Browns sign Fujita, Pashos – is Troy Smith on the way?

The Browns signed a pair of free agents over the weekend, inking deals with linebacker Scott Fujita (three years, $16 million) and right tackle Tony Pashos (three years, $10.3 million).

The signing of Fujita probably signals the end of Eric Barton’s short tenure in Cleveland. The former New Orleans outside linebacker will play inside in Eric Mangini’s 3-4 defense and should do well at that position. While he’s an unspectacular player (i.e. he’s not going to make a ton of highlight reel plays), Fujita is fundamentally sound and plays the run extremely well.

Pashos will replace John St. Clair, who struggled mightily last year. With the Browns ready to transition to a power running game under Mike Holmgren, Pashos is a good fit because he’s a mauler in the run game. He is coming off an injury-plagued 2009 season, but has been durable over his career and should be healthy by the time camp opens.

Another interesting Browns-related nugget is that Troy Smith’s agent said on Monday that his client “would crawl from Baltimore right now to be able to play in Cleveland.” The Browns are looking for quarterbacks and Smith was tendered at the low level, which means he could be had for a fifth round pick. But is he a fit for the West Coast offense? It might be worth it for Holmgren to part with a fifth rounder to find out.


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Troy Smith a Brown?

Profootballtalk.com reports that Ravens’ QB Troy Smith would love to play for the Browns next season.

“There is no doubt about it,” Smith said regarding his desire to play for the Browns. “It has always been a childhood dream of mine. It’s funny how we always talk about Cleveland. That’s the first thing that comes to mind with anything I do whether I get a chance to come home and be a part of that organization or not. You know, I would love to get that chance if that opportunity comes up, but the political and right thing to say in this situation is that I would love to be anywhere that would give me a chance. But, without a doubt, there would be no second guessing in my mind if I could come back home and be a part of something that I love.”

The Ravens already have their franchise quarterback in Joe Flacco, so it would make sense that Ozzie Newsome would be open to trading Smith. The question is whether or not Mike Holmgren views Smith as a fit for the West Coast Offense, assuming that system is installed in Cleveland.

Of course, Holmgren has to figure out what he’s going to do with Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson before he looks at players outside the franchise.


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Ravens’ Troy Smith requests a trade

According to Troy Smith’s agent, the Ravens’ backup quarterback has notified the team that he wants to be traded.

From Rotoworld.com:

Smith “wants playing time” Cindrich writes, and plans to “seek (a) trade” after the Ravens’ playoff run. The timing here is hardly impeccable with just six days left before Baltimore attempts to clinch a postseason berth against the Raiders. Smith has rushed eight times for 38 yards and a touchdown this year, and completed 5-of-9 passes for 24 yards and an interception.

I agree with Rotoworld – the timing of this is horrible by Smith and his agent. Whether or not it was the agent’s idea or Smith’s, this looks bad for the quarterback that he would be thinking selfishly while his team is fighting for a playoff spot. I think he deserves a shot to compete for a starting job, but this was hardly the way to go about it.

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