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The Plots Continue to Thicken

As the draft approaches, the health of Gary Baxter becomes more and more prominent. If Baxter is ready to play by Week 1, as he stated he would be on the NFL Network last night, then the Browns may be more inclined to select a cornerback in the later rounds of the draft, rather than round two or three. Baxter supposedly did not appear to have a limp, and was extremely motivated to get back on the field after his series of pectoral injuries last year. If Baxter is indeed able to return by Week 1, it would probably be considered more of a remarkable comeback than Braylon Edwards had last season.

Besides Baxter, the quarterback situation is becoming more and more interesting as the draft approaches. General manager Phil Savage has stepped up the team's pursuit of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, going as far to hint that a trade could be initiated by April 28th. Thus far, Green has shown most of his interest in the Miami Dolphins, but Savage believes that Green could be lured into a system like the Browns. Perhaps Green wants to wait until draft day to make sure that the Browns select an offensive lineman to protect him, rather than a young quarterback to take his place a year later.

Rumors are now circulating the Internet that the Oakland Raiders may pull a fast one and select wide receiver Calvin Johnson instead of quarterback JaMarcus Russell, as so many people have pegged them to do. If that were the case, then the Browns could very well be sitting with an opportunity to take Russell with the third overall pick. The Raiders doing this wouldn't be as controversial as last year's scenario, in which the Houston Texans passed up on Reggie Bush for Mario Williams, but it would certainly shake things up for a lot of teams.