Browns apparently are breaking the bank

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Asked to make a bold prediction on Monday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, I suggested that the Browns would resist the temptation to spend a bunch of cash and cap space to eradicate the stink of controversy after controversy after controversy in Cleveland.

I suggested wrong.

With linebacker Karlos Dansby reportedly agreeing to terms before the time for agreeing to terms has come and likewise doing the same for safety Donte Whitner, the Browns are spending plenty.  Especially if they’re anywhere to Whitner’s asking price, believed to be $8.5 million annually.

And they could spend more if they opt to trade for the contract of cornerback Darrelle Revis, who would be as close to home as possible without playing for the Steelers.

If they don’t get Revis, look for them to spend on someone else.

It would make much more football sense to wait, as to all these moves.  But football sense often doesn’t drive the decisions made in the early days of free agency.  In Cleveland, other concerns will be pushing the Browns’ effort to do a cannonball in the Cuyahoga.

137 responses to “Browns apparently are breaking the bank

  1. Let’s review recent free agency champs and how it played out.

    2013: Miami Dolphins (Mike Wallace, Brent Grimes, Dannell Ellerbe, Dustin Keller, Chris Clemons). Finished 8-8.

    2011: Philadelphia Eagles (Dream Team). Finished 8-8.

    2009: Washington Redskins (Albert Haynesworth, Jason Taylor, Deangelo Hall). Finished 8-8.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

  2. Let’s review recent free agency champs and how it played out.

    2013: Miami Dolphins (Mike Wallace, Brent Grimes, Dannell Ellerbe, Dustin Keller, Chris Clemons). Finished 8-8.

    2011: Philadelphia Eagles (Dream Team). Finished 8-8.

    2009: Washington Redskins (Albert Haynesworth, Jason Taylor, Deangelo Hall). Finished 8-8.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

  3. And yet they have NO QUARTERBACK… NO RUNNING BACK… AND 1 CAPABLE PASS CATCHER. Hoping for some 9-6 victories I see.

  4. Let’s review recent free agency champs and how it played out.

    2013: Miami Dolphins (Mike Wallace, Brent Grimes, Dannell Ellerbe, Dustin Keller, Chris Clemons). Finished 8-8.

    2011: Philadelphia Eagles (Dream Team). Finished 8-8.

    2009: Washington Redskins (Albert Haynesworth, Jason Taylor, Deangelo Hall). Finished 8-8.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

  5. And yet they have NO QUARTERBACK… NO RUNNING BACK… AND 1 CAPABLE PASS CATCHER. Hoping for some 9-6 victories I see.

  6. not a browns hater by any means but the question remains even after big name acquisitions: is it a team? the browns seem to be repeating the history that was the raiders in the recent past with regards to players and management. the people of cleveland deserve better…except for that kidnapping guy. he was a prick

  7. Love it! Bring in as many 30+ year old expensive guys as possible because we all know that’s how you build a winning team. #factoryofsadness

  8. Mike,

    What is this franchise doing??? Dansby is going to turn 33 years old in November & they just gave him $14 Million in guaranteed money???

    Okay Cleveland–Before it was just comical now I actually feel bad for the fans.

  9. The Factory of Sadness continues to overspend for average talent. Pretty soon the Browns will become an entity of the federal government!

  10. I feel for the Browns and their fans. I keep hoping that one of these years a bunch of no-name scrubs and undrafted free agents get together and pull off a deep playoff run. Just once. This is America, right?

  11. Let’s review recent free agency champs and how it played out.

    2013: Miami Dolphins (Mike Wallace, Brent Grimes, Dannell Ellerbe, Dustin Keller, Chris Clemons). Finished 8-8.

    2011: Philadelphia Eagles (Dream Team). Finished 8-8.

    2009: Washington Redskins (Albert Haynesworth, Jason Taylor, Deangelo Hall). Finished 8-8.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

  12. He’ll yea baby! I know it’s not always the way to build your team through free agency, but the browns have a lot of holes to fill. And that way with the ten picks in the draft fill some more holes and take the best player a avalible.!

  13. 2013: Miami Dolphins (Mike Wallace, Brent Grimes, Dannell Ellerbe, Dustin Keller, Chris Clemons). Finished 8-8.

    2011: Philadelphia Eagles (Dream Team). Finished 8-8.

    2009: Washington Redskins (Albert Haynesworth, Jason Taylor, Deangelo Hall). Finished 8-8.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

  14. When you suck at drafting, spend big in FA, that way you’re guaranteed to suck for years to come.

  15. Looks like a strong indication of a heavily offensive draft for Cleveland. Looks like an arrow pointing to the most “win now” QB as their first pick.

  16. Good, its about time the Browns made som moves. I remember last year around this time every time I read something about a free agent it would immediately be followed by “the Browns are not actively pursuing them ” Now they should draft Watkins with that first pick to pair up with Gordon.

  17. Don’t spend money just to spend it and think that will soothe rowns fans. They’re smarter than that…..

    Spend wisely, draftt good and resist the temptation or you’ll be in cap hell.

  18. So their defense will be better but what about their offense?

    Until they get a QB, this team will continue to be towards the bottom of the AFC.

  19. Wow, Rumormill is gridlocked. We got Whitner, Dansby. I feel like Transformers the Movie (from 1986). “You got the touch! You got the powerrrrrrr, YEAH!!!”

    Go Browns! Hope these moves work out.

  20. How about them Browns! They are going to have a good run in 2014…..4-12 season here we come!!!

  21. Is it coincidence that all the teams that “break the bank” in March never do anything in January? Funny how you never see playoff teams messing around with Revis or any of these other guys. You need a couple strong veteran leaders leading a bunch of young hungry guys to win in the NFL. If you think signing Revis to a deal is going to get you a Super Bowl think again. This is from a Seahawk fan that loves Richard Sherman but would gladly watch him walk when its time for his big payday. I’d rather keep Earl Thomas and let him lead some young hungry corners than pay Sherman what the bottom feeders have been paying Revis lately.

  22. Good luck to them, they’re due a change of luck. Anyone who hates the Browns needs to get out more.

  23. How many times have these free agent spending sprees actually paid off for a team? Please.. Name one time.

  24. Browns are trying to mimic the Seahawks formula. But they will come to find out it doesn’t just work for everyone. There is more to the system and drafting the right guys. Not just buying talent and throwing them together.

  25. If the Browns would be slow to start free agency the article would rip the team as same old Browns. If the reports of Dansby and Whitmer are accurate, I’m on board… especially if Whitmer comes cheaper than Ward.

  26. Really? good football sense is to wait for the other teams in your division to improve and you sit back and take the crumbs?

    We tried that and didn’t work with Joe and Mike.

    Although I agree $16m for Revis is too much.

  27. All those defenders won’t matter w/o a QB. And I seriously doubt Manziel/Bortles/Bridgewater are solutions.

  28. They have to spend it. I like Whitner over Ward. We need an LB. Use the draft for offense I guess. Browns fans we always wanted them to think big in FA. We have it now.

  29. Still no news on Jairus Byrd.

    If we’re going to spend the money on Darrelle Revis, it seems like it would make more sense to give that (a lot less) to Byrd. He’s more of an impact player at this point, and he doesn’t come with NEARLY as much baggage and attitude as Revis does.

    I hope my Browns remember to keep a bunch of cap room to re-sign our core guys next year like Haden, Sheard, Taylor, etc.

  30. They need to do something. Cap space and losing means no returning FA players. Mack and Ward don’t want back. Joe Thomas and DQ Jackson were vocal about displeasure. The fans are growing tired. They have to start winning. Only makes sense to be somewhat aggressive.

  31. “It would make much more football sense to wait.”

    Wow; I agree with Florio for a change. With this kind of spending, one might think we were discussing a team on the cusp of greatness.

  32. “Clink”

    That is the sound of handcuffs reserved for the owner which will be the cherry on top of the Factory of Sadness…….

  33. Baltimore Fan here…I’m so curious as to why they are spending all the money to strengthen their defense when they have such a bad offense???

    Shouldn’t they focus on stacking up point scorers as well???

  34. Don’t you think the Browns have been saving for next year, long enough?

    It might be moldy money…but it still spends the same…go Browns

  35. Just the “can’t get right Browns”. All those picks and they sell the farm in free agency. We’ve seen this act before in Tampa, Miami and Washington. And we’ve seen the results.

  36. First off, I know I’m late to this party, but “factory of sadness” is frickin hilarious! If they get Revis signed in addition to Dansby and Whitner, however, it’s going to be a factory of a pretty good defense. I’m pulling for you Brownies!

  37. Don’t you think the Browns have been saving for next year, long enough?

    It might be moldy money…but it still spends the same…go Browns

  38. I have pulled for the Browns to do well for quite a while, kind of my AFC team. Id like to see them draft well to turn it around, but they are trying to fix it quicker, but who can blame them.

    It appears they are putting an emphasis on defense, which is a good start.

  39. Don’t you think the Browns have been saving for next year, long enough?

    It might be moldy money…but it still spends the same…go Browns

  40. It’s interesting that they seem to be investing heavily on the defensive side of the line, especially when you consider that the Cleveland defense was quite good but the offensive side was sub par.

    Cleveland could well be a team that takes a significant jump forward this year though. The Browns have some good talent to build around.

  41. Don’t you think the Browns have been saving for next year, long enough?

    It might be moldy money…but it still spends the same…go Browns

  42. This is still the team I pick to win the division. They are going after it while the other teams they are grouped with could be taking a step back and allowing CLE to take full control of this division for the next decade or two. None of the other teams deserve to achieve success, so go Browns!!

  43. Why are they spend in money on a defense that’s already pretty solid?

    They should worry about their offense, as in qb, because I’m pretty sure thats the reason they lose every year. Also a running back bcuz mcgahee is done, even as a backup.

    They should take notes from the kings of the afc north, THE RAVENS, and maybe that could at least smell the playoffs for once this century

    #RavenNation

  44. Revis won’t play there.
    Jokeland is a joke.

    Raiders, Oakland come play with hall of famer Charles Woodson, and help to bring back to the Raiders to the top spot. We gon make it big this year
    leggggo

    Browns don’t even know what winning feels like, we do and we THIRSTY FOR IT NOW!

    GO RAIIIIIIDDDDDEEERRRRSSS!

  45. Jimmy wants to buy a winner before he goes to prison.

    This won’t turn out well, but as a Browns fan, I will watch it all.

    Off to make popcorn.

  46. I guess teams didnt learn from the “Dream Team” debacle. You can add a couple pieces through FA but you cant build a team that way.

    I guess they plan on holding teams under 3 points since thats the only way theyll win with their QB/RB situation the way it is.

  47. Can’t believe Dansby would leave a great situation in AZ to play for the Browns. The almighty dollar…

  48. I think it’s quite apparent why the Browns are a losing organization. Their coaching search was a circus and now they are throwing money all over the place in the hopes that something sticks to the wall. Ask Daniel Snyder how that’s worked for him so far.

  49. Well can’t say they aren’t trying…. Not sure they are taking a good approach but you can’t say they are just standing by

  50. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy veterans who know how to win. Here we go Brownies, keep spending before you head to the slammer, Jimmy.

  51. Good for the Browns for making a run at these guys. Unfortunately unless they can draft a QB who pans out, or develop Brian Hoyer they won’t have much of a chance because their offense stinks. The fan base and the city deserves a winner.

  52. Good for them. Spend and get some quality players. Carried over 24M from last year’s cap, so they planned to spend this year. Hope it works and they start to be competitive.

  53. I honestly dont even want to make jokes because it is just flat out sad at this point how pathetic the way this team is run is. It’s an absolute joke.

  54. Funny how productive the first day of FA is when you get rid of penny pinching Banner!

    No way he would have signed Whitner and Dansby due to Banner’s age discrimination!

  55. Dansby must be on a retirement tour…he got FA money from Miami went back to AZ and now visiting Browns for their donation to the Dansby Retirement Fund…just saying

  56. The Browns QB is Hoyer! And he was doing pretty darn good before he blew out his ACL!
    I hope he comes back and they win the north! It’s gonna be a team from OH that wins the AFCN, b/c we KNOW it ain’t gonna be the Squealers or the Ratbirds and their 120Million dollar QB that’s worth about 2 Million!!!

  57. What they just did was not breaking the bank on over the hill players. They are one of the youngest teams in football to begin with. They are replacing a 30+ year old MLB with an upgrade 30+ MLB. They have replaced a hard hitting SS with another Pro Bowl hard hitting SS for probably less money. Its really the best they could have done on day one. I don’t think its reckless by any means.

  58. Don’t understand the negative comments (actually I do as it’s pretty obvious the people commenting know nothing of the Browns roster or their free agent/draft situation).

    Browns have done nothing so far but replaced big name contributors to their team they lost (Jackson and Ward) with people that are just as good (Dansby/Whitner). It really isn’t hurting their cap numbers and still HAVE to spend a lot more per the CBA which I believe is 89% of it (they already had the 3rd most available in the league BEFORE they lost Jackson, Ward, Mack and Bess). This means Alex Mack is going to get overpaid big time to stay in Cleveland and most importantly they really haven’t even STARTED in free agency. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jason Campbell gets released to add cap space as well.

    As for those pointing out that they still need a QB, Receiver and running back. With 10 picks in the draft (7 in the first 120 picks) I’m pretty sure they aren’t going punter with all of them. Just a thought.

    8-8 would be seriously disappointing for a team with a highly sought after young GM and a coach with something to prove having that kind of ability to turn around the roster in ONE OFFSEASON. That’s a dream situation for a new front office.

  59. Lots of Hate for Cleveland Browns…Lets not forget we were a solid organization for long time before having our team taken from us. And one of the best fan bases around!
    So Al Lerner buys the new expansion franchise and passes away shortly after, leaving the team to his son who could care less about football and the team but held on to the team until he could get an obscene amount of money for it……..I suppose we should get laughed at for that as well…. So now Jimmy Haslem buys the team and is scrutinized as if he’s been the owner for the last ten years…he’s learning on the job and had a tough first year but cmon guy is obviously serious about putting a good team together…he’s spending money ….and making changes , not settling, admitting his early mistakes…he’s pulling out all the stops! it’s not going to be easy , but he will bring this team back to respectability!!!! just don’t judge us by the mess that was the Randy Lerner regime……and don’t forget Cleveland Rocks!!!!

  60. Dansby had 6.5 sacks and four interceptions for Arizona last season. He played all but three snaps.
    Profootballfocus.com rated Dansby No. 5 among all inside linebackers last season. Jackson was No.42.
    A major issue with Jackson was pass coverage. Dansby excelled in that area with four interceptions and 19 pass breakups. Jackson had only seven breakups.

    Dansby has missed only eight games in 10 seasons. It’s only two in the last six years. Along with his 6.5 sacks last season, he had four quarterback hits and 11 more quarterback hurries.

    Great 2 year signing to all the idiot haters.

  61. It’s all well and good to sign top free agents, and draft top rookies…but if you don’t have a strong staff to coach them, all could be lost.

    The Browns have a head coach who “acted” as DC under Rex Ryan (who, let’s be honest, was really acting DC), then was the DC for a slightly-less-terrible team last year. One year. The DC HE’s hired is 35, has very few years of experience in the NFL…and only two years ago was a quality control coach. And, his OC was practically blamed for the demise for his entire previous franchise. Then sprinkle in a bunch of Pettine’s high school and college buddies.

    Teams that win consistently employ seasoned coaches who’ve worked for winning franchises. I don’t see anyone of that caliber in this staff. Coaching staffs made up of a bunch of friends do not playoff teams make.

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