By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
Extra Points …
File this: A source says that efforts by the Browns to sign tight end Jordan Cameron to a long-term contract have snagged already. The Browns have had two different offers rejected by Cameron, who is in the last year of his contract.
After the first practice of coach Mike Pettine’s voluntary veteran minicamp on Tuesday, Cameron declined to characterize negotiations in any way.
“That’s business stuff,” he said. “I can’t think about that. I’ve got the season to play and my business people handle that. I can’t really say anything about it. I’ve got to play hard and really focus on this right now.”
Cameron would not even address whether he wants to get contract talks out of the way before the season starts.
Center Alex Mack had the same attitude last year. After owner Jimmy Haslam blew up football operations – interrupting contract talks -- the new regime gave Mack the transition tag. The Browns matched an offer sheet for $42 million over five years signed by Jacksonville, which can be voided by Mack after two years for $18 million.
The source says Cameron’s rejection of the two Browns’ offers may have more to do with a desire to return to the West Coast than quibbling over dollars.
In any case, the Browns could use the franchise tag on Cameron in 2015. But they have other core veterans with contracts expiring this season to consider, also, such as cornerback Joe Haden, linebacker Jabaal Sheard, nose tackle Phil Taylor and defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin.
For his part, Cameron does not intend to rest on the laurels of his first Pro Bowl season.
“Got to do better,” he said. “Lot of stuff to work on. I’m not anywhere near where I can be. I still got a lot to learn and I will. I’ll keep working my butt off, like I always have and still stay hungry. I still have a lot to prove to myself, and I’m willing to work.”
Hoyer’s working: Everyone has said quarterback Brian Hoyer is ahead of schedule in his recovery from ACL surgery about six months ago in October, and Tuesday the proof was there. Hoyer was agile and assertive in doing exercises and 7-on-7 drills while practice was open to media. Hoyer was unfazed by a bulky brace on his right knee and did not appear restricted in any movements.
“I thought he looked good,” Pettine said. “It’s not a surprise because the Phase 2 work (of the offseason program), we’ve been able to do a lot of individual stuff with him, too. As we’ve said, he’s ahead of schedule.”
Pettine said Hoyer has been cleared for individual and 7-on-7 work but won’t be exposed to 11-on-11 activity until the second team minicamp in June, at the earliest.
“I think that’s going to be based on how he progresses,” Pettine said. “I don’t think there will be any limitations once he gets to training camp.”
Hoyer said, “It was awesome. I felt really good, which was no surprise to me. I was begging him to let me take the team. It’s just good to play football again.”
We’ll have more on Hoyer Wednesday morning on ESPNCleveland.com.
Brownie bits: Quarterbacks Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen participated on a tryout basis. Pettine said that one will be signed following the three-day minicamp. Young, who turns 31 May 18, was with the Tennessee Titans when Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains held the same job with them. Thigpen, 30, was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs after his release from Minnesota in 2007 when Browns GM Ray Farmer was Chiefs director of pro personnel director … Pettine said that Mitchell Schwartz will remain at right tackle and went a step further. “Mitchell’s a guy, we were happy with what he put on tape last year,” Pettine said. “We’ll potentially address it in the draft but I don’t really see tackle right now as a position of need.” ... Chris Faulk, who was "redshirted" in 2013 after having ACL surgery his last year at Louisiana State, is working at guard. The old regime earmarked Faulk at right tackle ... Defensive end Desmond Bryant was excused for personal reasons. Pettine said it had nothing to do with Bryant's surgical procedure in December to correct an irregular heartbeat. Bryant has participated in the offseason program ... Anyone worried about receiver Josh Gordon making it through the offseason after his big year can breathe easier. "He's been here. He's worked hard. He's really gotten after it in the meeting room and on the field, as well. He's got a lot to learn. It's a new system, but he's been very open to coaching, to hard coaching. I think that will show up in the fall in his play."
|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. Use the hashtage #HeyTony on Twitter or email your “Hey Tony” questions to email@example.comFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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