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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 30, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today after practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement)- “It was another good day I think. We did a lot of situational football. You saw this was the first time we did short yardage. We did goal-line and of course we ended the day with two minute. I really enjoy practicing two minute, I think it’s good for our football team. You saw there we had some winning and losing because there was good competition. The ones came out on offense and our one defense stopped them, but then they came back and the end and then got it down. The objective this time was to kick a field goal. The one-O won once and the one-D won once, and then there was good competition with the twos and threes. Inside of that drill, I think what’s good is there’s a lot of organization and the mechanics of it are important. There’s also a lot of good conditioning in that drill because it can be tiring for those receivers running route after route at the line of scrimmage so we got a lot done there. There are plenty of mistakes in there and things that we need to clean up, and that’s why you do this stuff. It was a good practice, very competitive. You always keep your fingers crossed when you’re practicing short yardage and goal-line because all the legs are piled up and I think for the most part we were in good shape. Now, we’ll move on to the next phase. We’ll do a little red zone the next time we practice. We’ll just keep going through the situations and building of course on the first and second down.”

(On if they are making strides to catch the ball)- “I think they are making strides catching the football. As the head coach, I’ve talked about how important it is to catch the football. Anyone you talk to will also say that. I think it’s very important and I think we are making strides.”

(On his expectations for the team with an off day tomorrow)- “It’s an off day, but it’s not a vacation day. Although, by rules, we can’t structure anything other than treatments if they’re injured, I would anticipate that they are going to take care of their bodies, and use it in a way where they’ll prepare themselves for practice on Wednesday. Typically, you see a lot of guys around the building on off days, like I saw last year. I would anticipate that there will be some guys that come in and watch extra film. There will be guys that try to get off their feet and do the treatment and the things you need to do to your body physically to get ready to practice the next day.”

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Browns training camp: news, notes and observations from practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 30, 2012

The Browns held their fourth full-squad practice of training camp this morning. Here are some highlights:

Demanding attention

Rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson strengthened his case to earn a starting job at the beginning of the season.

Starting strongside linebacker Scott Fujita is suspended for the first three games for his alleged role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal, and the Browns will need to find a replacement if Fujita loses his battle with the league in federal court.

“I’m not really worried about that," said Johnson, who has been practicing at both outside linebacker spots. "I’m just trying to come out here and play wherever they need me to play. If they need me to [be] the water boy, I’ll get the water. If they need me to strap up helmets, I’ll do that, too. So I’m just out here trying to play.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 29, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today after practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement)- “My favorite day of the year, other than gameday of course, is the first day of pads, and I wasn’t disappointed. I thought there was good banging out there. When you watch the practice, some of these guys haven’t been in pads since last year so it takes a minute to get their sea legs carrying the pads around, but I thought our guys competed well. When you watched practice, you saw the focus was really on running the football and play-action throws so there was a lot of grinding it out, which I think is important on a day like today. For the most part, I thought we practiced smart, and we got a chance to bang each other around a little bit. I thought some of the veteran guys up front did a decent job. You always have to go in and watch the tape after you’re running the football to kind of see why a big run happened or why a run didn’t get started because everyone has a gap and everyone has an assignment. Generally speaking, I thought it was good competition. Now, we’ll get them in there, we’ll watch the tape and then we’ll come out and walk-through this afternoon.”

(On who specifically stood out today)- “I think Joe Thomas does a good job up front. I thought Jason Pinkston did some good things. Obviously, I focused on Trent (Richardson). Trent hits it up in there pretty good. I thought he did a good job. I thought the other running backs flashed a little bit. I thought Montario (Hardesty) had a couple good runs, Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya. Other than the fact that I know how to say his name, I like saying it, he actually did a pretty good job. Don’t let me forget the defense. I thought our young defensive tackles battled in there pretty well. I’ve got a couple young linebackers that caught my eye so that was good.”

(On Eric Hagg being a projected starter this year)- “We feel like we have really good competition at safety. He all along here has impressed us with what he can do. Now, as a safety, of course you need to do multiple things. You have to be able to support the run. If you’re playing on the half side of the field, you have to be able to play half. If you’re playing in the middle of the field, you have to play the middle. He communicates well. You need a guy back there that will communicate. For all those reasons, he’s caught our eye. We’re just hopeful that he’ll continue to improve.”

(On his assessment of Brandon Weeden since the start of camp)- “I think he’s doing very well. Again, part of this process is getting to know the receivers. Part of the process is now executing with the addition of the run game. I think he’s doing a nice job.”

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Report: Owner Randy Lerner to retain 30 percent of Browns after sale

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 29, 2012

Browns owner Randy Lerner will initially retain a 30 percent stake in the team after he sells the rest of it to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam III, WKYC’s Jim Donovan reported Saturday night.

Haslam will have the option to increase his share in the team over time, according to the report.

Forbes reported Lerner is selling the Browns for $920 million. Lerner’s father, Al, who died in 2002, purchased the team for $530 million in 1998.

The sale of the Browns could be finalized in August, and former Philadelphia Eagles President Joe Banner is a part of Haslam's group, according to reports.

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Browns training camp: news, notes and observations from the first practice in full pads

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 29, 2012

The Browns held their first training camp practice in full pads this morning. Here are some highlights:

Running backs shine

All eyes were on rookie running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, as players began hitting for the first time. Displaying his rare combination of quickness and power, Richardson didn’t disappoint.

He started a nine-on-nine drill with four consecutive carries. Defensive tackle Brian Schaefering threw him down near the line of scrimmage on the first one. He then found a hole off Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas for a gain of about 5 yards and another crease on the left side for a run of about 8-10 yards. In 11-on-11 action, Richardson broke off a long run up the middle, and he turned a short reception in the flat into a big gain.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 28, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters this morning after the team held its first practice of training camp that was open to the public. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “I thought that was a pretty good practice. We didn’t have the pads on but they tend to get after it once they get the helmet and the protective gear. I thought we competed well. I’m just seeing a huge difference this year from last year and I’m really excited to keep moving through this. Every day is a new day and we got a lot of good stuff done, a lot of competitive work. I saw Josh Gordon play a little faster today which was good, some of the other young players I’m sure you’ve got interest in. I saw our young defensive tackles that made some plays in there and showed some quickness because, of course, we ran the ball more in these drill which I thought was outstanding. We need to see that and they did a good job. Some of the things that I am noticing now I feel good about as we move forward.”

(On Ahtyba Rubin and Evan Moore)- “You saw that Rubin, Evan and Phil Taylor are PUP. Phil, of course, will be extended. Rubin and Evan will be back quickly. They will be back quickly. Carlton Mitchell was not out there [and Trevin Wade]. They are just leg things, they will be back out there soon.”

(On Evan Moore’s injury)- “I am going to try and stay away from talking about specific injuries, but he will be back quickly. It is just part of what he was doing training and its going to take him a couple more days.”

(On seeing Josh Gordon practice for a few days)- “He’s got great size. When receivers come to this league, what most of them don’t have to do in college is bump-and-run where the corners are up. Most of the time in college, defenses just stand there and take it. In this league, of course, they get challenged. There were a couple of situations out there where Joe Haden was bumping-and-running Gordon and Joe came back and said ‘Wow, this is a big sucker.’ And on one of the routes he did a good job of getting separation so that’s what you kind of need to see. I know he can catch the football, I know he can really run when he gets going and now in this camp, because really previous to training camp, bump-and-run was not allowed in the practices so this is where you start to see the receivers being challenged and it’s what’s important about training camp.”

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Browns training camp: news, notes and observations from the first practice open to the public

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 28, 2012

The Browns opened training camp to the public today. Here are some highlights:

Browns owner Randy Lerner walked onto the practice field this morning and watched the first session of training camp open to the public as he chatted with President Mike Holmgren, General Manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur.

Lerner is in the process of selling the Browns to Jimmy Haslam for $920 million, Forbes reported, citing a source. Lerner’s father, Al, who died in 2002, purchased the team in 1998 for $530 million. Lerner had been looking to sell the team for between $1 billion and $1.1 billion, according to the report.

Haslam is a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and president and CEO of truck-stop chain Pilot Flying J.

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Browns players react to news of owner Randy Lerner selling controlling interest in team

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 27, 2012

Browns veterans Joe Thomas, Phil Dawson and D'Qwell Jackson reacted today after practice to the news that owner Randy Lerner is in negotiations to sell controlling interest in the team. Here are some of their reactions:

Joe Thomas

(On the team’s reaction to today’s news) – “I think everyone is pretty surprised. I don’t know if that was something anyone was really thinking about.” 

(On if it affects the players) – “It really doesn’t. The job doesn’t change for us, we have the same guys in the building. From an ownership standpoint it doesn’t really affect what goes on from a day to day standpoint in this building.”

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 27, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur spoke to reporters today after the first full-squad practice of training camp and the statement from owner Randy Lerner that revealed he negotiating to sell the team. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “Obviously today there was big news. I know you guys received a release from the club and I know Mike Holmgren spoke to you so I’ve got nothing to add, absolutely nothing to add. When the news broke, my first concern – when I was hired here, I hired a staff of guys to help me coach this football team so my first concern was the coaches – that they were informed of this early on and then next were the players. Those were the two grou­­ps in the organization and of course the trainers and the support staff. That was my concern so we informed them. I also informed them that the goals, the things we talked about last night in the meeting as me move forward this year have not changed not one bit, not one bit. What we’re trying to do as a football team should be unchanged by what was talked about today. We are a much better football team, we’ll be much better prepared this season. I feel like we’ve got a better group to put on the field and I think we function better as a staff, so that’s my concern and that’s what I told the players. The feedback from them is they understand that message. That being said, I am not going to answer any questions regarding today’s news. If you’ve got football questions I would be happy to answer them.”

(On the psychology of the players and staff after today’s news)- “We’re at the time of year where, as I mentioned, our focus is to work through this training camp and get this team as good as we can be to start the season and play. Everybody deals with things that distract you or adversity, that’s not the case here. We’re getting a football team ready to play. We have a very professional group of guys on this team and we have a bunch of prideful guys that understand that message.”

(On his message to the players last night)- “I expect that we’re a much improved football team. We all agreed that what we did last year wasn’t good enough and we’ve highlighted areas that, we as a team and that’s between the team and I, we need to be better and we need to work on here in practice and go ahead and do it. That’s the message.”

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What Mike Holmgren said about Browns sale

By Marla Ridenour Published: July 27, 2012

Browns President Mike Holmgren spoke to reporters before practice today about owner Randy Lerner selling controlling interest in the team. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “I think anything I would say has probably already been written. The club is in negotiations with a buyer, an investor, and it’s an ongoing thing right now. Randy’s (Lerner) number one concern, in our meetings in the last couple of days has been that it not become a distraction, if possible, for the coaching staff and the players. They have a hugely important job to do. We’re in the business of winning football games and we have a good young team that I think is on the verge of becoming what you all wanted and what we all wanted. That’s his number one concern. Moving forward, things will be written, things will be said and I would ask you to go through Neal (Gulkis) and we will try to sort it out and try to answer as many things as we go along. Obviously there are some things that we can’t talk about right now. The league has certain protocols that you all know about where they have to vote on any sort of change and those types of things. We’re following those rules, we’re in contact with the league and doing what we have to do that way, but the number one thing I think our owner wanted me to pass along to you was that this is a great community that deserves a fine football team. I think we’re getting close and he just does not want any of this to disrupt that for the coaches or the players. If there are a couple of questions I will try to answer them to the best of my ability and then I am going to watch practice.”

(On his future)- “My future is bright. Tony (Grossi), that will be answered probably down the road and you control the things you can control and do the best you can. I think we’ve done a lot of great things here in getting to this point, but we will see.”

(On if he was surprised to learn the team was for sale and when he first found out)- “I was in California this summer and Randy contacted me and gave me preliminary reports. Since that point, we have been in constant contact. He’s kept me abreast of every single thing that has been going on and he has been more than fair that way. Clearly there had to be some confidentiality involved in this thing, but I appreciate that he involved me in this. I think you are always a little bit surprised when something of this magnitude comes up I think, but it happens. This stuff happens.”

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Reluctant owner Lerner in negotiations to sell Browns

By Marla Ridenour Published: July 27, 2012

Since his father Al died in 2002, Browns owner Randy Lerner has seemed like the reluctant head of the football team he grew up passionately following.

The question of his devotion to the business was fully exposed Friday when he confirmed in a statement that he is currently in negotiations with James A. “Jimmy” Haslam III to sell an ‘interest” in the franchise. The statement did not say whether it would be controlling interest.

A University of Tennessee graduate, Haslam is president and chief executive officer of Pilot Travel Centers. Since 2009, he has owned a minority stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. That agreement was reached in December, 2008, according to profootballtalk.com.

Haslam would have to sell those shares to purchase all or part of the Browns, an NFL spokesman confirmed.

According to a 2011 story in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Haslam has worked for full-time for Pilot, founded by his father, Jim, since August, 1976. Jimmy Haslam’s wife Dee is CEO of RIVR Media Interactive, a television production company whose shows have appeared on Animal Planet, the DIY Network and HGTV, according to the News Sentinel.

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Browns owner Randy Lerner confirms negotiations for sale in statement

By Marla Ridenour Published: July 27, 2012

Here's the statement from Browns owner Randy Lerner issued by the team in regards to a possible sale of interest in the franchise.

“In connection with current rumors and press inquiries, I can report that I’ve been approached by Mr. Jimmy Haslam, who is interested in making an investment in the Cleveland Browns," Lerner said in the statement. "We are currently in negotiations and both sides have agreed to keep that dialogue and its details private.  Given that any transaction would require League approval, care has been taken so that this process will not be disruptive to the organization, in particular the football team, as it prepares for the upcoming season. We will share further details or make an announcement if it becomes necessary.”

James A. "Jimmy": Haslam III is one of three children of Jim Haslam, the founder of the Pilot Oil Corporation. The younger Haslam, a Univeristy of Tennessee graduate, has worked full-time at the company since August, 1976, according to a story in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

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Former Browns guard Eric Steinbach signs with Dolphins

By The Associated Press Published: July 26, 2012

Guard Eric Steinbach agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.

Steinbach started 124 of 125 games for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Browns in his first eight NFL seasons. He missed the 2011 season after undergoing surgery to repair a back injury he suffered last summer during training camp with the Browns.

In Miami, Steinbach will be reunited with new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, who was the offensive line coach at Iowa during Steinbach's four years at the school. Steinbach was the Big Ten offensive lineman of the year in 2002 and taken in the second round by the Bengals in 2003. The Browns signed him as an unrestricted free agent in 2007 and cut him this past March.

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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 25, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters following the first practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement)- “It was the first day, as you know, with the rookies. I think the rookies really benefit from being out here and I think the coaches benefit from getting back out here and coaching again. From what I could tell, the rookies have come in in very good shape. The benefit of having an offseason, I think we’re starting way further ahead this year than we did obviously last year because of the body of work that these guys have put in. They are actually watching cut-ups of things they did in the spring where they didn’t have that last year. We’ve got some good young talent out there. I thought the work was good. Obviously, we can’t work on tempo yet until we get a full squad, but I think the guys look good. We got them out running around and then we’ll add them tomorrow with the vets when they report, do our running test and then are off to the races.”

(On his first impressions of Josh Gordon)- “We did it privately, but we got to know Josh pretty well behind the scenes and for obvious reasons we didn’t talk about it much prior to the supplemental draft. But as you can see, he’s a very good looking young man. He’s over 6-3, 225, he catches the ball extremely well and we’re going to bring him along. There was some conversation about his quad so we are going to have to work with that as we go, but he was out here practicing and we’ll managed that. The first impressions were that he’s got a chance to be a good player.”

(On how long it will take Gordon to make up the ground from not having an offseason)- “We’ll see. From what I can tell already, he is a quick learner. We’ve kind of amped it up for him so we could get him going quickly. It’s obvious to me that he understands how to play the position. He gets lined up well, understands coverage adjustments. It’s just a matter of him getting familiar with our terminology so we’ll see. We’ll see how quickly he can do it and we’ll throw him in with the rest of the guys and I think it will be obvious to all of us.”

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Browns training camp: news, notes and observations from practice

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 25, 2012

The Browns opened training camp today with rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans practicing this afternoon. Here are some highlights from the session and subsequent interviews:

Cleveland debut

Wide receiver Josh Gordon, whom the Browns selected in the second round of the NFL’s supplemental draft earlier this month, told reporters he failed a marijuana test after transferring to Utah. Gordon previously failed two marijuana tests at Baylor and was suspended indefinitely.

Still, Gordon has vowed to stay out of trouble, and the Browns have put their trust in him.

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Browns agree to deal with rookie QB Brandon Weeden

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 24, 2012

The Browns have agreed to a four-year contract with rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, a league source confirmed for the Beacon Journal this afternoon.

Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft who's in line to become the Browns' starting quarterback, received a deal worth about $8.1 million. As with all first-round picks, the contract includes a fifth-year team option.

Weeden was seeking a fully guaranteed contract, something players selected in the second half of the first round rarely get. The first three years of Weeden's deal are fully guaranteed, and $900,000 is guaranteed in the fourth year, Adam Caplan of TheSidelineView.com reported.

The Browns’ rookies are scheduled to report to training camp today and practice Wednesday. With Weeden striking a deal this afternoon and running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick, doing the same late Monday night, the Browns should have all 11 members of their 2012 draft class in camp on time.

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Report: Browns on verge of reaching deal with rookie QB Brandon Weeden

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 24, 2012

The Browns are close to reaching a deal with rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft, and the two sides are hoping to complete it today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

After striking a deal with rookie running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick, late Monday, the Browns and Weeden’s agent spoke into the night, according to the report.

Weeden is one of six first-round picks from this year’s draft who remain unsigned. Weeden, who’s in line to receive a four-year deal worth about $8.1 million, would like a fully guaranteed contract, but most players picked in the second half of the first round receive three years guaranteed with the fourth year partially guaranteed, if at all.

Browns General Manager Tom Heckert told reporters during a conference call July 12 he was “sure” Richardson and Weeden would be in camp on time. NFL rules prohibit players who are not under contract from reporting to camp.

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Browns agree to deal with rookie RB Trent Richardson

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 23, 2012

On the eve of rookies reporting to training camp, the Browns agreed to terms of a contract with running back Trent Richardson, a league source confirmed for the Beacon Journal. The deal was struck late tonight.

Richardson, the third overall pick in this year's draft, received a fully guaranteed four-year deal worth about $20.5 million, including a signing bonus of about $13.3 million, the source said. The contract includes a fifth-year team option.

Richardson’s contract contains no offset language, the source said, which would have prevented the Browns from being required to pay Richardson the remainder of his salary in the event they cut him before the deal expires and he signs with another team.

Teams prefer offset language in contracts because it protects them financially, and players obviously don’t want it. The Browns and Richardson’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, hammered the contract out over the phone.

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Browns rank 30th among world's most valuable sports teams, according to Forbes

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 18, 2012

The Browns are worth $977 million and rank 30th among the world’s most valuable sports teams, according to Forbes.

The Browns, owned by Randy Lerner, are the 20th most valuable team out of 32 NFL franchises, according to the magazine. They also rank third in the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens ($1.09 billion) lead the pack, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers ($1.02 billion), Browns and Cincinnati Bengals ($875 million).

Here’s Forbes’ breakdown of the Browns:

The Browns have lost 67% of their games and made the playoffs just once since the franchise was reborn in Cleveland in 1999. The only team that has lost more games since is the Detroit Lions. Browns fans remain among the most loyal supporters in the NFL, allowing the team to charge one of the highest radio rights fees in football. The Browns hope stud running back Trent Richardson -- the third pick in the 2012 draft -- can turn around the team's fortunes.

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Browns' 2013 home, away opponents revealed

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 17, 2012

The Browns will play the following teams during the 2013 season, according to the "NFL Record and Fact Book," which was released Monday:

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and an AFC South team whose place in its divisional standings corresponds with that of the Browns at the end of the 2012 season.

Away: Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and an AFC West team whose place in its divisional standings corresponds with that of the Browns at the end of the 2012 season.

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Browns sign rookie WR Josh Gordon

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 16, 2012

The Browns have signed rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon, the team announced today.

The four-year deal is worth about $5.3 million with $3.8 million guaranteed, a league source confirmed. Adam Caplan of TheSidelineView.com first reported the terms of the contract.

The Browns picked Gordon last Thursday in the second round of the NFL’s supplemental draft.

As a sophomore at Baylor in 2010, Gordon caught 42 passes for 714 yards and seven touchdowns. Gordon was arrested for marijuana possession in October of that season, and he recently told the Houston Chronicle he was suspended indefinitely by Baylor after failing a marijuana test in the summer of 2011. He then enrolled at Utah, where he practiced last season but did not play in any games because of NCAA transfer rules.

Despite Gordon’s history of off-the-field issues, General Manager Tom Heckert said he did his homework and believes the 6-foot-3, 224-pound Gordon will be able to immediately contribute for the Browns.

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Browns kicker Phil Dawson to play under franchise tag after deadline for multi-year deal passes

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 16, 2012

The Browns did not reach a multi-year deal with kicker Phil Dawson before the NFL's deadline for teams to secure franchise-tagged players beyond the upcoming season passed at 4 p.m. today.

As a result, Dawson will play the 2012 season under a one-year franchise tag of $3.81 million. The Browns also franchised Dawson last year.

In March, General Manager Tom Heckert said it was the Browns' goal to sign Dawson to a long-term deal. In June, Dawson said he hoped for a long-term deal and wanted to retire as a member of the Browns.

Still, a multi-year contract has yet to be worked out. The two sides can try again after the 2012 season.

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Browns won't take advantage of new blackout policy

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 16, 2012

The Browns are among the teams that won’t take advantage of the NFL’s new relaxed blackout policy.

The policy gives teams the option to decrease the number of non-premium seats they must sell to avoid a local TV blackout to as low as 85 percent. By passing on a chance to lower the threshold, the Browns must continue to sell out home games 72 hours before kickoff, unless a deadline extension is granted, to ensure they’re televised locally.

“It’s a non-issue for us,” said Neal Gulkis, the Browns’ vice president of media relations. “Our fan support has been tremendous, and we fully expect that all of our games will be sold out and televised locally.”

The Browns have not had a home game blacked out since the final game of the 1995 season, after the franchise’s move to Baltimore was announced, but there have been some close calls. During the 2009 season, the Browns averted four blackouts by purchasing tickets along with some of their sponsors and television partners.

If a team takes advantage of the new policy, it must give the visiting club 50 cents on the dollar for every ticket sold above the lowered threshold. Visiting teams normally receive 34 cents on the dollar for each ticket sold.

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Video: Browns RB Trent Richardson discusses his mother's influence on his life

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 14, 2012

Browns running back Trent Richardson hosted his first youth football camp today at Strongsville High School.

Richardson said he had a message for the 238 children who particpated: “Never to give up, always reach for your dreams, always strive high, stay motivated and keep your grades up."

Richardson's mother, Katrina, taught him those lessons and many more. Richardson said his mother has had the greatest influence on his life, as he explained in the video posted below.

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Transcript from Browns GM Tom Heckert after selection of WR Josh Gordon in supplemental draft

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 12, 2012

Browns General Manager Tom Heckert spoke to reporters today after the team selected former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon in the second round of the NFL's supplemental draft. Here is a transcript from the conference call:

(On their reaction to getting Josh Gordon)- “We are obviously really excited. He is a guy that we saw back when he was playing in 2010. He is a guy that we targeted and we really felt good about. We are happy we had the chance to get him.”

(On if it was risky to take Gordon in the second round)- “I don’t know if it’s risky. That’s where we thought he was as a player. He is a guy that can come in here and be an eventual starter for us and make plays for us. I think anytime you draft a guy there is always some risk involved, but we think we got a good football player and we were able to get him in the second round.”

(On if Gordon’s past concerns him)- “It’s something that we really did our homework on, there’s no question about it. We brought the kid in and met with him here then I talked to a zillion guys at both Baylor and Utah. To be honest with you, I couldn’t find anybody to say one bad thing about the kid. I really enjoyed meeting with him. It’s something that is out there that we think we have done our homework on. But to say we’re 100%, we’re not 100% on anybody in the draft, but we felt good enough that we think he is going to be a positive influence on our team.”

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Browns GM Tom Heckert confident Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden will sign in time for training camp

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 12, 2012

Running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden are two of 14 first-round picks from this year’s draft who have yet to sign their rookie contracts.

Browns General Manager Tom Heckert said he hasn’t talked to the agents for either player for a while, but he still expects both deals to be completed in time for training camp. The Browns’ rookies are scheduled to report to camp on July 24 and the veterans are set to do the same on July 26. Camp opens to the public on July 28.

“Oh, yeah, I’m sure they will [be in camp on time],” Heckert said this afternoon during a conference call. “There’s a lot of guys unsigned left, so they’ll start falling into place here pretty soon, right before camp starts. But, yeah, they’ll both be here.”

Richardson, the third overall pick, has repeatedly said he’s waiting for the top two selections, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, to sign before completing his deal. Griffin recently told the Washington Post he hopes to sign his contract done in time to report to the Redskins on Monday.

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Browns select ex-Baylor WR Josh Gordon in 2nd round of supplemental draft

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 12, 2012

Browns General Manager Tom Heckert liked former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon so much that he made the aggressive decision to use a second-round pick to bid on him this afternoon before learning the order of the NFL’s supplemental draft.

Heckert got his guy, and he was willing to forfeit the Browns’ second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to make sure it happened. It’s the first time the Browns have picked a player in the supplemental draft since 1985, when they nabbed quarterback Bernie Kosar.

“We were gonna take him in the second round, and whatever happened, happened, no matter where we were picking,” Heckert said this afternoon during a conference call. “That’s where we thought he was gonna go, so we weren’t real concerned about who else was interested.”

Gordon expressed his gratitude in a statement.

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With Browns at Pro Day, former Baylor WR Josh Gordon reportedly pulls quad, runs 40 in 4.52 seconds

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 10, 2012

The Browns attended the Pro Day of former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon this afternoon at the Houston Texans’ practice facility.

Gordon is the top-rated prospect this year in the NFL’s supplemental draft, which will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday. The Browns are among the receiver-needy teams that are logical candidates to submit a bid for Gordon.

Gordon posted a time of 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash and pulled his left quadriceps while running, but he was able to finish the workout, which 21 teams attended, without dropping a pass, Adam Caplan of TheSidelineView.com reported. He measured 6 feet, 3 1/8 inches and weighed 224 pounds, bench pressed 225 pounds 13 times, recorded a vertical leap of 36 inches and a broad jump of 10 feet, 1 inch, according to reports.

So now the Browns must make a final decision about whether they want to gamble on Gordon, who told the Houston Chronicle's John McClain he was suspended indefinitely by Baylor after failing a marijuana test and then sat out last season after transferring to Utah. And if Browns General Manager Tom Heckert and Co. decide to make a play, they must figure out how much they’re willing to give up. Whichever team selects Gordon on Thursday must forfeit a pick in the corresponding round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

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NFL Players Association files suit against league on behalf of Browns LB Scott Fujita

By Associated Press Published: July 5, 2012

The NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and two other players suspended in connection with the bounty investigation, calling Commissioner Roger Goodell "incurably and evidently biased."

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New Orleans today, said Goodell violated the labor agreement by showing he had determined Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita participated in a bounty system before serving as an arbitrator at their hearing.

The NFL said the action is an "improper attempt to litigate" and said there is "no basis for asking a federal court to put its judgment in place of the procedures agreed upon with the NFLPA in collective bargaining."

"These procedures have been in place, and have served the game and players well, for many decades," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press.

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Browns DT Kiante Tripp arrested on burglary charge

By Associated Press Published: July 3, 2012

Browns defensive tackle Kiante Tripp is in a Georgia jail on a burglary charge in College Park.

College Park police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Hightower says Tripp was arrested with two others Sunday afternoon at an apartment in that Atlanta suburb.

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Commissioner upholds suspensions; Browns LB Scott Fujita to miss 3 games

By Ron Ledgard Published: July 3, 2012

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the players involved in the New Orleans Saints bountygate that he is upholding their suspensions.

For the Browns that means linebacker Scott Fujita is suspended for the first three games of the season.

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