University of Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner has an official pre-draft visit scheduled with the Browns for the second week of April, a league source confirmed Wednesday for the Beacon Journal.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the Browns are not publicizing such visits.
NFL teams are allowed to host as many as 30 national prospects at their facilities until one week before the draft, which runs April 25-27. The Browns plan to bring in the maximum amount of visitors permitted.
The 6-foot, 201-pound Milliner is a projected top-10 pick. The Browns have the sixth overall selection and need a cornerback to start opposite Joe Haden.
As a junior this past season, Milliner had 54 tackles, 20 pass breakups, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He compiled six interceptions in three seasons at Alabama.
Last month at the NFL Scouting Combine, Milliner tied for sixth among all prospects with a time of 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Milliner said he delayed surgery on a torn labrum in his right shoulder until March 12 partly because he wanted to silence those who thought he lacked top-flight speed by performing at the combine.
Milliner said he expects his recovery to take two months. He suffered the injury Nov. 10 against Texas A&M but played through it. He appeared in 13 of 14 games this past season, missing one Sept. 8 against Western Kentucky because of an injured hip flexor.
The Plain Dealer reported Louisiana State cornerback Tyrann Mathieu will visit the Browns, and ProFootballTalk.com reported Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien will visit Cleveland, too. NFLDraftScout.com projects the 5-9, 186-pound Mathieu as a second- or third-round pick and the 6-foot, 217-pound Cyprien as a second-round selection.
Mathieu, who’s trying to shed his “Honey Badger” nickname, became a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011 because of his stellar production as a cornerback (76 tackles, two interceptions, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries) and punt returner (15.6 yards per return and two touchdowns). However, he was dismissed from the team Aug. 10, 2012, after reportedly failing multiple drug tests. In October, he was arrested for marijuana possession.
Last month at the combine, Mathieu said he entered a drug rehabilitation program and hasn’t smoked marijuana since Oct. 26. He told NFL Network last week he has continued to stay clean.
Cyprien, whom Pro Football Weekly projects as a strong safety in the NFL, started every game the past three seasons. As a senior in 2012, he tallied 93 tackles, five pass breakups, four interceptions and a forced fumble.
Browns backup quarterback Colt McCoy has become expendable in the aftermath of veteran Jason Campbell signing a two-year contract Tuesday.
The Browns don’t have plans to cut McCoy for now, but they aren’t ruling out trading him, a team source confirmed for the Beacon Journal.
So it wouldn’t be surprising if the Browns shop McCoy and eventually release him if they can’t find a trade partner. McCoy is considered a good fit for a West Coast offense, but not the vertical, downfield passing attack coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner are bringing to Cleveland.
The Browns acquired Campbell, 31, to push incumbent starting quarterback Brandon Weeden, 29, for the top spot on the depth chart.
McCoy, 26, started eight games as a rookie after being drafted in the third round (No. 85 overall) in 2010. In 2011, he started all 13 games before suffering a season-ending concussion as a result of a helmet-to-face mask blast from former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison. The Browns drafted Weeden 22nd overall last year, and McCoy hasn’t started since.
The Browns also have quarterback Thaddeus Lewis under contract. They could add a quarterback in next month’s draft, but CEO Joe Banner has repeatedly insisted he doesn’t expect the team to pick one in the first round.
The Browns are entering a long-term agreement to change principal radio homes, sources confirmed for the Beacon Journal.
Beginning next season, Browns games will be aired on WKNR-AM (850), WKRK-FM (92.3) and WNCX-FM (98.5), the sources said. Clear Channel had broadcast Browns games on WMMS-FM (100.7) and WTAM-AM (1100) since the team’s rebirth in 1999. Information was not available on how the change might affect the radio network that has long included WAKR (1590-AM) and WONE (97.5-FM) in Akron.
The News-Herald first reported the new radio deal. The Browns have yet to make an announcement but are expected to do so today.
Under the new setup, coach Rob Chudzinski will have a show, and the show called Cleveland Browns Daily will expand from one hour to two hours, airing from 1-3 p.m. weekdays on WKNR, the sources said. Play-by-play man Jim Donovan, analyst Doug Dieken and sideline reporter Jamir Howerton will continue to serve as the radio voices on game days, the sources said.
Browns left guard Jason Pinkston’s 2012 season was cut short after a blood clot was discovered in his lung. Apparently Pinkston also had a blood clot in his leg. He tweeted the following Wednesday: “Great news today from the doctor. Blood clot in my right leg is 100 percent clear and gone! … Next up meeting with a specialist April 4. [I’ll] have more updates then. Appreciate all the support.” … NFL Network cameras showed Norv Turner watching quarterback Matt Barkley work out Wednesday during University of Southern California’s pro day. … As of Wednesday, the Browns had $28.7 million in salary-cap space, second most in the league, ProFootballTalk.com reported.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/browns.abj.