Today, we're returning for another live blog, covering short one-liners about the latest small rumors, signings, or trades involving Cleveland or other NFL teams. You should also use the comments section as your free agency open thread! (Newest updates will be at the top of the live blog below)
2016 Browns Free Agency Live Blog - Day 5
7:08 PM: Congrats to rufio, who had a son last week! He was able to chime in today regarding some of his free agent thoughts:
rufio: "I'm disappointed we didn't go after Mack and Schwartz harder. They were good, young enough, and worth what they wanted. I don't know what the personalities and the human element were like with those two, but if they could have bought in and stayed with us it would have been awesome. I could see how the front office might think we'd be better off starting fresh with new guys who won't think 'same old Browns' as soon as something goes wrong.
I'm not upset about Benji or Gip. It would have been nice, but not at those prices. Good for them, and I hope Gipson isn't actually a 9 INT/year machine. I think we saw what Benjamin was, which is a 'volume scorer' on a bad team.
Other teams' free agents are usually not worth it and I think particularly not worth it this year. These deals are ridiculous and these players aren't that good.
I don't think they are saving cap space for one big spend. You can't sustain that big spend based on the way the cap works. The rollover dollars are nice, but once you start dipping into them they start going away. At best, if we are under the 'base' cap for 3-4 years and then we re-sign a QB for a bajillion dollars we'll have a nice smallish but sustainable rollover to use while we pay that QB big money. It can create a 'window' but I don't think an inflated rollover can be usable and sustainable unless you really can negotiate contracts that are team-friendly."
2:25 PM: Browns LT Joe Thomas has a $1 million roster bonus due today.
Joe Thomas has a $1M 5th day of league year roster bonus due today. He should ask Browns to push the date back & deal him to a contender.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) March 13, 2016
2:11 PM: Last night, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee wrote about why the situation involving QB Colin Kaepernick is in a standstill, and added the assumption that Kaepernick is shying away from the Cleveland situation because of the team not being big players in free agency.
2:05 PM: Staying with Pro Football Focus, they provided some more insight into how they viewed both of the Browns' free agent pickups, OL Alvin Bailey and ILB Justin Tuggle:
Bailey comes from Seattle, where he played significant snaps in six games, grading positively in just one. He played mostly at tackle, but struggled mightily, allowing 17 total pressures on 140 pass block snaps (90.4 pass blocking efficiency).
Tuggle played in eight games in 2015 as a backup and special-teams player. He fared better in 2015 than 2014, but saw a big decrease in usage (275 snaps in 2014 to 109 snap in 2015). Tuggle did grade positively on special teams. Both players look to provide depth and competition to the roster.
2:00 PM: Pro Football Focus has been grading the higher-end contracts in free agency so far. Although we can't look at too many impact signings the Browns have made, we can see how our departures' contracts were graded for their new teams. The Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz deals were given a B+:
C Alex Mack (ATL): Five years, $45 million with $28.5 million guaranteed - It’s a lot of money for a center, but given that no team lost as many games last year because of the play of their center, it was somewhat necessary. The Falcons retooled offensive line is one of the better ones in the league, especially if Mack can return to his pre-leg break form.
OT Mitchell Schwartz (KC): Five years, $33 million with $12.66 million guaranteed - One of the top right tackles in the league, Schwartz was a PFF selection for a second-team All-Pro spot after a strong 2015 season. He did an admirable job against Von Miller this season, but will now get to show whether that was a fluke when he faces off with him and Khalil Mack twice a year.
The Tashaun Gipson deal was given a C:
S Tashaun Gipson (JAX): Five years, $35.5 million with $12 million guaranteed - If Gipson can get back to his 2014 form, then this move will prove much better than the grade we’ve currently given it. But we can’t ignore how Gipson struggled last year and that’s what makes this move something of a leap of faith.
...and hey, a Brown did make the list after all, as the Tank Carder deal also received a C!
LB Tank Carder (CLV): Two years, $2.5 million with $300k guaranteed - While not the most impressive player, Carder is a guy who has experience on defense and can do a job on special teams. Bonus points for being the first guy the Browns were able to re-sign.
The Travis Benjamin deal was given a low grade of a D+:
WR Travis Benjamin (SD): Four years, $24m with $13m guaranteed - It’s a terrible market for teams in need of wide receivers, and the result is guys getting paid far more than they warrant. Benjamin may be coming off a career year, but he still only finish 66th in our wide receiver rankings. Is he the kind of receiver Philip Rivers needed?
Lastly, the Johnson Bademosi deal was given a D:
S Johnson Bademosi (DET): Two years, $4.5 million with $2.9 million guaranteed - Did not look good when he got a longer run on defense, and while he is on a lot of special teams tackles, tackles does not equal talent.
1:55 PM: What are the Browns' options to fill their voids at wide receiver, center, right tackle, and free safety? We have a new article this afternoon that breaks each position hole down.
12:34 PM: Congratulations to former Browns K Phil Dawson, who secured a nice one-year contract with the 49ers a couple of days ago. I had a fantasy that maybe Cleveland could get Dawson back this year, but it wasn't meant to be. Truth be told, one of the reasons I listed Dawson was a subtle way to point at the fact that I didn't feel the Browns were going to make very splashy moves in free agency.
Phil Dawson 49ers deal: $3.134 million total through fully guaranteed base salary for skill, injury and cap— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 12, 2016
12:30 PM: We just put up a post listing all of the Browns' 2016 NFL Draft picks. There are ten of them, and this is the first year that Cleveland received higher than a 6th round compensatory pick. When the draft rolls around, we will have live blogs for all three days of the draft, just like we did for free agency. The live blogs for the draft will be very busy, similar to how busy Day 1 and Day 2 of the free agency live blogs were. Today, we're going to try to catch up on some Pro Day / visit information regarding the Browns from last week.
12:24 PM: Hey...wait a minute, it's not supposed to be noon yet! Happy Daylight Savings Day, Browns fans. While we were able to spring forward our clocks today, unfortunately, we can't jump ahead to find out the verdict on whether QB Colin Kaepernick will be a member of the Browns in 2016 or not. This will be our final day of the live blog on the Browns; next week, free agency talk will resume in the Daily Dawg Chow, unless there are any late-breaking headlines.