Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Berea shutdown

Shhhhhh . . .

It sure is eerily quiet at 76 Lou Groza Blvd. these days.

It’s so quiet, in fact, one can almost hear air slowly escaping from the hundreds of footballs at the site.

Just about everyone who is anyone is gone. Off to enjoy that rarity in the NFL world: A vacation. A chance to escape and enjoy a normal life for a couple of weeks.

It is what counts as the offseason in the National Football League. That time when those who run the Browns actually take time off to recharge the batteries and begin a countdown to training camp.

It’s the time when all the plans that have been made for the 2017 season are shelved temporarily and just about everyone takes a well-deserved break before gearing up for the new season.

About the only news coming out of Berea these days centers around why rookie safety/return specialist Jabrill Peppers has not signed a contract.

Some fans are getting a little bent out of shape, which keeps those who cover the team from forgetting about professional football for even a little bit and enjoying a little R&R themselves.

Peppers will sign a contract. Count on it.

His representatives and the Browns just need to iron out some language and the amount of guaranteed money they disagree on in the contract to nail his signature.

Peppers’ representatives also fronted for Joey Bosa last year and held him out of the San Diego Chargers’ training camp until just before the start of the 2016 season. The former Ohio State defensive end went on to become the NFL defensive rookie of the year.

Bosa’s recalcitrance to sign last year cannot be compared to the Peppers situation. He was the third overall draft. Peppers was the 25th overall selection in the 2017 lottery. Negotiations parameters are not the same.

What you cannot count on from Peppers is when he will sign. Odds are he will do so sometime between now and the season opener in early September against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

OK, just messing with you. It most likely will happen between the time the club opens training camp on July 23 (when rookies report) and July 26 (when the rest of the club reports).

Sometime in those four days, when Peppers sees his fellow rookies in camp and in uniform and being coached up, he will develop an itch that needs to be scratched.

He is too important a piece in the revamped Browns secondary and he knows it. The sooner he reports to camp, the better it is for all involved.

It would not be wise for the Browns to be pound foolish, especially with someone they expect to be an impact player.

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