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Griffin Signed; Field Goal Rule to be Addressed

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The Browns signed LB Kris Griffin to a one-year deal on Wednesday. Griffin played in 12 games for the Browns last season as a special teams player and ranked fifth on the team with 14 tackles. He finished the season on the injured reserve with a knee injury.

Phil Savage has re-signed quite a few players that caused the Browns to have one of the top special teams units in the league last season. Among the players that are being brought back (and were free agents) are Griffin, Nick Sorensen, and Lennie Friedman (LB Shantee Orr was also added, but he did not play with the team last season).

The NFL will begin its meetings next week, an we'll find out the order of our schedule this season and how many primetime games we'll start off with initially. Several issues will also be discussed, as referenced in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, including one that pertains to the Browns in particular.

  • Instant replay on field goals: The Browns almost got screwed with this one last year versus the Baltimore Ravens. The proposed amendment would basically only allow kicks to be reviewed if they bounce off the crossbar like Dawson's did. Kicks that are kicked so high that they go above the crossbars would remain under the discretion of the field judges.
  • All 5-yard facemasks become 15-yard facemasks: This seems harsh...an accidental tug should not be worth the same as someone who does an intentional chop block. On the same note though, I watched a lot of games last season, and it seemed like the officials stopped giving 5-yard penalties and made every one worth 15 yards. If that's the case, they might as well amend it.
  • The best two teams in the conference get bye weeks come playoff time, but the rest are seeded solely based on record, not division titles: I don't like this rule. Although it may seem unfair that an 8-8 division-winning team would get seeded higher than an 11-5 wildcard team, I think the concept of winning the division creates the some more competitive wildcard races down the stretch.
  • Players' hair can't cover their name or jersey number: No way. That would make Joshua Cribbs seem a little less cooler when he's sprinting past special team defenders.
  • Eliminate the forceout rule unless a player is carried out of bounds: I know the forceout rule is the most complicated in football already, but this would be absurd. Too many defenders would purposely focus on pushing players out near the sideline rather than defending the ball or making a tackle.
  • Allow teams to defer until the second half on the coin toss: I don't really have an opinion on this one...

As more potential issues arise, most of which never even get amended, I'll try and highlight them too. I might as well -- it's not like I can blog about the Browns getting any talent in rounds 1-3 of the draft. I can't even participate in the SB Nation Mock Draft this year (although I still prefer the usage of acquiring Quinn, Williams, and Rogers).

One final note -- as I'm sure most of you have already seen, Let's Go Tribe upgraded to the SB Nation 2.0 format on Wednesday in preparation for the start of the season. I do not have an exact time on when Dawgs By Nature will receive this upgrade, but there is hope that if everything continues going smoothly with the baseball sites that the football sites will be upgraded prior to April's draft. Then, you'll never have to worry about carrying two separate memberships for your favorite Cleveland blogs ever again ;)