Updates from Monday, Aug. 11
Jordan Cameron spoke with Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal about his contract negotiations:
#Browns TE Jordan Cameron said contract extension talks are ongoing and positive. Said he's hopeful deal maybe could be done before season.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) August 11, 2014
On the heels of a breakout season, Jordan Cameron is reportedly working on a new contract with the Cleveland Browns.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Tuesday that both sides are "in talks" about a contract extension for the 25-year-old tight end and provided further details:
They have also been in talks with tight end Jordan Cameron, according to numerous sources, and it's at least possible a deal could get done before camp.
The sides have not been close, but with Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who has not been very productive to this point, getting over $7 million a year, that would seem to set a good measure for the Cameron talks (I heard Cleveland's early proposals were more in the $5 million to-$6 million range).
Last season, Cameron was one of the most stable targets for the Browns, hauling in 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. That's a stark difference from his first two years with a combined 26 receptions for 259 yards and touching pay dirt just once.
With Josh Gordon—the team's leading receiver from 2013—potentially facing a year-long suspension for a positive drug test and his status up in the air, Cameron also adds stability to the receiving corps. The tight end spoke about taking on more of the load this season if Gordon doesn't return, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer:
"You want that,'' Cameron said. "You want more targets if that's what it's going to be. When that time comes we'll worry about it then. You can't worry about what you can't control."
As La Canfora mentions, contract talks between Cameron and the Browns could heat up after the Minnesota Vikings re-signed tight end Kyle Rudolph to a new deal. That extension is for five years and $36.5 million.
While Rudolph's deal might speed up talks, Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan believes Cameron might be looking at another recent contract:
Cameron was far from the tight end that Jimmy Graham was last season, but he's been phenomenal. Graham put up the most receiving yards for a tight end in 2013 with 1,215, but Cameron was No. 2.
That moved Cameron on the cusp of the top five for ESPN's Mark Brunell, via Tom Reed of the Plain Dealer:
ESPN analyst Mark Brunell ranks #Browns Jordan Cameron as 5th best pass-catching TE behind Graham (NO) Davis (SF) Thomas (Den), Gronk (NE).— Tom Reed (@treed1919) July 15, 2014
Cleveland general manager Ray Farmer, on the other hand, wouldn't divulge about the talks, per La Canfora:
“I don't know where that's going to go," Farmer said. "But I've always said I'll never negotiate in the media, so I'll refrain from comment on that.”
What should the Browns do with Jordan?
Cameron has just one year remaining on his four-year rookie contract that expires after 2014. Making a base salary of $1.43 million, per Spotrac, his production has well exceeded the contract compared to Rudolph.
The only component that might hold the Browns back is his inexperience. The third-year player has just one notable season, but can quickly show that it wasn't a fluke this year with a hot start.
Aside from the potential of not having Gordon on the field, there is also the uncertainty under center. With a confident Cameron having a new contract, he would provide a consistent receiver for either Brian Hoyer or rookie Johnny Manziel down the field.
At 6'5", 249 pounds, Cameron gives either signal-caller a red-zone target to help instill confidence in the offense. Regardless of who's behind center, Cameron will be a dominant player to look for in the middle of the field.
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