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Sources: Agents steering players away from Browns

Though the Cleveland Browns were able to lure to town today a couple of players with connections to coach Eric Mangini (safety Ray Ventrone and guard Billy Yates), multiple sources have told us that some agents plan to steer their clients away from the Browns.

Right or wrong, there’s a sense of discontent regarding the new regime in Cleveland, where coach Eric Mangini and G.M. George Kokinis are running the show, with Mangini serving essentially as the man in charge.

A variety of issues have contributed to the situation, and we’re in the process of tracking down specific details regarding some of the potential problem areas. 

In the offseason, feathers were ruffled when Mangini took first-year players on a ten-hour bus ride to Hartford, Connecticut to work a youth football camp.  Also, the lingering contractual impasse regarding receiver Josh Cribbs could be creating trust issues, given Cribbs’ strong belief that owner Randy Lerner promised to re-work Cribbs’ below-market deal, and the fact that Mangini/Kokinis have denied the allegation.

The Cribbs conundrum reminds many of the disputes that arose when Mangini coached the Jets, including guard Pete Kendall, receiver Laveranues Coles, and tight end Chris Baker.  All claimed that promises had been made regarding their contracts, and that the promises had been broken.

As one source explained it, the Browns likely will be required to overpay free agents in the offseason.  If the money that Cleveland is offering matches the money on the table from another team, the thinking is that the players will be far more inclined to sign with the team not named the Browns.

UPDATE:  In response to this item, an agent who was not one of the sources for the original item contacted us, agreed with it wholeheartedly, and said, “I would put one of my players on another team’s practice squad before putting him on the Browns.”

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48 Responses to “Sources: Agents steering players away from Browns”
  1. Harm City Homer says: Sep 16, 2009 7:39 PM

    That is why Phil Savage had to trade away draft picks for defensive linemen and he was afraid to let go of a half decent QB when he found one.
    Until there is no sign of staph in the building, it is going to take a ton of cash to get quality free agents. Never going to the playoffs is another free agent turn off.

  2. DV66 says: Sep 16, 2009 7:41 PM

    All of BeliCheats flunkies are total JOKE!!!!!!
    How could Clevland get talked into this clown I mean…Magini
    I guess he’s more qualified than:
    Ratface Shanahan
    I can win reg season Shottenheimer
    Chuckie Gruden
    Da Chin Cowher
    Walrus Holgren
    enuf said!

  3. Omega says: Sep 16, 2009 7:42 PM

    So what is new here? Why would any free agent want to play for the Browns, or the Lions, or the Raiders, or the Chiefs, or the Rams, ……
    Free agents want to play for the Yankee’s or the Red Sox, or the ….

  4. netdawg says: Sep 16, 2009 7:43 PM

    Hey Florio don’t be a retard! My buddy Lance says he’d play for the Browns.
    Besides, where would you rather play/live, Miami, SF, San Diego, Dallas, NYC… or Cleveland OH??? Socioeconomics is answering your football question don’t spin it to hate on Manginius

  5. DaBillsDaaahhhBills says: Sep 16, 2009 7:47 PM

    “Very interesting, Mr. Powers. Ofcourse, I’ll need to see all the facts…”
    Facts schmacts!

  6. Matt Walsh says: Sep 16, 2009 7:47 PM

    Mangini outing the Cheatriots has been killing Florio for years now.

  7. DaBillsDaaahhhBills says: Sep 16, 2009 7:48 PM

    ……and my favorite part of the whole article…
    “Sources”
    Ahaaaa, those sources.

  8. drawdedwyer says: Sep 16, 2009 7:50 PM

    This is terrible!!! Can I switch teams? I hate the browns, how long do I have to live with this?!?!?!?!

  9. Omega says: Sep 16, 2009 7:50 PM

    “In the offseason, feathers were ruffled when Mangini took first-year players on a ten-hour bus ride to Hartford”
    NOTE: ‘First year, I.E. “ROOKIE’S” .. So agents will now tell experienced players not to go to the Browns because they send their ROOKIES on bus trips?
    Get a grip Florio. If the Browns should ever have a chance to win the SB they will have their pick of FA’s. Until then they then and they and the rest of the bottom feeders will pay $$$$$ for FA’s. And those free agents will be happy to take the $$$$
    So what is new?
    Omega The Last Word

  10. REALBROWNSFAN says: Sep 16, 2009 7:57 PM

    this place and the media all hate cleveland…you name me one team that would redo a players contract when they Still have 4YEARS LEFT ON IT……you have to be tough on a team that just had a coach who had a country club atomsphere…Billiceck did the same thing when he got to New England and i think that turned out alright..once the team starts to win which they will be better then week one shows… Plus AP does that to every team he is a freak….i applauded Mangini for taking this team and shaking it up..because nothing has seemed to work since the 80s….

  11. stanjam says: Sep 16, 2009 7:59 PM

    They are JUST catching on? Mangini has stood accused of shenanigans against players even since he started being a head coach!

  12. ppdoc13 says: Sep 16, 2009 8:02 PM

    As if it wasn’t bad enough having to go to Cleveland, now its worse. No one wants to go because of Mangina.
    It amazes me that Florio and others are always quick to state that Cleveland fans “deserve” a winner. Go travel over to Cleveland.com/browns and look at the comments by the fans. They routinely trash their team and have been doing so for years. Their fans start booing when the first thing goes wrong in a game.
    Honestly, other than the max $, why would a top tier FA want to go? It ain’t for the winter weather, it sure ain’t for the winning, the organization is questionable, and if you cut your hand you end up with MRSA infections.
    As for the assertion by Omega that they will have their pick of FA’s if they win a SB, it’s kind of backwards. You need some FA’s to fill out your roster to make the SB especially when your draft record sucks as bad as Clevelands.
    Sorry Browns fans, nothing personal, its just the truth.

  13. chem says: Sep 16, 2009 8:05 PM

    How can staph not be mentioned yet? Maybe the agents don’t want their players getting infections and having their careers (or lives) ended, or seasons stunted.

  14. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Sep 16, 2009 8:05 PM

    # drawdedwyer says: September 16, 2009 7:50 PM
    This is terrible!!! Can I switch teams? I hate the browns, how long do I have to live with this?!?!?!?!
    ———–
    Probably until that staph infection clears up and you get released with an injury settlement….

  15. dave sucks says: Sep 16, 2009 8:06 PM

    God for bid players ride a bus to help kids millionares dont desrve such treatment when your boss ask for something you do it……….this team will be built thru the draft so who cares what those leeches tell their players no more punks like shaun smith

  16. Mr. Roller Cooler, Cooler Roller says: Sep 16, 2009 8:07 PM

    Your an idiot, one already coached the browns and the others all have superbowls… no logic here. Also, none of them want to go there anyway, they would be lucky to get any of them.
    DV66 says:
    September 16, 2009 7:41 PM
    All of BeliCheats flunkies are total JOKE!!!!!!
    How could Clevland get talked into this clown I mean…Magini
    I guess he’s more qualified than:
    Ratface Shanahan
    I can win reg season Shottenheimer
    Chuckie Gruden
    Da Chin Cowher
    Walrus Holgren
    enuf said!

  17. kramer says: Sep 16, 2009 8:18 PM

    all these brilliant conclusions drawn after one game..you guys are so smart…giddyup

  18. tobago says: Sep 16, 2009 8:21 PM

    yeah whats new these are the Browns, they always get the worst of the worst. Lerner was crazy for hiring this guy so quickly. There were better coaches out there.

  19. COWBELLFEVER says: Sep 16, 2009 8:32 PM

    Ratface Shanahan
    I can win reg season Shottenheimer
    Chuckie Gruden
    Da Chin Cowher
    Walrus Holgren
    enuf said!
    none of these fellas comin to the MISTAKE by the LAKE
    enuf said!

  20. brownswinner says: Sep 16, 2009 8:38 PM

    This is really funny. The Browns blow right now so this is an obvious side effect from that. If/when they stat to win, you will see a magical thing happen where players will want to come to town. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE W’S!

  21. Zinn says: Sep 16, 2009 8:40 PM

    Don’t forget the newest Mangini gem hat has been going around lately. Last year Jet great Joe Klecko scheduled with the Jets FO to take a terminally Ill child to a Jets practice. The kid was there with Klecko and a Jets FO official. When Mangini saw them he called over the Jets official as he seems to not like Klecko and has refused to acknowledge his existence and told the FO official to get the kid away from his practice field. The official told Mangini the kid was terminally ill and this had been scheduled. Mangini said he did not care just remove Klecko and the kid.
    Add this to all the other beauties of former Jets players talking about how bad it was under Mangini, Dungy calling Mangini a cheater after he cheated against the Colts in 2006, former players calling mangini a liar, the complete lack of effort the jets played with the last 3 years and 3 years of underachieving football with the Jets an Browns fans can see how bad things are going to be the next 3 years. I feel for Browns fans. The Mangini atrocity list is just to long to list. How a man with such bad character still has a job in the NFL is quite amazing.

  22. ronry says: Sep 16, 2009 8:50 PM

    great. More good news for Cleveland fans. I need to move.

  23. DV66 says: Sep 16, 2009 9:17 PM

    Mr R.CCR & CBellfever…….listen good
    Big Money will make do things u can’t image doing……Less is never more when it comes to $$$$$’s
    DV has spoken

  24. PARavensJeff says: Sep 16, 2009 9:24 PM

    Cleveland….really, who wants to go there? Not the Lombardi!!! Not any good players either….This team is known as tfe Clowns for a reason

  25. 90ragtop says: Sep 16, 2009 9:26 PM

    Besides, where would you rather play/live, Miami, SF, San Diego, Dallas, NYC… or Cleveland OH??? Socioeconomics is answering your football question don’t spin it to hate on Manginius
    ***************
    C’mon don’t give us that sh*t. Cleveland as a city and as a place to live (including weather) is no worse than Pittsburgh, Detroit, Green Bay, Chicago, Minnesota, New England, or any other northern city.
    Does the weather here suck in the winter? Yes. Is it better in those other northern towns? No, and in many the winters are even worse.
    There are plenty of reasons not to want to play for the Browns, but the geographic location isn’t one of them (unless the player won’t play anywhere that snow flies).

  26. mborz says: Sep 16, 2009 9:54 PM

    @ppdoc13: I am FAR from a Brown’s fan, but I completely disagree with your assessment.
    I think Cleveland fans have every right to be critical and boo if they feel like it. The Browns have fallen below expectations for awhile — what do you expect, for the fan base just to bend over and happily take it? I’ll never understand why it’s such a hideous sin to show disapproval, especially when it’s deserved. Sometimes the only way to get something fixed is to actually acknowledge and point out the problems.
    Even though they vocally disapprove sometimes, they support their team in the way that matters most — buying tickets and attending games.
    Like I said, I’m far from a Browns fan, but I do respect many of their fans.

  27. trickbunny says: Sep 16, 2009 10:19 PM

    I love the Browns, but… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM&feature=related

  28. NoFootballtalk says: Sep 16, 2009 11:07 PM

    To be a successful team, you need homegrown talent anyway. You have to draft smart, which is another problem for Mangini when he was in NY. Revis was a great pick, but Vernon Gholston? No way. The way the Pats are built is brilliant. Besides all the spygate problems that they ran into, they have had a good rep for developing players. It starts with high picks at the O-line and D-line. This Cleveland D is soft and they need to focus on the secondary. Free agency becomes just an accessory to fill in the gaps when you learn to raise players who are good for the system. That’s why teams like the Pats, Eagles, Giants, etc. rarely spend money on big name free agents. I don’t know if the problem in NY was Tannenbaum’s fault or Mangin’s but buying a ton of veteran free agents never works.

  29. JeterLeto says: Sep 16, 2009 11:52 PM

    To start i am a browns fan but i do agree with a few ppl that have stated it starts with the W’s. We do have a very supportive fan base and we do bitch due to haveing 80 head coaching and QB changes in 10 years. Yes i know it wasnt 80 i dont feel like counting. Usually big name players with big name agents can equal two things from what ive seen and please correct me if im wrong. 1- You pay big big $$$ and alot of FA never live up to what they get paid. They bust there ass for a big contract and when they get it they do the minimum.
    2- Drama and too high of expectations.

  30. JoeSixPack says: Sep 17, 2009 12:08 AM

    Mike – this isn’t news.
    Everyone knows that no one wants to play for the Browns. And in many cases that has nothing to do with Mangini.
    Why don’t you lay off the guy… he’s had a tough week. First a former trusted member of his organization goes to another team and rats him out about cheating and now THIS?
    Give the guy a break.

  31. browntggrr says: Sep 17, 2009 2:27 AM

    So if I am reading this correctly, if the Browns called my agent to take a look at my skills, my agent would tell me it’s a bad idea and to go on another teams practice squad instead?
    Three words:
    FIRE THE AGENT
    Obviously they do not have your best intrest at heart.
    Every team has issues just like Cleveland. Look at SF and Crabtree, that could be spun to make SF look bad. And players that played for Mangini in NY didn’t seem to mind going to Cleveland.

  32. Browns_fan_in_therapy says: Sep 17, 2009 7:51 AM

    “…one of the sources for the original item contacted us, agreed with it wholeheartedly, and said, “‘I would put one of my players on another team’s practice squad before putting him on the Browns.'”
    well of course. right now most other teams’ practice squads could beat the Browns.

  33. slutnuts says: Sep 17, 2009 8:12 AM

    the weather isnt a factor in this. november and december arent that bad, and the browns dont play in january and february, so players can leave during those months.

  34. FloriosHairHat says: Sep 17, 2009 8:45 AM

    “…# Zinn says: September 16, 2009 8:40 PM
    How a man with such bad character still has a job in the NFL is quite amazing…”
    Why is this amazing?
    The guy who taught him these principles is still employed.

  35. redsysu says: Sep 17, 2009 8:54 AM

    Why wouldn’t you want to play for this team? Hell they can’t draft, they don’t trade for anyone good, and now they can’t get FA’s… another 20 years of crappy football in the mistake by the lake.

  36. mike says: Sep 17, 2009 9:06 AM

    Mangini is a rat…owners and coaches don’t trust him. That turncoat thought to get his old boss in trouble…but he exposed something that all teams have been doing for years.
    You reap what you sow. Sucks to be a Brown fan.

  37. Damage88 says: Sep 17, 2009 9:09 AM

    Fannation has now picked this up.
    1. We suck. We have sucked for 7 of the last 9 years. Winning cures a lot. The Pats were a joke for a while, now look
    2. Last I checked, 9 times out of 10, the team who offers the FA the most money will end up with said FA.
    3. Florio, for some reason, has a raging hard-on to besmirch the Browns whenever possible. “Sources”. Right.

  38. FloriosHairHat says: Sep 17, 2009 9:19 AM

    “…mike says: September 17, 2009 9:06 AM
    Mangini is a rat…owners and coaches don’t trust him. That turncoat thought to get his old boss in trouble…but he exposed something that all teams have been doing for years….”
    All teams were illegally taping signals?
    That tired BS argument again?
    Interesting though, that Pats fans don’t seem to want to apply that same reasoning every time one of them whines about the Steelers of the ’70’s and steroids.
    Oh that’s right, it’s because they were the only ones doing it …right?
    Just more evidence that Pats fans can’t come to grips with the fact that their beloved Patsies are now officially the most disgraced franchise in sports history.

  39. MBone says: Sep 17, 2009 9:57 AM

    browntggrr is absolutely correct. Based on money alone, if the “source” put his player on a practice squad instead of an active roster, no matter which team it is, he’d be a complete moron.
    As of last year, players on the practice squad earn $5,200 a week for a maximum of 17 weeks (per the Jags website). I believe the rookie minimum is in the high $200k’s.
    I guess that’s why the “source” is busy talking to Florio instead of being busy dealing with his clients.

  40. BBAHofstra says: Sep 17, 2009 10:06 AM

    Colin Cowherd just mentioned this article and Florio by name on his radio show. Too bad the company he works for sucks.

  41. mrmagoo says: Sep 17, 2009 10:27 AM

    As a Steeler fan, I’d like to see a rivalry with the Browns again. Browns fans are great fans and deserve better. I’ve always been inclined to give Mangini the benefit of the doubt since it drives the Patsy fans insane with the fact he’s still drawing breath. I figure he must be doing something right ever since he made them tape all those games at gunpoint, right?

  42. CKL says: Sep 17, 2009 10:41 AM

    Good point to those who talked about the staph infection issues also possibly having an affect.
    I don’t think some people get the reason the bus thing is such a douche move by the Mangenius. The problem IMO wasn’t so much that he had the guys ride the bus. It was that he bussed them in to a state far far away from their home region (umm…aren’t the guys more well suited to do charity stuff in their area to promote relations within the community?) and to HIS CHARITY for free labor and THEY had to ride the BUS both ways while his highness put himself above his guys and took a plane. NO GREAT LEADER OF MEN PUTS HIMSELF ABOVE HIS GUYS. NO GREAT LEADER OF MEN ASKS HIS GUYS TO DO THINGS HE WON’T DO HIMSELF. This he did NOT learn from Belichick, who for an example,while they were in NO for SB 36 allowed some of his players to stay in his room while he stayed in theirs because his room was much nicer.

  43. shifty says: Sep 17, 2009 10:56 AM

    unamed sources……….have zero credibilty…
    as the page is clearly stated

  44. bloodystupidjohnson says: Sep 17, 2009 11:01 AM

    I see some bloody stupid poster mentioned staph. I know that great medical authority Florio has mentioned this countless times.
    Guess what, staph is a major problem in every medical facility in the world. Maybe other football teams try to bury the problem from the press. But it is a MAJOR problem and not just with the Browns.
    Maybe that bloody stupid Florio could do some medical research and find that the problem is not centred just on the Lake Erie but EVERYWHERE. It is one of the major causes of death in ALL hospitals.

  45. bs government says: Sep 17, 2009 1:52 PM

    wow florio,
    this is just a really bad article.
    hate the browns much?
    i know youre to big-a-puss to acknowledge..
    that buss trip was for rookies and they were HELPING kids
    cleveland is actually a great place to live, if you dont like snow, you arent going to like 60% of the u.s.
    you found a wanna be agent to comment.
    well im an agent to: I try to get all of my players on the browns squad, theyre great. you can quote me too.
    Josh Cribbs is playing his ass off. like someone who wants 30million dollars it would look like. He is our best offensive player, but does he deserve to break the bank? then we can watch his production go down by 60% and he will start missing games when he stubs his toe. it will happen. next year, it looks like no salary cap so he will get paid, but not this year. and there is a reason he is under paid and FOUR YEARS LEFT. because he would be bagging groceries somewhere. dont tell me he would have made a squad somewhere else, he wouldnt have. he is the one good thing along with shawn rogers that savage did.
    the problems start at the top, not the coach, not the president… THE OWNER.
    i thank him and then beg of him, the next coach he fires… should be followed by him selling the team.

  46. DeBo7130 says: Sep 17, 2009 1:55 PM

    ok, browntggrr
    The ‘Practice Squad’ comment from the agent is pretty much hyperbole…unless he’s speaking of border-line clients, and then I believe it to be true.
    The idea that money rules all of an agent’s decision making in respects to their client is absurd. Money is the MAIN factor, but not the whole piece. No player is going to be happy to be paid well, and treated like garbage on a daily base for a losing team and by a coach with NO credentials. And.. if it is the agent that gets the player into that situation, the agent WILL be fired regardless of the money at stake.
    ‘Look at SF and Crabtree, that could be spun to make SF look bad.’
    How? How can San Fransisco possibly be made to look bad when they offered Crabtree the maximum amount of money alloted to the slot he was picked at?
    Quit defending the Browns, homer. The Jet players that came over with Mangini are mid-level washouts, lesser players. The Browns needed a TE and a WR in the offseason . Where did Laverneous Coles and Chris Baker go? Oh, that’s right a division rival and to Mangini’s nemesis.
    The writings on the wall. Pick your quarterback five minutes before kick off… like it matters when your whole team blows.

  47. tanstewie says: Sep 17, 2009 2:34 PM

    Tom Brady and Peyton Manning had staph as well. Better steer your clients away from NE and INDY. IDIOT!!!

  48. jarhead9 says: Sep 17, 2009 5:26 PM

    this is no suprise mangini wanted to be belichick since he was his student and tried to imitate him and failed horribly so he called him out for something every team does and if you don’t think that you probably think there are no steriods in the nfl and if you think that you are an idiot. the guy is a scumbag, belichick was his friend and encouraged him to become a head coach and tried to help him out and just asked that he not go to the jets since for those of you who don’t know belichick was a coach there for a DAY and left because he hated them, and what did mangini do to help the person who taught him what he knows and help him out? he stabbed him in the back and signed with the jets then tried to beat him in his own division, please also in 2008 the jets were ranked the fourth worst NFL franchise in history the pats were ranked the 10th best.
    also now you have rex ryan and jets players calling out the patriots in week 2? seriously they called it the jets superbowl in week 2, they are pathetic enough they have to call their fans and ask them to come to games.
    so no jets fan can defend mangini or hate on the patriots they messed up and the Pats and Steelers are still the model franchises that everybody wants to be.
    i feel bad for browns fans the team was already in trouble and now with mangini in charge it’ll go down the drain

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