Of the Cleveland Browns restricted free agents, only one of them signed their contract soon after it was offered to him -- LB Jason Trusnik. In a story released last night, the Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto featured a nice article on Trusnik, emphasizing how it's time to focus on a player who did show up to practice as opposed to all of the players who didn't.
When he played at Division III Ohio Northern, he kept his dreams of pro football to himself. Yes, Ohio Northern plays in the same Ohio Athletic Conference as Mount Union, and the Polar Bears have a strong, small-college program.
Come draft day, no NFL team called Trusnik's name.
"It was the same story that I heard coming out of high school -- not big enough, not fast enough," he said.
Trusnik doesn't talk about other players' contract talks. His highest salary before was $460,000, so to go to $1,700,000 is a healthy raise for a guy who was never supposed to make the NFL.
"I just know that I needed to be here," he said. "I know how hard it is to make the league and how hard it is to stay here."
Trusnik seems to be representative of the type of player Mangini wants on the Browns, and he played a significant role in stabilizing the team's linebacker position last year after injuries to D'Qwell Jackson and Eric Barton.