Countdown to The Draft
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By: Will Burge *UPDATED AT 5:30pm*
-Coming into free agency, the Browns had certain targets they were going to pursue. Arguably the most important of those was already on their roster in 2011.
Cornerback Dimitri Patterson has reportedly agreed to terms on a 3 year deal with the Browns. He played mostly in the slot last year but the Browns’ brass raves about his ability to play inside (on the slot receiver) or outside (one the wide receiver).
In 14 games last season, Patterson had 28 tackles and 12 passes defensed. Sheldon Brown seems to have lost some speed and Patterson would be the heir apparent to the second cornerback position on the team.
Patterson was signed last August after spending two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Patterson is 28 years old and it seems the Browns are making him a cornerstone of the defensive secondary.
Patterson's deal is reportedly worth $16 Million over 3 years with $6 Million guaranteed.
-The Browns have also announced Frostee Rucker, the defensive end who officially agreed to terms with the Browns this morning, will hold a conference call with the media at 12:30pm. Check back for quotes and updates after the call.
-The Browns new defensive end Frostee Rucker addressed the media via a conference call and talked about everything from why he came to Cleveland, his time with the Bengals, how he can help the browns’ run defense, and his past issues off the field.
Here are some quotes from the conference call:
Q. What made you sign in Cleveland?
A. “This was a no brainer. When I got in town, the organization and how it’s built and all the coaches that are on that staff and what they are trying to get to and the goals they are trying to reach, it was a no brainer. I want to be a part of something on the rise.”
Q. How much did playing time factor into the decision?
A. “It was a big factor in it. The thing we had going on in Cincinnati worked. As a player I have been waiting for the opportunity just to have more on my plate. A lot of people have already had their time and I just felt like it was my time to take control of it.”
Q. Will you be the starting right defensive end?
A. “They approached it with pretty much giving me the keys to the car and telling me that I’m the starting right end. I will probably be the oldest one on the line there and I want to help mature some of the younger guys.”
Q. How can you help with the run defense?
A. “I am a disciplined player…read you keys and be in the right position at the right time. It’s been trained and focused on for so many years that’s just what I’m bred to do. That’s one of the things I can help with.”
Q. What took so long to get to a starting role in the NFL?
A. “If you look at it that way then that means I don’t have a lot of miles on my legs and I have a big upside. It came with a lot of maturity.”
Q. How much time did you spend with Mike Holmgren in the recruiting process?
A. “I was in Mike’s office for about an hour and we sat there and had a heart-to-heart about football.”
Q. What was your view of the Browns from the other sideline?
A. “They were a scrappy group and both games came down to the wire and I was impressed.”
Q. What about the issues off the field you have had in the past?
A. “For the most part it is pretty much irrelevant. It was a long time ago and you just concentrate on putting yourself in a good position and I’m in a good place in my life right now. I’m not around any knuckleheads. I put those things behind me a long time ago.
Q. What do you think of colt McCoy?
A. “He is a tough player. He is an awesome player, a tough guy and if they build around him he can be a heck of a player.”
-Browns’ President Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert spoke to season ticket holders on a conference call today. The questions were split 50/50 between “sell me on what you’re doing” and “I love the direction.”
There were some very interesting quotes about the failed attempt to trade for the second overall pick in the draft, however. Here is Holmgren had to say:
"We were involved in that. Most of the stories I have seen were incorrect in what our offer was, when we entered the process."
"What we offered for the pick was every bit the offer that was chosen."
"I think there are reasons why it didn’t happen. There is a very close relationship between (STL front office and WASH front office).”
"I’m not sure if any offer we made was going to be quite good enough."
Mike Holmgren also addressed the team not re-signing Peyton Hillis.
"There comes a time in some player’s lives and clubs lives when a fresh start is probably the best thing for both sides. I wish him well, IM a Peyton Hillis fan."
"If (Heckert) approaches me with the same type of deal (as last year’s trade with ATL) this year, I kind of discourage it."
For more check out Tony Grossi’s piece on ESPNcleveland.com.
-Jason La Canfora of the NFL network is reporting that the Browns had reached a deal with defensive end Jaqua Parker. Parker is a 33 year old veteran who has amassed 36.5 sacks throughout his career.
Parker’s best year was in 2008 for Philadelphia, where he spent the last seven seasons, when he had 8 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Parker will be a depth guy who can rotate in throughout the game.
Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron likes to play eight defensive linemen so Parker will get snaps and will be asked to produce a pass rush. He also adds veteran leadership to an extremely young group up front.
Parker’s deal is reportedly for 1 year and worth a maximum of $3 Million.
-The Browns have officially announced the signing of TE Alex Smith, which was reported yesterday. They also announced that they have re-signed OL Oneil Cousins. Cousins saw significant time at right tackle when Tony Pashos was out with an ankle injury early in the 2011 season.
The team said yesterday that they had tendered DL Brian Schaefering and today they announced he has signed his exclusive rights tender.
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