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Cleveland Browns

Free agency not over?

By Marla Ridenour Published: March 14, 2008

The Browns are searching for a linebacker who could reap the benefits of the defensive line overhaul that brought Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams to Cleveland.

Peter Schaffer, agent for five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Al Wilson, said Friday afternoon there was nothing to report, but that the Browns remain on Wilson's radar screen.

The eight-year veteran and six-year captain of the Denver Broncos has reportedly visited Cleveland and Detroit. Released by the Broncos last April, he sat out 2007 with a neck injury suffered in a collision with teammate Gerard Warren. Wilson is reportedly trying to recoup his '07 salary of $5.2 million.

Jason Chayut, agent for pass rushing defensive end Kalimba Edwards, said Friday afternoon he had not been contacted by the Browns. Edwards, who has 26 career sacks in six seasons, was released by Detroit Thursday.

Cleveland tried to sign Edwards during free agency 2006, but the Lions' second-round pick in 2002 elected to remain there. That prompted the Browns to draft Kamerion Wimbley in the first round instead of nose tackle Haloti Ngata.

''This is all pretty new, he was just released yesterday,'' Chayut said. ''We'd listen to anything.''

Asked if Edwards, a six-year veteran, would be open to a switch to outside linebacker opposite Wimbley in the Browns' 3-4, Chayut said, ''I don't think he'd be against it.'' is reporting that Pittsburgh linebacker Clark Haggans has a visit scheduled in Cleveland next week and the eight-year veteran appears to be a good fit for the Browns' scheme. He's totalled 32.5 sacks in the past six seasons.

Another linebacker available is Takeo Spikes, a 10-year veteran recently released by Philadelphia. The two-time Pro Bowler known for his intensity underwent rotator cuff surgery in December and was bothered by ankle and hamstring injuries in 2006. Spikes' agent Todd France has not responded to email or voice messages.

Linebacker Chaun Thompson, Cleveland's second-round draft pick in 2003, signed a two-year contract with the Houston Texans Friday. He made a surprise visit to Houston after supposedly closing in on a two-year contract with the Browns. Thompson can play both inside or outside, but was most valuable in recent years on special teams. He'll compete for a starting spot with another ex-Browns linebacker Kevin Bentley, who signed as a free agent from Seattle.

An Internet report said Cleveland and Detroit have shown interest in receiver Troy Brown, 36, a 15-year veteran whom New England has told is no longer in its plans. Brown underwent knee surgery before the 2007 season and played in just one game for the AFC champion Patriots.

In 2004, Brown served as an emergency cornerback for then-New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, now the Browns coach. Teammate Ellis Hobbs told the Boston Globe after a Jan. 12 game against Jacksonville that Brown was ready to return to defense. Cleveland has a vacancy in the secondary after cornerback Leigh Bodden was sent to Detroit in the deal for Rogers.


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