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Cutting through the Rumor Fog

Miami QB Ben Roethlisberger

There is an old cliche about the "Fog of War". The NFL off-season also creates a thick fog of contradictory rumors and weirdness that makes it hard to see the truth: Where are the Browns leaning with their #1 pick? Will White be traded? What happens if Couch walks? Lane Adkins cuts through the fog and offers the very latest from Indianapolis and inside Berea. Get the real scoop, including items <i>exclusive</i> to BerniesInsiders.com!

Here is the very latest rumblings on the Browns intentions during this very active off-season:

  • Especially if the Green Bay Packers lose left tackle Chad Clifton, they are expected to man a run at Barry Stokes.
     
  • Early indications are if the Browns are unable to restructure quarterback Tim Couch, they will make a stronger push for either Drew Henson or a quarterback in the early goings of the draft. Additionally, if Couch walks, the team will look to being in a veteran for a year or two.
     
  • Indications are the Browns would be open to dealing running back William Green, but the return value does not appear to be present.
     
  • Despite the talk of head coach Butch Davis the team will retain the services of safety Robert Griffith, the team is not expected to retain him if he doesn't accept a restructured contract. Right now, the team is not in the position to pay Griffith in excess of four-million dollars, especially as the Browns are working the salary-cap to become a serious player in free agency.
     
  • According to rumors in Indianapolis, the Browns appear to be favoring tight-end Kellen Winslow Jr. and Sean Taylor with the team's first-round draft selection. Keep an eye on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the team does have an interest, but not to the extent that some in the media are reporting, not yet at least.
     
  • Especially if the Browns lose wide receiver Dennis Northcutt, as expected, the Browns are believed to be seriously considering selecting a wide receiver early in the draft.
     
  • The increase of approximately two-million dollars above the projected 2004 salary-cap may keep Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Chad Clifton in Green Bay. The Browns are believed to have had Clifton at or near the top of their free agency wish list.
     
  • Indications are the Browns believe Kansas City offensive tackle John Tait is a much better right tackle than left tackle, leaving him as a questionable candidate for the Browns open left tackle spot.
     
  • Back to Drew Henson, the Browns are one of the team's that have a serious interest in the quarterback, but questions surrounding the contract negotiations agent Tom Condon is seeking may chase may teams away, including the Browns. Given that Henson will re-enter the draft is a trade and contract are not worked out prior to the draft, teams are leaning to waiting and seeing what ultimately transpires.
     
  • The Browns did have brief discussions with the Washington Redskins about cornerback Champ Bailey, but the starting asking price of a high first-round draft selection and a later pick was too much for the Browns. Also, take into consideration the massive contract Bailey is seeking would prohibit the Browns from being a player in free agency.
     
  • Defensive tackle Gerard Warren and the team are very close to a restructured contract, we are hearing the contract will save the team in excess of two-million (others say no less than three-million) dollars against the 2004 salary-cap.

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