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Browns re-sign 'the Pierogi Prince of Parma' Jamie Meder

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 28, 2017

"The Pierogi Prince of Parma" will return to his hometown team.

The Browns announced they re-signed defensive lineman and Parma Heights native Jamie Meder on Tuesday. He was an exclusive-rights free agent.

Meder's blocked field goal on Christmas Eve helped the Browns defeat the Chargers 20-17 and avoid a dreaded 0-16 season.

After the Browns' first and only win last season, left tackle Joe Thomas praised Meder and let the world know his nickname is "the Pierogi Prince of Parma."

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Browns to host Ohio State CB Gareon Conley on pre-draft visit same day QB Mitch Trubisky to work out

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 28, 2017

The Browns will host Ohio State cornerback and Massillon High School graduate Gareon Conley on an official pre-draft visit Friday at their headquarters, an NFL source told the Beacon Journal on Tuesday.

The organization will privately work out North Carolina quarterback and Mentor native Mitchell Trubisky the same day at its facility in Berea, another league source confirmed.

In addition to hosting as many as 30 prospects for official pre-draft visits and traveling throughout the country to conduct private workouts, the Browns invite prospects who grew up in the Cleveland area or played at local colleges to work out at their facility every year before the draft. Because Trubisky is from Mentor, he can work out for the Browns and visit them in one fell swoop on local prospects day without counting as one of their 30 official pre-draft visits.

Unlike Trubisky, Conley won't participate in the Browns' local prospect day by working out. Conley's meeting with the Browns will count as one of their 30 official pre-draft visits, a source said.

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Browns coach Hue Jackson hasn't given up on trading for QB, plus much more from NFL owners meetings

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 28, 2017

Browns coach Hue Jackson met with reporters for an hour during the NFL owners meetings Tuesday in Phoenix and discussed the franchise's quest for a quarterback along with several other topics.

Here are some of the highlights:

1. Jackson made it clear the Browns haven't given up on possibly trading for a veteran quarterback such as New England Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo or Cincinnati Bengals backup AJ McCarron.

"Until we have the guy that we feel comfortable with, that will be the face of our franchise, play quarterback the way we want them to play, we're going to keep searching," Jackson said. "It doesn't mean you're going to always get it. I think we're going to keep on trying until we can get that guy. But if we can't, then we have to continue to coach the guys that we have. But there's all kind of ways to do this. I think we all know. There's the draft that's coming up. There's trade opportunities hopefully. I think we'll exhaust every opportunity as we move forward."

Asked about Garoppolo, Jackson said, "We're going to do anything and everything we think we can, but I can't comment on other teams' players at this point."

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Browns sign offensive lineman Matt McCants

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 27, 2017

The Browns signed offensive lineman Matt McCants on Monday.

McCants, 6-foot-5 and 309 pounds, will enter his fifth NFL season in the fall.

Drafted by the New York Giants in 2012 in the sixth round out of Alabama-Birmingham, McCants has appeared in 30 career games with three starts, all as a rookie.

McCants, 27, was waived by the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 26 during his fourth season with them. The Browns claimed him off waivers from the Raiders two days later but cut him Dec. 9. He finished last season by appearing in two games with the Chicago Bears, who claimed him off waivers from the Browns.

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Report: Suspended Browns receiver Josh Gordon hopes NFL rules on reinstatement in month or so

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 24, 2017

The NFL could rule on suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon's bid for reinstatement into the league in a month or so, ESPN reported Friday.

ESPN's Dan Graziano reported unnamed sources said the expectation is that the NFL will make a decision on Gordon by late April or early May.

An NFL spokesman said the league does not have a comment on the report.

When a banished player like Gordon files for reinstatement, the league usually attempts to gather the necessary information to make a ruling within 60 days of receiving the application, but there is no requirement to deliver a decision in that time frame. Gordon's business manager, Michael Johnson, told ESPN on March 1 his client would apply for reinstatement.

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Browns have already conducted private workouts with QBs DeShone Kizer, Patrick Mahomes, per report

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 24, 2017

The Browns have had or will have private workouts with all of this year's top draft prospects.

Top-rated quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina, Deshaun Watson of Clemson, DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame and Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech are included in the group. So is Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, whom the Browns are expected to draft first overall on April 27.

NFL Network reported Friday the Browns have already conducted private workouts with Kizer and Mahomes. Cleveland.com added a workout with Garrett has happened, too.

Neither coach Hue Jackson nor head of football operations Sashi Brown attended the pro days of Trubisky, Watson and Kizer. The Browns sent members of their scouting department to those events, but the organization's top decision makers weren't there because they value private QB workouts more than scripted pro days. So Jackson and Brown will also likely skip Mahomes' pro day March 31.

In addition to working out the top prospects, the Browns are expected to host them for official pre-draft visits to team headquarters in Berea.

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Why the Browns might prefer Mitchell Trubisky to Deshaun Watson in the NFL Draft; free agency update

By Dan Kadar Published: March 22, 2017

The Akron Beacon Journal and Ohio.com podcast is back, and the buzz is pro days. Specifically, Browns beat writer Nate Ulrich has been closely watching and analyzing the pro days of quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson.

After talking about the importance of pro days, and the Browns' involvement in them, Nate offers and explanation for why the team might be preferring Trubisky over Watson. All of the reasons make sense, so if you disagree, let us know why in the comments.

This video could be the proverbial smoking gun indicating who head coach Hue Jackson prefers:

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Browns' search for safety continues as Bradley McDougald reportedly strikes deal with Seahawks

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 22, 2017

The Browns are still seeking help at safety after another one declined to join them in free agency.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting safety Bradley McDougald struck a one-year, $2 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, NFL Network reported.

McDougald, who's from the Columbus area, visited the Seahawks last week. He also visited the Browns on Monday.

Then he chose the Seahawks' offer instead of the Browns' offer, even though he'll presumably be a backup behind standout safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas in Seattle and would have been a virtual lock to start for the Browns.

The Browns also pursued former Arizona Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson when free agency kicked off two weeks ago. But Jefferson told the Monday Morning Quarterback website he signed with the Baltimore Ravens despite the Browns and New York Jets offering him $1.5 million more per season than the Ravens did.

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Browns host tight end Kellen Davis on free-agent visit

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 21, 2017

The Browns hosted tight end Kellen Davis on a free-agent visit Tuesday, a person familiar with the meeting confirmed.

ESPN first reported the visit.

Davis spent the 2013 offseason with the Browns, but they cut him a week before the regular-season opener.

Davis, 31, spent the past two seasons with the New York Jets. He started seven of the eight games in which he appeared last season without recording a catch.

In nine NFL seasons with the Jets, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears, Davis has compiled 53 catches for 579 yards and 13 touchdowns.

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Browns prioritize private workouts over pro days, as evidenced by approach to Mitchell Trubisky

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 21, 2017

The Browns have made a statement during the pre-draft process: They value private workouts with prospects more than scripted pro days.

Although the Browns were represented by scouts Tuesday at North Carolina's pro day to watch quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and other players, neither coach Hue Jackson nor head of football operations Sashi Brown was part of the team's contingent in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The franchise, though, has had and will continue to have private workouts with the top draft prospects. The group includes top-rated quarterbacks Trubisky, a Mentor native, and Deshaun Watson of Clemson. Jackson and Brown were absent from Watson's pro day last week, but the organization was represented there, too.

All 32 NFL teams were at Trubisky's pro day, but no head coaches showed up, according to the News and Observer. John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers and Kevin Colbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers were the only general managers in attendance, per NFL Network.

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