Countdown to The Draft
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By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
The Morning Kickoff …
Going, going … : Besides their six potential unrestricted free agents, the Browns have to make decisions on a few notable players who are still under contract.
The Rob Chudzinski staff surely formulated a consensus opinion on these players. But now their fates very well may rest in the hands of the next coaching staff.
Here is a look at some notables whose futures with the Browns are uncertain.
1. QB Brandon Weeden. Age: 30.
Remaining contract: $1.079 million (all guaranteed) in 2014; $1.079 million ($920,000 guaranteed) in 2015.
Hard to believe that Weeden played worse in the Norv Turner vertical offense than he did in the Pat Shurmur dink offense, but he did. He was 5-10 as a rookie and 0-5 in 2013. No coach is going to argue to keep him. But the $2 million in contract guarantees surely quashes any hope of trading him. Bottom line: Another Browns QB chewed up and spit out.
2. QB Jason Campbell. Age: 32.
Remaining contract: $2.25 million in 2014.
Nobody on the Browns rode the emotional roller coaster that he did. Passed over twice, then pressed into the biggest games of the season. Two good games. Injured ribs, concussion. Two bad games. Incredible near-miss at New England. Basket case at the end. He conceded he pressed on a couple occasions and complained about the weather the whole month of December. Ultimately, he was 1-7 as the starting QB. Bottom line: See above.
3. WR Greg Little. Age: 24.
Remaining contract: $753,000 in 2014, plus a $75,000 workout bonus.
He was targeted 88 times and had 41 receptions for 465 yards and two TDs. In his one good game against Baltimore, he gave back 30 yards in personal foul penalties. Yet he played in all 16 games, starting 13, and his 940 snaps on offense were second to Jordan Cameron among skill position players. The coaches seemed intoxicated by his size, but he played closer to his surname. Pro Football Focus ranked him 111th – dead last – among wide receivers. Bottom line: Change of scenery?
4. WR Davone Bess. Age: 28.
Remaining contract: $3.067 million (guaranteed) in 2014; $2.875 million in 2015; $2.875 million in 2016.
The Browns were so proud of this acquisition for an exchange of fifth-round picks, they rewarded Bess with a three-year contract extension with $5.7 million in guarantees. Oops. He proceeded to rank second in the league with 14 drops and fumbled the punt in Kansas City that clinched a tough loss. Bess never warmed to his new team and was another newcomer fazed by the cold weather. His season ended with two games to go when he tended to “personal” and “family” issues. Some say he simply quit the team. Pro Football Focus ranked him 108th among wide receivers. Bottom line: Just wow.
5. LB D’Qwell Jackson. Age: 30.
Remaining contract: $3.93 million in 2014, plus a $4 million roster bonus and $100,000 workout bonus; $6.4 million in 2015, plus a $500,000 roster bonus and $300,000 workout bonus; $7 million in 2016, plus a $500,000 roster bonus and $300,000 workout bonus.
The only player to log all 1,147 snaps on defense. That incredible durability kicked in a $1.4 million salary escalator, which made his contract even more of an albatross. At the end of the year, the defensive captain sounded willing to redo his contract to stay. But how far will CEO Joe Banner lower the limbo bar and ask Jackson to crawl under? All eyes in the locker room are fixed on this business decision. Bottom line: Can he survive a fifth head coach?
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to email@example.comFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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