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Browns offered big bucks to SS Tony Jefferson, but he’s picking Ravens - and other notes

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NFL: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency kicks off Thursday at 4:00 PM ET, but early Thursday morning we will begin our live blog for all Cleveland Browns and NFL news, so be sure to tune in for that. In the mean time, let’s take a look at some reports that developed late Wednesday. First, remember the top two players in my free agency wishlist? It appears as though the Browns are serious about offering each of them top dollar contracts.

First, we start with SS Tony Jefferson. Per Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Browns have offered Jefferson “the most money by far.”

Despite the dollar amount, Garafolo later says that Jefferson is intrigued by being paired up in Baltimore with a dominant safety in Eric Weddle. The Ravens have been clearing cap space so make at least one big splash in this year’s class.

UPDATE: Per Ian Rapoport, Jefferson will pick the Ravens over the Browns.

Next up is a follow up on our report from earlier about OG Kevin Zeitler. Per NFL_DRAFT_BITES, which isn’t the most well-known source but also doesn’t seem to be spinning things out of thin air, speculates that the Browns are going all out to lure the Bengals guard:

The estimate for Zeitler would actually be a little close to what I projected.

Garafolo noted that several Browns veterans have been trying to recruit free agents, expressing their confidence in how quickly the team can turn things around. The Browns don’t have very many veterans, so the only guys I can think of vouching for the club are LT Joe Thomas, CB Joe Haden, and LB Jamie Collins.

Lastly, Benjamin Albright of Yahoo Sports, who has been money on several rumors already, says that WR Terrelle Pryor and WR Alshon Jeffrey “vastly overestimated their market value.”

That could mean that Pryor returns to the Browns on Thursday, but the question in my head is whether Cleveland now lowers their offer? Could the Browns hit a big home run this free agency with Jefferson, Zeitler, and Pryor?