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News » Cleveland Browns Inside Slant 2009-03-01


Cleveland Browns Inside Slant 2009-03-01


Cleveland Browns Inside Slant 2009-03-01
In a contrast from the recent past, when the Browns would grab headlines signing high-priced free agents in the first and second day and consequently overpay at times, coach Eric Mangini says the Browns will not be making a big, early splash this year.


In fact, the big splash was unloading a player, with tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr. traded to Tampa Bay.

The Browns were $14.5 million under the $123 million salary cap. That includes allocating a guaranteed bonus of $5 million to Derek Anderson next month, a $6 million bonus to Shaun Rogers and a $4.875 million bonus to Donte Stallworth. The Browns have more cap room than some teams, but not as much as they have had in the past.

"I'm not going to rule it out, but I don't foresee us being as active in the short term," Mangini said. "I've done it both ways. I've done it where we've had some guys sign in the first weekend and I've done it where we've waited a while, let the market settle and then gotten more involved. The key is just finding the right guys."

A dozen Browns became free agents Friday, including safety Sean Jones. Mangini's plan is to let them all go free and see what the demand is for them before the Browns try to re-sign them.

Mangini said the Browns will have to sign a safety in free agency or draft one if they do not re-sign Jones. Among the safeties who became free agents are Jermaine Phillips of Tampa Bay and James Sanders of New England.

Sanders isn't as big as Jones -- 5-10, 207 pounds compared to 6-1, 220 -- but Mangini knows him well from coaching against him the last three years.. Sanders is 25.

Another free agent who could be on the Browns radar include running back Derrick Ward from the Giants.

Mangini said how active the Browns are in free agency will depend on how deep they conclude the draft is in areas of need. For example, the draft is deeper in outside linebackers than quality offensive tackles. The Browns need help at both spots.

"Money is kind of comparable to draft picks," Mangini said. "If you spend big in free agency it could be like a high (first-round pick), like a low (first-round pick), like a mid-round. Try to use those resources and figure out, hey, how do we want to distribute that? How can we balance those two ways to build the team?"

Also factoring in is the Browns do not have a third, fifth or seventh-round draft choice because of trades made last year.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 1, 2009

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Syndric Steptoe Name: Syndric Steptoe
#12
Position: WR
Age: 23
Experience: 1 years
College: Arizona
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