Are the Browns RFAs Worth the Money? Only Vickers Deserves a Raise!

J GatskieCorrespondent IMay 21, 2010

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 28:  Lawrence Vickers #47 of the Cleveland Browns catches a pass during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 28, 2008 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Are the Browns' restricted free agents worth all the attention and money? The Browns had a total of five wins last year and these five free agents are looking for major paydays.

Jerome Harrison had 862 yards rushing last year, and has only 1,310 for his career. That comes out to 448 yards over his first three years, and 72 of those came on one play.

He had 570 of his 862 yards during the season ending four game winning streak. His average rush per carry was 4.44, which is about average in the NFL.

Against Oakland he carried the ball 39 times for 148 yards, and a measly 3.8 yard average, and against Jacksonville it was 33 for 127 and a 3.84 average. In fact, if you take away the record setting day against Kansas City, he rushed for 586 yards on 160 attempts for a measly 3.66 yard average on the year.

How in the world Jerome Harrison can hold out and expect a multi-million dollar contract when some blogger bum like me just broke his stats down like that, is crazy. Harrison owes 2/3 of every dollar he gets to Lawrence Vickers and the Browns offensive line.

Harrison is a talented running back who would thrive as a third down back, or as a complement in a two back system.

When I think of a feature back in the NFL, someone like Montario Hardesty pops into my mind's eye, not Harrison.

Lawrence Vickers is an excellent fullback, who is partially responsible for the success of Jamal Lewis and Jerome Harrison the past couple of years.

He blocks like a man possessed, has good hands when called upon in the passing game, and is one of the most underrated players in the NFL.

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.

I think Vickers is worth that much, because he makes whoever the Browns put behind him better than they are.

D'Qwell Jackson led the league in tackles a few years ago, and is a tackling machine. Jackson claims the previous front office regime promised him a multi-year extension. Jackson's problem is that he very little leverage other than to sign his tender by June 15.

Holmgren and Heckert do not seem interested in signing him to an extension.

The Browns have a ton of linebackers looking for the opportunity to start inside, including David Bowens, Jason Trusnik, and even Chris Gocong if Marcus Benard pushes him inside.

The Browns have also signed outside linebacker prospect Auston English, who could push for some reps outside also.

Matt Roth is a restricted free agent linebacker, who has demanded a trade after being picked up off the waiver wire from Miami last year.

He had a solid six game stretch with Browns, accumulating four sacks, which prompted Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan to call him the "second best player on the defense."

Perhaps Ryan should have kept quiet, because Roth now apparently thinks he is worth big money a year after having problems with management in Miami that led to his release.

Roth has definite talent, but he appears to be a head case and maybe the Browns should accede to his request, have him sign his tender and try to flip him for a receiver or defensive line help.

Abe Elam was the starting strong safety in 2009, led the team in tackles with 91, and had one sack. He is 28 and looking for a multi-year deal.

Elam is a solid player and a good tackler who struggles in coverage.

The Browns drafted two young safeties, T.J. Ward and Larry Asante, who both look like players, so I just don't see them giving Elam more than a two year deal.

When it all comes down to the nickels and dimes, only Lawrence Vickers is worth a definite pay raise, The other four are solid, competent NFL players, but they are being misled by their agents and missing valuable OTA time.


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