The Browns fired director of player engagement Aaron Shea tonight, a team spokesman confirmed.
Shea, who spent the past three years in the role and worked for another three years as a sales associate in suite operations, announced his dismissal via Twitter.
“Browns nation my 9 lives have run out tonight,” Shea tweeted. “They fired me tonight and it has been a good run. Going to miss being around the guys!”
Shea played tight end for the Browns from 2000-05 after they drafted him in the fourth round out of the University of Michigan.
“The Browns would like to thank Aaron for his years of service to the team,” the spokesman said. “The organization is going to be moving in another direction with the player-engagement role.”To read more or comment...
Browns starting defensive end Desmond Bryant announced today via Twitter that he has received medical clearance to return to football after undergoing a cardiac ablation Dec. 6 at the Cleveland Clinic.
“Everybody has been asking about my health,” Bryant tweeted. “The doctor gave me full clearance, and I am currently preparing for a very successful 2014 season!”
Everybody has been asking about my health. The doctor gave me full clearance and I am currently preparing for a very successful 2014 season!
Asked about Bryant’s announcement, a team spokesman said, “He continues to make excellent strides toward a full recovery.”To read more or comment...
The Browns have struck a deal on a contract extension with kicker Billy Cundiff, the team confirmed this afternoon.
Cundiff will sign a one-year contract worth $1.02 million, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported today. Cundiff was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent when the market opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday, but the Browns have secured his services for another season.
Cundiff, 33, played all 16 games last season as Phil Dawson’s replacement. Dawson spent 14 seasons with the Browns before the previous regime of former CEO Joe Banner and ex-General Manager Mike Lombardi let him walk in free agency. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers.
Last season, Cundiff made 21-of-26 field goals (80.8 percent) with one blocked. He was 2-of-4 on attempts of 50 yards or longer. Cundiff missed his lone game-winning attempt, a 58-yard try Dec. 8 on the road against the New England Patriots. He made all 32 extra-point kicks.To read more or comment...
The Browns have extended a contract tender to inside linebacker Craig Robertson as an exclusive-rights free agent, a team spokesman confirmed.
Exclusive-rights free agents are players with fewer than three accrued seasons. They don’t have negotiating power and must stay with a team if they’re tendered.
So Robertson will return to the Browns for the 2014 season after serving as a full-time starter last year. According to the collective bargaining agreement, his salary for the upcoming season will be $570,000, and he’ll become a restricted free agent next year.
Robertson, 26, started the 14 games in which he appeared last season and missed the other two with a sprained knee. Despite ex-Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s hopes that Robertson would prove to be his “ace in the hole,” he struggled.To read more or comment...
Former Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson will reunite with former Browns coach Rob Chudzinski.
Jackson has agreed to contract terms with the Indianapolis Colts, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported this morning. It’s a four-year deal worth $22 million, including $11 million guaranteed, Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 reported.
“Welcome to the Colts, D'Qwell!” Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote on Twitter one minute after the news broke.
The Browns cut Jackson Feb. 26 after the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on a restructured contract. Jackson would have carried a $9.43 million salary-cap figure with the Browns next season, which included a $4 million roster bonus due March 16 and a $100,000 workout bonus.To read more or comment...
New Browns coach Mike Pettine raised eyebrows Monday night at the Cleveland Auto Show when he revealed that the Browns didn’t conduct a formal interview with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Well, actually, the Browns didn’t conduct formal interviews with any quarterbacks at the combine, Vic Carucci said. Carucci co-hosts the team’s radio show, Cleveland Browns Daily, with Nathan Zegura on ESPN-850 (WKNR). The Browns' lack of quarterback interviews at the combine was a topic during Tuesday's show.
The Browns plan to interview quarterbacks when they host them at their facility during pre-draft visits. They’ve opted to use that strategy because they feel many answers are rehearsed during the 15-minute formal interviews done at the combine. The Browns want genuine responses, and they believe that’s especially important with quarterbacks.
"I really want to find out from any player, who he is, how would he define himself?" new Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said at the combine. "What would he say is his core character makeup? What does he think of his opportunity to play in the National Football League? Is it a privilege? Is it an honor? Is it a right and how does he see himself impacting, not only his individual performance in the game, but how does he impact his teammates and what does he bring to the table that is going to demonstrate the other guys around him can have success? Football is probably the biggest team sport. And from that perspective, I need guys that understand the team concept and how to affect their teammates in a positive way."To read more or comment...
The Browns have a safety dilemma they’ll need to work through if they want to protect their defense’s chances of succeeding this year.
Browns Pro Bowl strong safety T.J. Ward is on the verge of becoming an unrestricted free agent when the market opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday. His agent, Josh Arnold, told the Beacon Journal Tuesday that he began engaging in detailed contract discussions with the Browns last month at the NFL Scouting Combine and that he’s open to talking more despite no agreement being reached.
Meanwhile, Buffalo Bills three-time Pro Bowl free safety Jairus Byrd is also scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent Tuesday. Byrd spent this past season with new Browns coach Mike Pettine, who served as the Bills’ defensive coordinator for a year. During the combine, Pettine called Byrd an outstanding player and said he had a great time with him in Buffalo.
Ward and Byrd were second-round draft picks and teammates at the University of Oregon, but the possibility of them reuniting in the NFL is extremely remote because it doesn’t make sense for a team to devote a ton of money to the safety position.To read more or comment...
Alabama State running back Isaiah Crowell told the school’s official athletics website that the Browns have him on their pre-draft radar.
“I have talked with the Browns and the [Oakland] Raiders, and the [Baltimore] Ravens, I have talked to several times,” Crowell said.
NFLDraftScout.com projects Crowell as a fifth- or sixth-round pick. The 5-foot-11, 224-pound Crowell posted an official time of 4.57 seconds in the 40-yard dash last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Crowell began his collegiate career at the University of Georgia. But he was arrested in 2012 for multiple felony weapon charges, which were dropped, and dismissed from the program.To read more or comment...
The Browns unveiled their important dates for this offseason today.
Because the Browns have a new head coach (again), they are able to conduct an extra veteran minicamp before the draft.
The key dates are listed below.
March 11: New league year begins at 4 p.m.
April 7: Offseason workouts begin.To read more or comment...
Less than a year after the Browns traded for wide receiver Davone Bess and signed him to a contract extension, he is no longer a member of the team.
The Browns announced they released Bess this morning, a move foreshadowed by off-field issues that manifested in his troubling behavior this offseason.
Bess, 28, missed the final two games of last season after leaving the team for personal reasons. The sad downward spiral of Bess has been well documented.
Bess was arrested in January at an airport in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and charged with assaulting an officer. The police report described him as irrational and likely on drugs. The next day, a photograph of Bess standing naked in front of a mirror was posted on his Twitter account. Also, the day before the arrest, a photograph of what appeared to be marijuana was posted on Bess’ Twitter account.To read more or comment...
Browns Pro Bowl strong safety T.J. Ward is scheduled to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. March 11.
The NFL’s deadline for teams to use franchise or transition tags passed at 4 p.m. Monday without Ward, 27, receiving one. It would’ve cost the Browns $8.4 million to franchise Ward or $7.2 million to make him a transition player.
Instead, the Browns placed a transition tag on Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, 28. The cost to transition Mack is $10.039 million, meaning he’ll become the highest paid center in the NFL if he plays under the tag.
The Browns have $56.9 million in salary-cap space, according to OverTheCap.com.To read more or comment...
New Browns coach Mike Pettine returned to Buffalo today, but he wasn’t there because of nostalgia.
Pettine, who spent last season as the defensive coordinator of the Bills, was on a business trip. He and new Browns defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil attended the University at Buffalo’s pro day this morning to watch standout linebacker Khalil Mack run for NFL scouts and decision makers.
Mack reportedly posted an unofficial time of 4.54 seconds in the 40-yard dash during the pro day workout. Last month, he tied for fourth among all linebackers at the NFL Scouting Combine with an official time of 4.65 seconds.
The Browns have the fourth overall pick in the May 8-10 draft. Although Mack is a projected top-10 pick, it would a major surprise if the Browns picked him at No. 4.To read more or comment...
The Browns announced today that they’re not raising season-ticket prices this year.
Below is some information from the team.
*Season-ticket deposits are up by approximately 100 percent over last year’s totals at this time.
*Sixth consecutive year that Browns season-ticket prices remain level.
*The Browns are believed to be one of very few NFL teams, and among a handful in professional sports, to have kept prices stable since 2009.To read more or comment...
The Browns have placed a transition tag on Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, the team announced this afternoon.
ESPN first reported the move. The NFL’s deadline to tag players passed at 4 p.m. today.
By placing a transition tag on Mack, the Browns can lock him into a one-year contract for $10.039 million.
Other teams can offer Mack a contract once free agency begins at 4 p.m. March 11, but the Browns would have five days to match it. If the Browns elect not to match an offer, they would not receive any draft-pick compensation in return for letting Mack walk.To read more or comment...