I think the fact that the Browns are continuing to talk to players from the New York Jets means that maybe head coach Eric Mangini wasn’t as awful as people claim he was. If these free agents are willing to visit Cleveland, it should mean that these players at least respect Mangini. After all, if they didn’t, and they already got rid of him once, why would they ever consider voluntarily going back to play for him?
The players the Browns are talking to are LB David Bowens and LB Eric Barton. Bowens is continuing talks with the Browns, but there is nothing to really report on there. What’s intriguing about Barton is that he led the Jets in tackles last season. He started 46 of 48 games in the three seasons Mangini coached in New York.
The biggest issue at the linebacker position is depth, and signing just one of these two guys would certainly help. Barton seems like an intriguing possibility, as he is already proven to produce well under a Mangini-led coaching staff. Neither of these guys are particularly flashy linebackers, but, especially in the case of Barton, they will make a very noticeable difference in the defense. Hardworking players with a team-first attitude go a long way in improving even the most soul-crushingly awful teams.