In his weekly Sunday column, Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer projected which members of the Cleveland Browns could be in for a contract extension soon or by the end of the season, citing Joe Banner's past tendencies and the fact that the team made sure they still had about $30 million remaining in cap space. It has been speculated that Pluto has an "inside track" on what is going on with the new front office, so here is a list of the six players he sees as contenders for contract extensions:
- C Alex Mack
- OG John Greco
- DT Phil Taylor
- OLB Jabaal Sheard
- CB Joe Haden
- S T.J. Ward
Out of the six players above, Mack, Greco, and Ward are in the final year of their contracts, while the other three players have two years left. Pluto noted that Banner historically liked reaching extensions for players who fell in that latter category, though.
Pluto seems to think that Mack is the only player who is a "sure thing" for a contract extension. If Greco pans out as a starter and is doing well during the season, he would also seem like a pretty sure thing, since he's playing on a fairly low deal now and you wouldn't want him to test the free agent market.
All of the questions remain on the defensive side. While he thinks Haden is likely to receive an extension, he noted that there might be a "wait-and-see" approach with him to make sure he doesn't have any substance abuse issues this year. Durability is the concern surrounding Ward, but my personal concern for him is simply, "is he good enough to warrant a sizable extension?" When it comes to Taylor and Sheard, the big factor will be how well they look in the transition to the 3-4 defense, particularly with Sheard, considering they just drafted Barkevious Mingo as his potential successor.
Is there anybody else on the Browns who you think could be due for an extension? I say we just extend Thomas to a lifetime deal -- you'll be guaranteed to have money well spent!