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News » Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-02


Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-02


Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-02
TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY


Two veteran players who missed 2008 with injuries might have to agree to contract reductions to keep their jobs with the Browns in 2009.

Mangini was asked whether Joe Jurevicius and Ryan Tucker will be back. Jurevicius, 34, missed all of 2008 battling staph infection in his right knee. He is healthy now. Tucker, 33, missed four games recovering from hip surgery, played against the Giants and then missed 11 games recovering from knee surgery.

"I talked to both those guys." Mangini said. "I like their toughness. I always admired, not just the way Joe caught the ball, but the way he blocked, his consistent competitiveness. The same thing with Tuck. It's consistent throughout the course of the game."

But will they be back? That might depend on whether each is open to a contract adjustment. Tucker is due to make $3.25 million and Jurevicius $2.4 million in 2009.

"We're talking to them and we'll talk to their agents," Mangini said. "We'll see how things go. We're evaluating all the different contracts and evaluating all the situations. That's part of it."

TEAM NEEDS

1. Outside linebacker: Finding a game-changing outside linebacker in free agency isn't likely. Picking fifth, though, the Browns could have their choice of outside linebackers. They might also choose to trade down and still get a starting outside linebacker, according to virtually every mock draft. Last year the Browns had 17 sacks. The Bengals also had 17. Only the Chiefs with 10 had fewer. In 2007 the Browns had 28 sacks and that was considered inadequate by former general manager Phil Savage and Coach Romeo Crennel.

2. Cornerback: Even if the Browns do not find an upgrade for starters Eric Wright or Brandon McDonald they have to develop a nickel back. They tried Terry Cousin last season, and that did not work. Cousin was one of seven players released on Feb. 9. Daven Holly could be the nickel back, but he is a free agent and is coming off major knee surgery performed in May of last year. If Kokinis doesn't re-sign Holly or determines he isn't the answer he'll have to find a corner elsewhere.

3. Running back: Jerome Harrison improved from 2007 to 2008, but he is not an every down back. The Browns could probably get another year out of Jamal Lewis if they limit his carries to 200 or 20 and give Harrison the ball 100 times, but Lewis is one of those backs that get stronger as the game progresses. Regardless, the Browns have to start developing a running back for the future.

MEDICAL WATCH: Running back Jamal Lewis had a clean-up surgery on his ankle and is rehabbing. Defensive end Corey Williams had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--S Mike Adams is versatile enough to play nickel back or safety. He's a player the Browns might re-sign at the right price, but General Manager George Kokinis and Coach Eric Mangini are mum on their player evaluation.

--CB Travis Daniels made one tackle in 2008 and will not be re-signed.

--TE Darnell Dinkins might be resigned as a backup because Steve Heiden is recovering from major knee surgery and Martin Rucker is unproven.

--OL Lennie Friedman missed all of 2008 with a shoulder injury, lost weight during his recovery and is unlikely to be re-signed.

--LB Kris Griffin has a long injury history and won't be back.

--CB Daven Holly is worth re-signing if the price is right. He is coming off major knee surgery and doesn't have much bargaining leverage.

--S Sean Jones has to be a priority to re-sign. He would get more recognition if he did not play in the same division as Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu.

--LB Willie McGinest is expected to retire.

--OL Seth McKinney is valuable as a backup but will not be re-signed unless the Browns get him for a bargain.

--LB Shantee Orr made four tackles from scrimmage and six on special teams. He will not be back.

--RB Jason Wright carried the ball only 23 times in 2008. He won't be back.

--OL Scott Young is unlikely to be back.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered)

--DE Chase Pittman (not tendered as ERFA).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: Unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.

PLAYERS LOST

--CB Terry Cousin (released).

--LB Andra Davis: UFA Broncos; terms unknown.

--P Mike Dragosavich (released).

--QB Bruce Gradkowski (released).

--QB Ken Dorsey (released).

--LB Antwan Peek (released/failed physical).

--PK Jason Reda (released).

--TE Kellen Winslow (traded Buccaneers).

--OT Eric Young (failed physical).



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 2, 2009

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David McMillan Name: David McMillan
#90
Position: LB
Age: 26
Experience: 4 years
College: Kansas
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