Cleveland Browns Sign All Five Restricted Free Agents, Rookies Next
In the matter of a few hours on Monday, all five of the Browns restricted free agents signed their tenders, avoiding the possibility of having their contracts significantly reduced.
Jerome Harrison, Lawrence Vickers, D'Qwell Jackson, Abram Elam, and Matt Roth all signed on the dotted line prior to the June 15 deadline, meaning all five will be reporting for training camp next month.
The most laughable aspect of this whole situation stemmed from comments made by agent Drew Rosenhaus, who said players signed these contracts "under the gun," are "unhappy" and that this could translate to under-performing on the field.
That's a great statement because nothing makes a front office want to renegotiate your contract more than a threat to not play at peak level during the season.
When it comes to the Browns RFAs, it can't be said enough that these guys were given very generous offers, and the fact that no other team bit on their second-round tenders prior to the draft should tell these players all they need to know.
If any of these five guys were worth a second-round draft pick, or a multi-year deal, some front office somewhere in the league, would've picked up the phone and made an offer.
You can't blame the guys for waiting to sign a contract after the draft to gauge if there was any interest, but once none was shown, they should've signed their contracts and gotten on the practice field.
But they didn't, and the reps were given to other guys—some of them rookies.
Speaking of rookies, none of the Browns eight draft picks have signed yet, which isn't anything to get alarmed about. It could be the front office has been concentrating on the RFAs to this point. Negotiations with the rookies should begin in earnest now.
The low-round draft picks contracts pretty much are slotted, and they'll be the easiest to sign.
Colt McCoy wasn't taken until the third round, so he'll be easier to sign than if he was a first-round pick.
Joe Haden is an enigma as he may wait to see how guys around him sign before he settles on his contract, or he may be one of the first to get a deal done.
Either way, the Browns front office has shown they'll play hardball, and don't expect anything to change moving forward.
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