Yesterday at 4 pm the NFL’s new league year kicked off with a flurry of free agent signings. Noticeably missing from the free agent festivities… your Cleveland Browns!
The Browns, to their credit, stuck to their word when they said they weren’t going to go crazy in free agency. While the Bears were trading for Brandon Marshall, the Buccaneers were signing Vincent Jackson and in talks with Carl Nicks and Eric Wright, and the Redskins were signing Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, the Browns did nothing. Even the lowly Buffalo Bills, who play in a market smaller than the Browns, were able to lure Mario Williams in for a visit. It’s not like he’s the #1 free agent on everybody’s list not named Peyton Manning.
Many people thought the Browns would be somewhat active and target a middle tier wide receiver like a Garcon or even a veteran wide out like Reggie Wayne (resigned with the Colts). Apparently that wasn’t the case. So obviously the Browns must be gearing up for a run at Matt Flynn to come in and salvage the quarterback position. It’s the most likely scenario and the one that makes the most sense. They lost out on RG3 so obviously they need to focus all of their energy on Flynn.
Oh wait… Mary Kay Cabot reported this morning that the Browns aren’t going to pursue Matt Flynn. They have zero interest and won’t even offer him a contract.
“The Browns have not pursued Green Bay free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn and are not set to make him a contract offer, a league source told the Plain Dealer.”
On the bright side, at least it looks like I’ll be able to dust off my Colt McCoy t-shirt jersey and get a second agonizingly frustrating season out of it. So I have that much going for me. Then again, maybe the news that Peyton Hillis is visiting the Kansas City Chiefs today cancels that out. I’m almost willing to bet he signs with them before the day’s over. A combination of Hillis and Jamaal Charles would be amazing. Must be nice.
Ultimately this all leads to the following question… What the hell are Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert doing all day long out in Berea? Honestly, can someone tell me? I would really like to know. Were they too busy filling out NCAA tournament brackets? Was Mike Holmgren taking an afternoon nap after a late night out after attending Monday Night Raw? Did they get their dates mixed up and forget free agency started?
As if all of that wasn’t enough, in an interview with Chuck Yarborough and Branson Wright, free agent wide receiver and Ohio native Mario Manningham let his feelings on the current status and league perception of the Browns be known.
Branson Wright “Have you put any thoughts into the Browns at all?”
Manningham “No, not really.”
(Silence… laughter from Chuck and Branson)
Chuck Yarborough – “We’ve heard rumors that the Browns are not looked at by players around the league as a really good place to go. Is that a true perception or would players really come here?”
Manningham “A lot of players wouldn’t. Like, I’m not trying to put the organization down. But a lot of players, that wouldn’t be their top choices. Because everybody says how cold it is in Cleveland. And there team-wise so it’s a miserable combination.
Chuck Yarborough “Does the unsettled nature of the quarterback position have anything to do with that?”
Manningham “Uh, yeah. Yeah.”
Branson Wright “Mario, what’s important to you in finding that perfect team for you?”
Manningham “Quarterback. You know, and just knowing what’s going on.”
Chuck Yarborough “How hard would it be to leave a quarterback winning QB like Eli Manning?”
Manningham “It’d be hard, but there are a lot of other good quarterbacks also.”
Well isn’t that a ginormous kick to the testicles… Then again, Manningham didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know for ourselves deep down inside in the depths of our souls. Thing is, we’re all just in too much of a state of denial to openly admit it. Although, with how things are going right now it’s getting a lot easier to actually say it.
The Browns are awful. We are the epitome of crappy football.
That’s why it’s so imperative the Browns do whatever it takes to try to fix this horrid situation and based on what we’ve seen they aren’t making any effort to do so. It would be one thing if the Browns were inviting all of these players to visit the complex out in Berea and got spurned and ultimately used as leverage to get more money out of another team. That would at least be respectable, but they aren’t doing that. There are players out there looking for what the Browns can offer, playing time and truck loads of cash money.
Then again, when you’re good at something why would you try to change that, even if what you’re good at is being the worst franchise in the NFL?