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Cleveland Browns Free Agency Live Blog - Rumors, Signings, and More (Part 2)

NFL: Cleveland Browns-Press Conference Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports


Our live blog up until 5:00 PM ET can be found here. Because that post got too busy, we are starting a “Part 2” of today’s live blog here. (Newest updates will be at the top of the live blog below)

2017 Browns Free Agency Live Blog - Day 1 (Part 2)

The free agency live blog / open thread for Friday is here.

10:00 PM: It looks like things are calm in general for the rest of the night. If something breaks, we’ll try to jump back in. Otherwise, we’ll be up bright-and-early Friday morning for Day 2 of our Browns free agency live blog. Things should start heating up again at that point.

9:07 PM: This is fascinating. Read this column from ESPN’s Bill Barnwell from back in December, and he pretty much called the entire Cleveland-Houston trade for QB Brock Osweiler and the logic behind it for both clubs.

8:00 PM: The Browns officially confirmed the signings of WR Kenny Britt, C J.C. Tretter, and OG Kevin Zeitler. Some quotes from head coach Hue Jackson on each of them:

On Zeitler: “I think Kevin is one of the premier right guards in football. I’ve spent time with him before in Cincinnati. I believe he’s going to be a really good football player for us at a position of need, and I think he’ll do a great job.”

On Tretter: “J.C. is a very athletic center who played in Green Bay and did a good job for them. He had a little injury history, but comes here healthy and ready to go. We’re happy to have him.”

On Britt: “Kenny’s been a proven playmaker in the National Football League,” said Head Coach Hue Jackson. “Obviously, he brings credentials to the position and to the Cleveland Browns. He’s a big guy. He’s fast, tough. He’s made plays in his career, and we’re looking forward to him doing the same thing here.”

7:44 PM: A quote from OG Kevin Zeitler, who says his agent recommended he choose the Browns over the Saints due to the money involved:

7:24 PM: I’m not kidding: the Redskins just fired their general manager, and now WR Terrelle Pryor will be meeting with them soon. Talk about a nice first impression, right? Also, when you consider the fact that QB Kirk Cousins’ future there is uncertain, and Cleveland should have a respectable offer on the table, I’d think we could probably scratch Washington off the list of logical landing spots. Maybe I’m just being too optimistic.

7:17 PM: Someone asked Yahoo Sports’ Benjamin Albright if there were any updates on WR Terrelle Pryor. Albright says that Pryor is “taking his time” and that Cleveland, Washington, Chicago, and Minnesota are all talking to him.

7:02 PM: This just looks pretty, doesn’t it?

7:00 PM: Not much action at the moment. The initial wave of deals are done, so now we’re at the stage where players begin taking visits to see what is left. We do have one interesting nugget from the Bengals’ website, where they revealed that Cincinnati never even attempted to make an offer to retain RG Kevin Zeitler.

6:20 PM: At last, LT Joe Thomas has tweeted about today’s moves for Cleveland, and he seems to be pleased:

6:12 PM: lol, we are tracking planes for WR Terrelle Pryor now.

6:05 PM: I’m trying to embed fewer tweets so that this live blog moves a little faster. If you want to scratch your head watching ESPN trying to break down the trade for QB Brock Osweiler, check this video clip out.

Also, the Indianapolis Colts are giving former Browns OLB Barkevious Mingo a 1-year deal worth $2.5 million. Of course it was the Colts.

6:02 PM: The Browns officially announced the trade for QB Brock Osweiler. Here is the language that Sashi Brown used in the press release:

“We’re really excited to acquire a second round draft choice in this trade. Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship caliber football team. We are intent on adding competition to every position on our roster and look forward to having Brock come in and compete.”

5:58 PM: I did some digging via the NFL transaction wire this evening, and here is what I appeared to be the first person to report via Twitter:

  • The Browns placed a ROFR tender on RFA CB Marcus Burley.
  • Two ERFA were tendered: RB George Atkinson and DT Jamie Meder.
  • The following players were not tendered, and are now free agents: RB Rajion Neal, RB Glenn Winston, WR Dennis Parks, and DL Dylan Wynn.

The positive news is that Meder was retained!

5:53 PM: Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Browns will release QB Robert Griffin III, are shopping QB Brock Osweiler, and will likely draft a quarterback.

5:40 PM: It probably means nothing, but WR Josh Gordon just tweeted the following as I’m here trying to scarf down some spaghetti:

5:26 PM: Some more options at the center position for Cleveland, as the Browns have claimed C Marcus Martin from the 49ers. Martin was a 3rd round pick in 2014 and started 24 games over three years with the club. He would be a projected backup.

5:22 PM: Another safety off the books as the Redskins have added D.J. Swearinger for 3 years, $4.5 million/year.

5:20 PM: We appear to have a slight calm in the action here, so let me take a few minutes to recap what has gone down. First, the only thing “officially” confirmed is that the Browns extended the contract of LG Joel Bitonio through 2022.

The signings that are practically confirmed, but not official via press releases, include WR Kenny Britt, RG Kevin Zeitler, and C J.C. Tretter. The Browns were not able to secure one of the top strong safeties they were after.

Cleveland made a stunning trade just before 4 PM ET, acquiring QB Brock Osweiler and a 2018 second round pick from the Texans. The clubs also swapped conditional draft picks in 2017 — the Browns gave up a 4th rounder, the Texans gave up a 6th rounder.

The Browns have no intention on keeping Osweiler. Houston made the trade to get his salary off their books, so Cleveland basically purchased a second round draft pick. The Browns will either cut Osweiler or trade him to another team. Some rumors believe Cleveland is stockpiling picks in hopes of getting QB Jimmy Garrapolo, but those are just rumors at this point. There is no evidence of the Patriots being interested to this point.

Lastly, the Browns have already lost one of their own free agents, as FS Jordan Poyer is now with the Bills. WR Terrelle Pryor is taking a visit with the Washington Redskins, but could still return to Cleveland. The Redskins have lost their top two receivers, though, so they may break the bank for Pryor.

5:07 PM: The deal the Saints made for DT Nick Fairley was 4 years, $30 million.

5:00 PM: I’ve never had to do a “Part 2” of a free agency live blog, but today has been so crazy for the Cleveland Browns. Also, my story editor is getting laggy from too many updates and comments, so let’s start fresh here with a new thread.