With NFL free agency set to begin at 4 p.m. today, here’s a last-minute look at some rumblings involving the Browns, who have about $47.5 million in salary-cap space:
***Baltimore Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger is the name that keeps coming up at the Browns’ headquarters, per NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network speculated Kruger to the Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins could be the first major deals to surface once the market opens. This morning, the Baltimore Sun reported the Browns were “closing in on” Kruger.
***NFL.com’s Charley Casserly suggested Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook and Oakland Raiders tight end Brandon Myers might both be targets of the Browns.
***The Browns, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans have Andy Levitre, the top-rated guard in free agency, on their radar, according to Rapoport. Levitre, 26, has started all 64 games for the Bills since they picked him in the second round (No. 51 overall) of the 2009 draft. The Browns are in the market for a guard partly because they’re uncertain about the status of Jason Pinkston, whose 2012 season was cut short by a blood clot in his lung. Levitre plays left guard, the same spot as Pinkston.
***The Browns have yet to contact the camp of New York Giants wide receiver and return man Domenik Hixon, Kinkhabwala reported. Hixon, a University of Akron product, had been labeled as a possible candidate to replace Browns three-time Pro Bowl kick returner Josh Cribbs.
***Like Cribbs, wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi is expected to leave the Browns via free agency. Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reported the New York Jets are interested in Massaquoi.
***The speculation that Carolina Panthers backup quarterback Derek Anderson returning to the Browns hasn’t died.
***This is news about a local player: The Minnesota Vikings released cornerback and Akron native Antoine Winfield, a product of Garfield High School and Ohio State, Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com first reported. Winfield, 35, has made the Pro Bowl three times.