It's time to go around and gather some more news regarding the Browns in the earliest part of our offseason (considering we didn't make the postseason).
- Props to Wimbley: Although it's not the "official" balloting, congratulations to Kamerion Wimbley for finishing in fourth place for the Associated Press' Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Although Wimbley was way behind first-place finishing DeMeco Ryans (36 of 50 votes), Wimbley still finished a little better than the first overall pick in the draft, Mario Williams. Bears defensive end Mark Anderson was in second place with five votes, while Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk finished in third place with four votes (Wimbley had two votes). People could make a case that Wimbley deserved to be second, since Anderson obviously has a lot of help on the Bears defensive line to make things easier. Hawk didn't get a lot of publicity for what he did in Green Bay this year, but he helped shore up that defense tremendously, part of the reason they finished the season on the high note that they did. Wimbley was one of the bright spots in just about every game this year, and towards the end of the season, it seemed as if he was guaranteed to get a sack at least once every game. In Wimbley's final nine games, he had eight sacks.
At least Wimbley got some love.
- Back to Coin Flip: According to the Akron Beacon Journal now, the third overall pick in the draft between the Browns and the Buccaneers will be decided by a coin flip. That's what I had thought originally, but then conflicting reports had come out on Monday that the Browns held the third spot. For the moment, I'm sticking with my original belief that there will be a coin flip. However, if the Browns want left tackle Joe Thomas, I don't see the Buccaneers passing up on wide receiver Calvin Johnson for an offensive lineman.
- Contract Expirations: The biggest names with contracts expiring will be offensive linemen Hank Fraley and Cosey Coleman, receiver Dennis Northcutt, defensive end Alvin McKinley, and safety Brian Russell. The Browns definitely won't make an offer to all five of them, but if they did, this would be how I would prioritize them: Russell, Fraley, Northcutt, Coleman, and McKinley. Now, of the four, the only one I really would like to see back is Russell, with Fraley coming back second as a veteran (What Bob Hallen was supposed to be). Northcutt probably wouldn't even accept an offer with us, Coleman will probably actually draw some heavy interest elsewhere, while McKinley just isn't worth it with our current situation.
- Rest in Peace: The NFL community was saddened by the death of Broncos' starting cornerback Darrent Williams on Monday. The Browns faced Williams earlier this season, a game in which the Browns lost 17-7.
- Compare The Records: I'm sure a lot of you may pick the winners and losers of games every week, and keep track of how well you did during the season. I did a fair job with my prognosticating over at Pro Football Critics (My general football site), where I finished the season with a 160-96 record. I'll be covering all of the high draft prospects in the draft over at PFC soon, and will incorporate some of my gatherings here at Dawgs By Nature in regards to who the Browns should be interested in.
My season ending awards for the Browns are just around the corner, and I'll also try to have a short preview of the Wildcard Weekend as well.