Brandon Weeden wants out

Report from the NFL Network’s Michael Silver today suggest  that QB Brandon Weeden wants out of Cleveland following more Front Office changes the third since he was drafted. He is said to want to be traded so he can compete for a starting job elsewhere with a clean slate and a more steady Front Office. Weeden came into the season as the starter but was benched after three games for Brian Hoyer but was made starter again after Hoyer’s injury but was benched in favour of Jason Campbell. He started late in the season against Jacksonville after Campbell got injured. The former baseball player and Oklahoma State star was considered a reach back in 2012 draft and never meet expectations. He has a ratio of 23/26 TD/INT since arriving in Cleveland and struggled with a slow release and not feeling pressure since he arrived. He was expected to be cut this year by the Browns or to be held onto as a 3rd string QB.

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-Update: Brandon was released and then signed to the Cowboys on a 2yr/$1.23m deal

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New Front Office

The Browns announced today that CEO Joe Banner had stepped down and that GM Mike Lombardi had been fired after one year in the job. Assistant GM Ray Farmer has been promoted to the full time GM role while there will no CEO in the new regime. Owner Jimmy Haslam said this was for greater transparency and more direct communication. This all comes shortly after Ray Farmer turned down the Dolphins GM job to stay in Cleveland which may raise some eyebrows as to his motives. This the third Front Office change in three years, which is extreme even by Cleveland standards. On a weird sidenote, this is going to be Brandon Weeden’s third regime change despite only being with organization two years.

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Could Jarius Byrd be heading to Cleveland?

With the hiring of Mike Pettine as Head Coach does it mean that Cleveland Browns does it mean that Cleveland Browns now have a decisive advantage in the pursuit of the signature of Buffalo Bills Free Safety Jarius Byrd.

Mike Pettine is a man who is a real favourite with the players and really stresses the mental aspect of the game and always has all his players ready come game time. This allowed him to help Jarius Byrd reach his potential as one of the top Free Safeties in the league. Cleveland fans only have to look as the Cavs Andrew Bynum turned out to see how important man management in a players reaching their full potential in modern professional sports where all athletes appear to have a dehabilitating self-entitlement.

Jarius Byrd was a Free Agent last summer and appeared to be getting ready to test the Free Agency waters after he couldn’t reach a long term deal with Bills when Buffalo slapped their franchise tag at the expense of leaving Adam Levietre walk. This means he got the average of the top-5 safeties salary in the league or a 25% raise, whichever is higher. Yet despite having an extra year in which to re-negotiate his contract with the Bills they still appear to be at odds with each other.it looks like it would be hard for the Bills to justify increasing his wage by another 25% particularly considering he missed 5 games this year due to injury. He may also see a future for himself in Buffalo after another underwhelming season in Western New York despite a strong pass rush and an interesting offence with weapons like EJ Manuel, CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson as they struggled to last place in the AFC East.

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Although Cleveland has got improving FS Tashaun Gipson already on their roster but Byrd would represent an upgrade. Byrd a three time Probowler has 22 interceptions in his first five seasons. Gipson had a career year last year leading the Browns in interceptions with 5 and sowed some intriguing playmaking ability.

One problem for the Browns might be the money he is looking for. The bar for FS salary was set last year by Dashon Goldson with his 5 year/$40m deal with Tampa. If the Browns feel he is not worth this kind of money they pass on him despite having $50 million in cap space. This figure may be less as it looks like Fas Alex Mack and TJ Ward may be resigned to large deals. They might not feel he is worth it after he missed 5 games last year through injury or they may feel that Gipson is the one they want as with his cheaper salary. Whatever they choose to do it looks like they would have a decided advantage if they did choose to pursue Jarius Byrd in Free Agency.

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Kyle Shanahan is Browns new OC

After arriving back from his holiday in the Caribbean Kyle Shanahan has agreed to become the new Offensive Coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. A six year OC with four out of six seasons being in charge of top 10 unit. He has a wide experience moulding QBs with pocket passers like Matt Schaub and a Runner like RG3. This could be invaluable as Cleveland are expected to try and go after a QB in the draft and rate Johny Manziel very highly. His teams have had strong run games as well with Arain Foster and Alfred Morris being the highlights. This would be a major improvement for Cleveland who couldn’t get anything going on the ground last year finishing 28th in the NFL. He is the final coach to be hired with Buffalo LB coach Jim O’Neill brought in as DC already.

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