155028942 8 copyThe 2013-2014 schedule was released on NBATV at 6:00 PM on Tuesday evening. The Cavaliers have been active in free agency this summer and have been rewarded 9 nationally televised games by the NBA. The Cavaliers will open the season on October 30th when the new-look Brooklyn Nets visit Cleveland. The Cavs will have 3 games on ESPN, 1 on TNT and 5 on NBATV.

On a personal note, I have maintained for years that Cleveland would start to get over the events of the summer of 2010 when the Cavs start having games televised nationally that are not against the Heat. Between NBATV, TNT and ESPN, Cleveland will play the Brookly Nets, Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards. Of all of those games, the Wizards is the most intriging to me. Both teams have elite point guards that were taken first overall, they both drafted a shooting guard high in the lottery in 2012, they both have Brazillian big men who have been criminally underrated and both teams finally have some veteran help to round out the roster.


The Browns signed Sharknado Mingo to a 4 year $16 million contract today, meaning that they have now signed all 5 of their rookie draft picks only a few short days after Rookie Training Camp began and before true Training Camp begins.


Mingo's contract did contain the offset language which was the source of the delay, so Joe Banner won round one of Joe vs. The Agents.  In exchange for the offset language (which almost certainly won't even come into play), the Browns will fork over all $10 mil of Sharky's signing bonus this year.

I guess we know now why they were hanging around so far beneath the cap.  I have to give credit to Joey B - Sharknado will cost next to nothing against the cap for 2014-2016.

If you think Mingo enters Camp with the expectation of being the Day 1 starter, think again.  Sayeth Cleveland's OLB Coach Brian Baker:  "Right now the other two guys are better... whether I'm supposed to say it or not. Every place I've been I've always played the best guys and played those guys in the best positions. So if Barkevious beats one of those guys out, he'll be a starter. Until then, they're the starters."

This isn't really a big deal, since starter or no-starter, Mingo will be part of a Jabal Sheard/Paul Kruger/Quentin Groves rotation and see plenty of the field.

Sharknado-movie-syfyRookie Training Camp started for the Cleveland Browns today, but, sadly, it started without the presence of the only potential difference-maker from the draft, 1st Round pick Barkevious "Sharknado" Mingo.

Sharknado is being held out by his agent until the contract can come to order.  Now, I know you thought the last CBA was going to eliminate such holdout issues, but apparently Agents discovered they would be completely useless without something to quibble over, so they have made it a point to fight about the "offset" language in contracts, which I could explain to you but won't bother since it's monumentally boring and trivial.

But that's why Sharknado is home playing Madden instead of on the field playing real football.

Also unsigned are 3rd Round pick Leon McFadden and 7th Round pick Armonty Bryant.  Not even God knows why a 7th rounder is holding out.

Joe Banner has a reputation as being un-fun to deal with contract-wise.  Can this all be blamed on Joe?  Hell no.  But I think it's a safe be he's not big on compromise, and this may become a pattern as pain-in-the-ass Agents fight pain-in-the-ass Front Office types for NFL dominancy.

Trent-Richardson 20130530120328477 660 320About a year ago, I got into an argument with a fool (not advisable) that claimed that Colt McCoy was vastly more important to the team than Montario Hardesty.  My point was that even if Hardesty was completely useless (which he had pretty much been up to that point), a backup RB (that sucks) that rarely saw the field could still be no more useless than a backup QB (that sucks) that never sees the field.

Turns out that Hardesty was and will be pretty key to the team in the Trent Richardson era, since Richardson appears to have a knack for nagging injuries.

The Browns reportedly will be holding Trent out until August to help prevent his lower right leg strain (suffered a couple weeks ago in practice) from evolving into a stress fracture.  Just last week, Coach Rob Chudzinski was assuring everyone that the injury was not concerning and that Trent should be back at practice this week.  I would assume that privately the injury IS "concerning" to the team, however, since this wouldn't be the first time I've heard the Org claim that the boo-boo was "no biggie" while the player's absence from the field dragged on - a combination that usually means "we ain't telling you the truth since you can't handle the truth".

So Hardesty, who was surprisingly effective last season under an increasing workload, will be taking first team reps for the foreseeable future and - if Trent "Injury-Prone Is Not Going To Be Me" Richardson continues to be what he says he ain't - might be far more vital to the team than anyone could've guessed at this time last year.

The Cleveland Browns signed former Cleveland Browns RB Brandon Jackson to a one-year deal Thursday.  After missing all of 2011 with a toe injury, the 27 year old Jackson roared back in 2012 with 54 yards rushing and 2 catches for 20 yards.  Somehow teams were able to lay off the Unrestricted Free Agent long enough for the Browns to pick him back up, however, so the 3 headed monster of Richardson-Hardesty-Jackson can continue to eat opponents alive.

In other news, Eric Hagg was released.  After winning the starting Free Safety job to start last season, Hagg embarked on a freefall spiral downwards that would've made OJ jealous.  He will now be available for day labor such as yard work and painting.

0carrascoPer everybody on Twitter, Carlos Carrasco has received an eight-game suspension for Tuesday night's beaning of Kevin Youkilis immediately following a Robinson Cano home run. Carrasco had just returned from a five-game suspension he received for throwing at Billy Butler of the Royalson July 29, 2011. Carrasco must be on the Major League roster to serve the suspension and is eligible to pitch for Triple-A Columbus.

Carrasco was also fined $3,000 and will ask the Major League Baseball Players' Association to appeal on his behalf.

The implications of the suspension could be particularly hurtful to the Indians. With Ubaldo Jimenez struggling and Brett Myers looking like a DFA candidate sometime within the next two months, the Indians would have to go with a 24-man roster for eight games while Carrasco served his suspension if they needed him down the road. For all intents and purposes, that pretty much leaves Carrasco out of the fold until September when rosters expand. The games must be served concurrently.

In other roster news today, the Indians recalled Nick Hagadone and optioned out Corey Kluber. Jason Giambi was activated from the disabled list, while Matt Albers was placed on paternity leave.

2013 04 browns david nelsonThe Cleveland Browns added to their depth at wide receiver on Monday, signing unrestricted free agent David Nelson to a reported one-year contract.

Nelson is a big target (6-foot-5 and 214 pounds) and, more importantly, was second in receptions for the Buffalo Bills in 2010 and 2011. For his NFL career, he has 94 receptions for 1,042 yards and eight touchdowns.

In their rankings of free agent wide receivers, Pro Football Focus wrote that Nelson “possesses the kind of size and talent that plenty of personnel people around the league will think they can exploit. ... In 2011, Nelson emerged as one of the leading slot receivers in the league, finishing seventh overall in terms of slot yardage.”

What’s that? You don’t remember seeing Nelson on the field when the Browns took on Buffalo in Week 3?


2013 04 browns momassMohamed Massaquoi, the last of the Cleveland Browns ill-fated second round selections from the 2009 NFL Draft, signed a free-agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday.

The Jaguars reportedly gave Massaquoi  a two-year deal worth up to $4.7 million. In four years with the Browns, Massaquoi had 118 receptions for 1,745 yards and seven touchdowns. He never had more than 36 receptions in a single year (his second), 624 receiving yards or three touchdowns (both in his rookie year). By comparison, Josh Gordon, a second-round supplemental pick, had 50 receptions for 805 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie season in 2012.

Massaquoi also suffered from knee and hamstring injuries, as well as a concussion delivered by Pittsburgh's James Harrison, but in the end he just wasn't very good - especially for someone drafted in the second round.


2013 04 young gocong releaseThe Cleveland Browns continued the roster purge on Tuesday, releasing linebacker Chris Gocong and free safety Usama Young.  

With Young’s release, third-year safety Eric Hagg currently sits at the top of the depth chart at free safety (unless you prefer Tashaun Gibson, that is). At Gocong’s position, the team has undrafted free agents Craig Robertson and L.J. Fort.

Luckily, the Browns don’t play a game until September so they have some time to work this all out.


2013 03 brent grimes miamiThe Cleveland Browns missed out on a chance to strengthen their secondary as free agent cornerback Brent Grimes reportedly agreed on Saturday to a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins.

While it is disappointing as a healthy Grimes would have looked good in the secondary opposite cornerback Joe Haden, it is by no means the end of the world for the Browns.

First off, there is no guarantee that Grimes will be able to return to his former level as he is still recovering from the Achilles tear that knocked him out for the 2012 season in the opening game. While Grimes, who will turn 30 this year, told The Sun-Sentinel that he is “100 percent confident that I’ll be healthy in no time,” the reality is that players often struggle to return – especially at a position like defensive back that requires sudden stops, turns and other moves that stress the legs.

The Browns reportedly offered Grimes a contract for more than one year, but Grimes decided to bet on himself and sign a one-year deal with the Dolphins. If he can show he is the same player as he was in 2011 – when he was the third-best cornerback in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus – then Grimes can hit the free agent market again and look for a bigger payday.

That’s why it was smart for the Browns to offer a multi-year deal. If it turns out that Grimes was able to play at (or near) his previous level, the Browns would have prepaid for a second year of good play at a discounted price, rather than assuming the majority of the risk on a one-year deal.


2013 03 browns don jonesThe Cleveland Browns reportedly held a private workout today with Arkansas State safety Don Jones.

Jones had what can best be described as an interesting career with the Red Wolves. He originally was recruited as a running back but left the school after his redshirt freshman year because of academic reasons.

After spending a season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jones returned to Arkansas State – but this time as a linebacker. He finished his senior season with 54 tackles and added eight more in Arkansas State’s win over Kent State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.


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