While nobody expected a complete rebuild of the Cleveland Browns, it appears that is exactly what's happening.
When Mike Holmgren came in there was minimal talk of a total rebuilding process needing to take place. Just three months later, Cleveland has already taken on a new look and feel.
For a team expected to do most of its building through the draft, the Browns have been awfully busy already. To catch you up to speed, here's a breakdown of what's happened so far.
QB Jake Delhomme
QB Seneca Wallace
RB Peyton Hillis
TE Benjamin Watson
OT Tony Pashos
LB Scott Fujita
CB John Bowie
Offensively, odds are strongly pointing to a West Coast Offense in 2010 for Cleveland. Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace are both quite experienced with the style Holmgren has helped make famous. Signing a big target of a tight end and adding a pass catching running back are also notable signs that a WCO is in the works.
It was already rumored that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has been getting a "crash course" in the offense over the offseason, and these picks just add more fuel to the fire.
2010 third round
2010 fifth round
2011 sixth round
2012 conditional pick (fourth-seventh round)
The third round pick was acquired by trading OLB Kamerion Wimbley to the Oakland Raiders, while the fifth round pick was dealt by Detroit in exchange for DE Corey Williams and a 2010 seventh round pick.
As most know, the remaining two picks are part of QB Brady Quinn's deal from Denver.
QB Derek Anderson (Arizona Cardinals)
QB Brady Quinn (Denver Broncos)
RB Jamal Lewis
TE Steve Heiden
WR Donte' Stallworth (Baltimore Ravens)
G Hank Fraley (St. Louis Rams)
G Rex Hadnot (Arizona Cardinals)
G Ryan Tucker
FS Brodney Pool (New York Jets)
OLB Kamerion Wimbley (Oakland Raiders)
DE Corey Williams (Detroit Lions)
While everyone expected Derek Anderson to be off the roster by opening day, very few predicted both QBs would be gone. Few surprises otherwise, except for Kam Wimbley. The list is mainly made up of aging and injured veterans.
While most will be loved and missed, the Browns are getting younger, and making room for their upcoming 12 NFL Draft Picks to possibly be added to the roster.
2010 Seventh round
The seventh round pick was part of the Corey Williams deal. No harm, no foul here. Very few NFL players are found so late in the draft, mostly projects and developmental players.
LB Jason Trusnik
LB Marcus Benard
LB Blake Costanzo
DB Ray Ventrone
KR Joshua Cribbs
OL Billy Yates
RB Chris Jennings
TE Greg Estandia
Greg Estandia and Chris Jennings were surprises, while Trusnik, Costanzo, and Ventrone were clearly pushed by Special Teams coach Brad Seely for a prompt return.
Marcus Bernard showed great promise in limited action last year, and with all the losses to the offensive line, Billy Yates was a necessary depth signing.
WR Lance Moore (New Orleans Saints—second round tender)
WR Sinorice Moss (New York Giants—third round tender)
OG Rob Sims (Seattle Seahawks—fourth round tender)
It's no secret that the wide receivers of Cleveland last year were no superstars. There's a lot of young promise, but they're going to need an experienced member in the WR corps who knows what it takes to get the ball in the end zone.
There are plenty of rumors circulating.
The Examiner reports Lance Moore of the New Orleans Saints may be on the Browns' radar. Moore is currently carrying a second round tender, after having an injury-plagued 2009. The previous season, however, he was one of Drew Brees' favorite targets, putting up 79 receptions, 928 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Moore is in the same mold as Wes Welker, only 5'9", but his quickness makes for a lot of mismatches.
Sinorice Moss, a talented receiver out of Miami, has been lost in a shuffle of young New York Giant receivers for the past few seasons. Since he's received limited playing time, he has become expendable in New York, making him a candidate for an offseason move.
Moss has an "original round tender" on him, which would normally mean his compensation would be a second round pick. In this case, though, only a third round pick will be given, since the Giants tendered three players at his original level.
Being from Seattle, Holmgren knows the skills of offensive guard Rob Sims fairly well. Sims would command a fourth round pick, a hefty price tag for an often injured lineman.
2010 NFL Draft Picks
1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6
With so many picks in the upcoming draft, don't expect Cleveland's wheeling and dealing to end anytime soon. With rumors of trading up for QB Sam Bradford in the first round, QB Colt McCoy in the second round, and so many others, Cleveland's new identity is just barely on the horizon.
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