 Pro Bowl form because he will be a free agent at the end of the season.

2. This team has been 4-12 in three of the past five years. Yes, I believe there is more talent than 4-12. But I also think if they finish 8-8 (even with a softer schedule), it will be a near-miracle. GM George Kokinis and coach Eric Mangini want to collect draft picks, and build up both lines and the linebackers. It's a sound approach.

3. Edwards never wanted to come to Cleveland. Just check tape on that odd reality show he had during his rookie season. The Michigan man was upset when picked by the Browns . He blamed the fans last season when he was booed - saying the fans turned on him because he's from Michigan. There are too many issues with this guy, especially with his impending free agency. Not sure if he will be restricted or unrestricted, it depends on the new labor agreement. But please, let's not have any more Braylon drama.

4. Maybe, just maybe, the new regime thinks Joshua Cribbs can catch some passes. And probably, they know there will be receivers available late in the first round, or early in the second round, who can help immediately. My favorite in that category is North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks.

5. If I could get the No. 29 pick from the Giants and Domenic Hixon (who can be a solid receiver), I make the trade for Edwards. A University of Akron product, Hixon fits into the mold of a quot;Football player,quot; which is appreciated by the new Browns . He can play special teams, receiver and loves the game. Like Cribbs, he gets the value of playing for the Browns and has a burning desire to prove people wrong who underrated him coming out of college. Hixon caught 43 passes last year (29 for first downs). He returned punts for a 10.1 average. He can return kickoffs.

6. I favor trading Edwards having no idea if Kokinis/Mangini are good enough to take advantage of having four picks in the top 50. They have not worked together in this demanding capacity before, nor has Kokinis ever run a draft. But both guys have been around in the league long enough to seemingly make some good choices. Hey, it's four in the first 50 - almost any team can deliver a few starters with that many picks.

7. I recently heard this name in connection with the Browns - Utah cornerback Sean Smith. The Browns need size in the secondary, and he brings that at 6-3, 214 pounds. If the centers they like such as Alex Mack are gone in the second round, they might go for Smith.

8. I also keep hearing the Browns want more bulk on both lines, which takes us back to B.J. Raji at No. 5. Or Tyson Jackson, the 296-pound defensive end from LSU. It would be very interesting if for some reason no one expects, star Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith fell to the Browns . It would be hard to pass him up.

9. Some fans want the Browns to take Beanie Wells, but I can't do that in the first round. They have greater needs, on the line. Wells has tremendous physical gifts, but he gets hurt. And if a running back misses games in the Big Ten, what would it be like in the NFL. I'd rather see the Browns work with Jamal Lewis, Jerome Harrison and maybe pick up a back lower in the draft - and use the higher picks on linebackers, linemen and a receiver. Oh, I forgot about the lack of depth in the secondary, too.

10. Here's my fantasy: The Browns get an offer for the No. 5 pick from a team wanting Mark Sanchez. They pick up a lower first-rounder, maybe another second rounder and they also trade Edwards for the No. 29 pick. Suddenly, it's six picks in the top 50 - and that would be a lot of fun.

To reach Terry Pluto:

terrypluto2003@yahoo.com, 216-999-4674

Previous columns online: cleveland.com/columns

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

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