Random thoughts at the dawn of 2014 free agency . . .
If the Browns sign Matt Schaub as a free agent, they will not draft a quarterback in the first round of the college draft on May 8. Maybe not even the second round. More likely the third round or later.
It would appear they have loads of faith that new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who worked successfully with Schaub in Houston, can resurrect the quarterback’s career, which suffered a big hit last season.
With Brian Hoyer, Schaub and Rex Grossman (strongly rumored headed for the Browns) on board, the need for a developmental quarterback is not as urgent as before.
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The Browns got a little older on defense and a lot meaner and larger. After saying goodbye to D’Qwell Jackson and T. J. Ward and saying hello to Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner, it obvious the Cleveland defense in 2014 will be hyper aggressive.
Whitner, just 16 months older than Ward, is every bit as bellicose as Ward, but a much better cover strong safety. And Dansby, unusually large for an inside linebacker at 6-4, 245 pounds, is much better than Jackson in the run game and passing game.
In adding Dansby and Whitner to the roster, new coach Mike Pettine now has two weapons with which to back up his contention that the Cleveland defense will be much more aggressive this season.
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The four-year offer sheet to the dwarfish (comparatively speaking) wide receiver Andrew Hawkins is puzzling. Yes, the 5-7 former Bengals wideout is fast and quick. But if the Bengals don’t match the Browns’ offer and he signs with Cleveland, he becomes a redundancy to the offense.
Isn’t Travis Benjamin still with the Browns? And isn’t he every bit as quick and fast as Hawkins?
Here’s hoping the Bengals match the offer sheet. Word out of Cincinnati is they will. Good.
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News item: The Washington Redskins sign former Browns guard Shawn Lauvao to a four-year, $17 million contract.
I call that addition by subtraction.
While he’s a decent (trying to be nice here) pass blocker, he is awful in the run game. The Redskins, who have a good ground game, will find that out in a hurry. They definitely overpaid for him.
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He’s 5-8 and 170 pounds, 31 years old, played for Pettine with the New York Jets and never played regularly in the National Football League. So why did the Browns sign defensive back Isaiah Trufant as a free agent?
Beats me. Teams weren’t exactly falling all over themselves to sign this guy. The Browns beat no one to the punch here. So why . . .
Maybe it’s the Pettine connection. Maybe it’s the name Trufant. Older brother Marcus has had a nice NFL career and kid brother Desmond was a first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons a year ago. Both are defensive backs.
That still doesn’t answer the question. If he makes the club, he’s nothing better than a special teams guy. If that.
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More thoughts as they warrant.