With just eight days to go until the beginning of training camp, the Browns have finally signed their first draft pick. The team announced yesterday that they came to terms with seventh-round draft pick Chase Pittman. He was signed to a four-year deal, although financial terms of the deal are not yet available.
Pittman, a defensive lineman LSU, started 24 games in college at LSU. His career totals were fairly good, with 61 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Pittman is expected to compete for a spot as a reserve defensive lineman, and if he doesn't make the final roster, he would likely be added to the practice squad. Although it is expected that the Syndric Steptoes of the Browns will be signed in the next few days, Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that our top picks will not reach deals prior to the pre-training camp orientation sessions that are held for rookies. Those sessions begin on Monday.
According to Phil Savage, Brady Quinn, Joe Thomas, and Eric Wright will be absent from those three-day sessions. All three men are expected to want large dollar amounts, meaning the team may be lucky to even get one of them signed before the first full practice of training camp on July 27th. Between Thomas and Quinn, Savage believes they are closer to a deal with Thomas.
Heading into camp, I don't think being without Quinn would hurt the club. However, if we don't get both Thomas and Wright signed on time, it'll cause some hair-pulling from many fans that do not want to see guys like Daven Holly or Ryan Tucker starting over two of our top prospects to begin the season.
Speaking of training camp, I will be starting positional previews either today or tomorrow for each day until July 27th. Each preview will include all of the men competing for jobs, and my official predictions of who will come out as the starters and backups for each unit.