Cleveland Browns team president Mike Holmgren spoke with the media at the NFL Combine. One of the issues discussed was the contract status of RB Jerome Harrison. Harrison is a restricted free agent, but based on his performance last season, there isn't much doubt that the team wants him back.
When asked if the team would tender Harrison, he replied, "We will tender him a contract that will make it very difficult for some team to sign him." According to the National Football Post, that likely means the team will either give him a first-round tender ($2.521 million) or a first- and third-round tender ($3.186 million). What did Holmgren say about which other players the team would tender?
"We will [tender contracts], but I won’t tell who’ll will tender," stated Holmgren. One of the players who will probably receive a tender is LB D'Qwell Jackson. Jackson stated that he anticipated being with the team in 2010, but was uncertain of his long-term future with the team. Jackson would likely require a first-round tender as well. Holmgren also stated that the team wants to get a running back in the draft to have some insurance behind the undersized Harrison.
Regarding the team's quarterback situation, Holmgren has given the impression that a decision will be made soon regarding the quarterbacks, according to the OBR:
Holmgren said he will bring in the ‘new’ guys, including himself and adviser Gil Haskell, along with general manager Tom Heckert and compare their notes with the ‘old’ guys, including Eric Mangini and his coaching staff and come to a conclusion.
"We have to make a final decision on the quarterback," Holmgren said. "That is a huge decision. I think it is the most important decision on a football team."
Holmgren called it a ‘long shot’ that both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn would be back for 2010. Anderson is due a roster bonus of around $2 million on March 19. Holmgren indicated the Browns would explore trades and free agency in considering their options starting March 5.
I don't see any way that Anderson could even attempt to convince the coaches that he deserves the roster bonus. If the Browns give him the bonus, they'd almost be committing to him as the starter for it to make any sense. If Anderson is wise, he's probably packed his bags already and will be ready to see if any of the four-win-or-less teams in the league make him an offer in free agency. Here's one more note from Holmgren at the combine, when asked what he likes to see from quarterbacks:
"He has to have an innate ability to throw the football. Accuracy, rhythm and how he delivers the football. The second thing is his movement in the pocket. The third thing is how the young man can handle pressure."