Are the Browns still considering trading Braylon Edwards?

Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wonders aloud if the Browns are still intent on trading Braylon Edwards after recently signing free agent Mike Furrey, who now joins a crowded receiver corps.

• Until proven otherwise, we’ve got to assume a trade of Braylon Edwards is still being explored. Surely he’s not scoring points with Mangini by missing the “voluntary” offseason conditioning workouts. Perhaps the Browns are bracing for the possibility of Edwards also skipping the two “voluntary” minicamps scheduled later this month. Securing a No. 1 pick in 2010 for Edwards now would give the Browns some comfort moving forward.

• If Edwards does not return, the Browns have a lack of speed at the wideout position. Robiskie and Massaquoi — again, they’re rookies — run decent for their size, but they won’t be getting behind many NFL corners. Furrey, 32, is a possession receiver. David Patten will be 35 when the season starts. As for the other receivers returning from last year’s roster — Paul Hubbard, Syndric Steptoe, Lance Leggett — I haven’t heard Mangini or Kokinis mention any of their names since they’ve been on the job.

• Perhaps the Browns are merely adding competition to the receiver position. But it’s odd that they aren’t doing the same at running back.

I didn’t excerpt this portion, but in his article Grossi makes a good point that it’s unrealistic to assume that both Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi (two receivers the Browns drafted in the second round of last month’s draft) will develop into starters as rookies. However, while Massaquoi was largely considering a raw prospect by some scouts, Robiskie was the most polished receivers to enter the draft so it wouldn’t be far-fetched if he turned some heads this summer and became a starter. (His father is long-time NFL assistant and current Falcons’ receiver coach Terry Robiskie, so you know Brian has had excellent training throughout his young career.)

In regards to trading Edwards, the Browns are setting themselves up for either outcome. The additions they have made to their receiving corps this offseason haven’t been spectacular, but they could at least get them through a season if they do wind up trading Edwards.

Edwards becomes a free agent after the 2009 season and it appears that he doesn’t want to re-sign with Cleveland, so the Browns would obviously love to get some kind of compensation for him if he does plan on bolting. But if they wind up hanging onto him, he is still their most talented receiver and would be their top playmaker in the passing game next season. I don’t know if I would say it’s a win-win for the Browns, but at least they seem to have a plan.

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Why Mark Sanchez will be a Cleveland Brown

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Have you heard the latest draft rumors on Mark Sanchez? Apparently only the Lions, Rams, Seahawks, Browns, Jaguars, 49ers, Jets, Redskins and Broncos are either in love, smitten or downright want to get in bed with the USC quarterback.

Is that all?

It seems every day rumors of a new team being interested in Sanchez emerge and while it’s easy to get caught up in all the pre-draft speculation, it would obviously be wise not to believe everything you hear. That said, with the draft quickly approaching, I’ve thoroughly convinced myself that Mark Sanchez will in fact be a Cleveland Brown.

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire and there’s a ton of smoke coming out of Cleveland that new head coach Eric Mangini isn’t a big Brady Quinn fan. Along with daily Sanchez-is-going-here speculation, there have been just as many Quinn-will-be-traded-here rumors. Maybe Mangini and new GM George Kokinis are just throwing up smokescreens to keep other teams guessing at what their draft day plans are. Or maybe (and this seems more logical by the day) Mangini and Kokinis want to blow up the entire roster and start over and that’s why Kellen Winslow was traded to the Bucs, Braylon Edwards will soon be dealt to the Giants and Quinn will be jettisoned to parts unknown.

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Giants to trade for Braylon Edwards

According to Yahoo Sports!, the Giants are expected to make a deal with the Browns to acquire wide receiver Braylon Edwards sometime before the NFL draft.

The Browns reportedly asked for a second- and fifth-round pick and receiver Steve Smith, but the Giants declined. New York countered by offering the two draft picks and receiver Domenik Hixon for Edwards.

Neither the Browns or Giants could be reached for this story, but both sources said the gap will be bridged before the draft.

“The Giants are motivated, they’re trying to win right now,” the aforementioned quoted source said. “Edwards is a bigger guy that [quarterback] Eli [Manning] wants to throw to, like he had with Plaxico. The Giants know they can’t leave Eli with no great receivers. They saw what happened last year.”

New York’s offense sputtered over the final five games of the season after Burress was suspended by the team after shooting himself at a New York nightclub.

If a trade similar to the one mentioned in the report goes down, it would be a good deal for both teams. Edwards’ contract is up at the end of the year and there’s no guarantee that the Browns would be able to re-sign him. Plus, the new regime in Cleveland clearly wants to rebuild the roster and this would allow them to recoup draft picks that were traded away last offseason by former GM Phil Savage.

The Giants would obviously get their replacement for Burress and might have more success re-signing Edwards to a long-term deal. Although he’s underachieved outside of his breakout 2007 campaign, Edwards is still young and could thrive in a new situation. It’ll be interesting to see if this deal gets done and what the final compensation would be.

Browns shopping Braylon Edwards?

According to Rich Cimini of the New York Daily Times, the Browns are reportedly shopping wide receiver Braylon Edwards.

This rumor has been circulating for over a month, but so far nothing concrete has developed. Cimini doesn’t even go into much detail about the subject, in fact all he writes is that he got a “hot tip” that Cleveland is shopping Edwards and asks readers whether or not the Jets should be interested.

One small rumor that developed late last week had the Browns shipping Edwards to the Giants for Mathias Kiwanuka, which on the surface makes sense. Cleveland is dying for a pass rusher and Kiwanuka, who has experience at both defensive end and linebacker, certainly fits the bill. New York is in obvious need of a wideout with the uncertainty of Plaxico Burress’s situation hanging over their heads, and is stacked with defensive linemen and linebackers after signing Chris Canty, Michael Boley and Rocky Bernard last week.


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