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Marla Ridenour on Sports

So this is what not going crazy feels like

By Marla Published: March 14, 2012

Browns general manager Tom Heckert warned fans what would happen.

Or in this case, what wouldn’t happen.

Evidently long-devoted followers of Northeast Ohio’s pro football team didn’t realize what not “going crazy” feels like.

It feels like the Browns are more worried about dumping salaries (i.e. Tony Pashos, Eric Steinbach) than shoring up holes (wide receivers or a right tackle, anyone?).

It feels like the Browns are going to pass on a logical alternative at quarterback (Packers backup Matt Flynn) to give Colt McCoy another year to compete with anti-mentor Seneca Wallace or to develop another rookie (Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden).

It feels like the Browns are going to let one of their biggest playmakers on defense (safety Mike Adams, seven interceptions in the past four years) explore his options because they weren’t the regime that signed him. (Adams tweeted Wednesday he was flying to Denver.)

It feels like the Browns had enough of the drama from running back Peyton Hillis, even though his former Browns offensive coordinator, Kansas City’s Brian Daboll, wanted him back. (The Chiefs signed him Wednesday).

It feels like no one except ex-Bengals defensive end Frostee Rucker wants to come to Cleveland, not even someone who grew up in the area like free agent receiver Mario Manningham of Warren. (Asked by if he would consider the Browns, Manningham said, "Um, not really. Not to put the organization down, but a lot of players that's not one of their top choices, because everybody says how cold it is in Cleveland and their (status) team-wise.”)

It feels like the Browns are plodding along with their five-year plan (perhaps because owner Randy Lerner isn’t pushing for urgency?) when everyone else is operating at breakneck pace in a win-now league.

It feels like the Browns are trying to get everything to come together at the right time, like the Indians did when they opened Jacobs Field in 1994, but fans fear they might be dead by the time it happens.

Free agency is not even two days old. Getting outbid by the Redskins in the RG3 sweepstakes still stings. Perhaps the anger and frustration over the Browns’ seeming inactivity will subside in a week, when a few less costly free agents may have signed, or in just over six weeks, when a new class of draft choices begins arriving.

But right now I feel like the Browns’ frustrated fans. Right now I’d rather go crazy, consequences be damned.



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