The devil of agents himself, Drew Rosenhaus, represents our starting backfield.
Rosenhaus is the agent for both, Jerome Harrison and Lawrence Vickers. He also is the agent for starting outside linebacker Matt Roth and starting safety, Abe Elam.
Sports Illustrated made him the first agent to appear on its cover a few years ago. His picture was accompanied by the headline, "The most hated man in pro football."
Rosenhaus was portrayed in the movie, Jerry Maguire, as the unscrupulous Bob Sugar.
It is not surprising that they have missed all team activities up to this point and they will likely miss the mandatory minicamp June 10-12.
Rosenhaus is perhaps best known for representing Terrell Owens during the infamous Philadelphia Eagles affair. Owens was filmed doing push ups in his driveway and other ridiculous antics following a suspension from the team after an altercation with quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Rosenhaus represents over 100 NFL players including: wide receivers Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals and Desean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles.
He has not traditionally held players out of training camp but it is not unheard of.
In the NFL, contracts are not guaranteed like they are in baseball, so if a player gets hurt and gets cut in the middle of a multi-year deal, they have no recourse.
Rosenahus's theory is that if a player, such as Josh Cribbs, outperforms his deal in the middle of it he should be able to renegotiate it.
So, with Rosenhaus representing them, what can Harrison and Vickers expect to get?
Fullback Greg Jones of the Jacksonville Jaguars got a five year $17.4 million contract after the 2008 season, which at the time was considered the largest pact ever for a fullback.
Vickers, who has been injury free, and is the NFLs best blocking fullback, should be in line for something along those lines.
Harrison is much more difficult to predict.
He had an absolutely monster end to the 2009 season, racking up 570 yards in the Browns four game winning streak to close out the year. He had 862 for the year and scored five touchdowns.
Prior to that monster four game ride, Harrison had accumulated 740 yards over four seasons. He was not the starter for the bulk of the time, Jamal Lewis was, and his overall average yards per rush of 4.8 is excellent.
Harrison has good hands coming out of the backfield and seems to run decent routes.
There are some questions as to whether he could hold up to the pounding a feature back receives in the NFL and with that in mind, the Browns selected talented big back Montario Hardesty out of Tennessee in the second round of the draft.
So, now the Browns seem to be looking at Harrison as a co-feature back in a two back offense and that certainly will have an effect on the contract's bottom line.
Harrison best compares to the Buffalo Bills Fred Jackson, and the Seattle Seahawks Justin Forsett in terms of ability and production.
Jackson had signed a four year $7.5 million extension in 2008 and Forsett is playing under a four year $1.7 million deal he signed as a rookie. We can be sure that Rosenhaus is not going to settle for those numbers.
My guess is that Harrison wants somewhere between $3.5 and $4.5 million a year with a signing bonus of more than five million.
I have no idea if the Browns will pony up that kind of cash for a 5'9" 205 lb back when they have some backs in the stable.
In reserve, the Browns have James Davis, Peyton Hillis, and Chris Jennings at running back. All three have had moments, either in the regular season or the pre-season.
Outside of getting Vickers into camp, I believe signing Matt Roth is the most important piece of business left on the front office's agenda.
He had a tremendous impact on the defense in the six games he played following his acquisition, and made Kameron Wimbley expendable with his ability to get to the passer.
True pass rushing outside linebackers are difficult to find, and the Browns have to be willing to ante up and pay Roth at a rate commensurate with other pass rushers of similar abilities.
Shaun Phillips, outside linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, signed a six year $31 million dollar deal in 2007 after having a breakout year. I'm not saying Roth is worth that but expect Rosenhaus to.
According to Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Daniel Wolf, Rosenhaus is also the agent for Abe Elam, another unsigned Browns restricted free agent. According to a piece written by gridironfans.com, Elam wants a long term deal. With recent rookie draft picks at his position, look for these negotiations to be protracted.
Hopefully, these negotiations will resolve themselves quickly, but do not be surprised if they don't.
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