It’s been a week since Phil Savage’s magical Leap Day. Here are my thoughts after taking a week to digest it all...
QB Derek Andersen – Re-signed
I like the move. It buys the Browns another year to evaluate if DA is the real deal or a one year wonder.
Yes, he’s getting $8 million a year but it’s only for three years, a manageable cap number. Yes, he was awful on the road and yes, the second half of 2007 was rough but he does have the tools to be an effective NFL QB.
Whether he harnesses those tools in 2008 will determine the Browns long term QB answer.
RB Jamal Lewis – Re-signed
This was a no-brainer.
Other than the fact that he’s 29 there are not a lot of negatives. You can not ignore what he did in 2007. His running style keeps teams honest, opens up the passing game and helps the Browns close out games. He was very effective in the passing game and seemed to be a positive influence in the locker room despite his checkered past.
There was no one comparable in free agency available and the Browns were not in a position to take a “factor back” in the draft. Please shoot me, I just quoted Merril Hoge.
Again, a three year deal at about $6 million per year. That is a nice chunk of change, but short enough that the Browns can cut the ties early without a giant cap hit.
S Nick Sorensen – Re-signed
Phil Savage read my cut list!
You always need one wacky, out of place guy to play special teams. From 2003 to 2006 it was the Stormin’ Mormon, the Ball Bull, Mason Unck. The Mother Unker was a crazy, bald Mormon from Utah (college ball at Arizona State) who would just fly into the wedge with reckless abandon.
A great recovery by Savage to sign Sorensen, who looks like a hung-over surfer dude, to a three year deal. I was worried there for a while, Phil.
DT Corey Williams – Acquired by Trade
The price was a little steep, 2nd round draft choice, but if the Browns honestly thought that could not get anyone close to his caliber on draft day then I completely back the move. It vastly improves the weakest position on the team.
Personnel directors around the league rave about Williams’ game. He’s big enough to play on the inside yet athletic enough to play on the outside.
A monsterous 6 year deal for Williams, who was franchised by the Packers before the trade, but you do need to overpay for defensive linemen because they are few and fare between. Plus he’s only 27 and I can see him anchoring the line for years.
He is the acquisition I am most excited about.
DT Shaun Rogers – Acquired by Trade
This, by far, is Savage’s riskiest gamble.
Rogers spent his tenure in Detroit splitting time between being a dominant force on the field and a consistent pain to the coaching staff because of weight, attitude and work ethic issues. If they can keep him at 340 pounds and motivated then this might be a complete steal. If not, then this could be one of the worst trades possible.
I can understand giving up a 3rd round choice for the guy but throw in CB Leigh Bodden and then give him a 6 year deal with $20M guaranteed… that makes me a little uneasy.
Regardless, Shaun Rogers still has the potential to do great things in the league. This is definitely an “all or nothing” trade. I hope it’s all.
WR Donte’ Stallworth – FA Signing