The trade of veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Washington Redskins will have a significant impact on the Browns (not as much, by the way, compared to what McNabb could have done for Cleveland over the next three years if we had of held off pulling the trigger so quickly on Delhomme, but why cry over spilled milk).
Draft day just became even more interesting for Cleveland. Philly now picks immediately before the Browns, and Cleveland General Manager Tom Heckert should have inside information about who the Eagles will be most interested in acquiring. If that player is someone that the Browns want badly, look for Heckert and Holmgren to be tied closely to the Eagles’ player personnel executives on day one of the Draft, in the event that a trade is required to keep the Browns’ target on the board when the Eagles select.
A lot has been happening in Brownstown lately. I agree with Steve’s piece about Sheldon Brown – finally Cleveland has a proven player in the secondary. I was a little disappointed to see Alex Hall go as I think he has real potential, however, the trade was a very positive one for arguably the weakest secondary unit in all of the NFL.
Then of course we have Big Baby “forgetting” that he has a loaded gun in his luggage at the airport in Cleveland. Obviously, no reasonable person would believe that, however, there has to be some explanation for the not guilty plea to the felony charge. A conviction leads to a wide array of penalties from probation to several years in prison. We know one thing for certain, even if Rogers is found not guilty or the charge is withdrawn or a plea bargain is made, the saint of all morality, Roger Goodell, will not be satisfied. Goodell has annointed himself the judge, jury and executioner of all conduct by NFL players, on and off the field. There are those that think that is properly the role of the Commish – not me. If you cheat, you ought to be punished severely. If you break a League policy that affects or may impact on your play on the field, like substance abuse or gambling on your own team’s games, then you ought to be punished swiftly and harshly. If you injure a player deliberately by a cheap-shot or other dirty bone-headed move, then you ought to be sanctioned accordingly. But where your conduct has nothing to do with football and is dealt with through the criminal justice system, then Goodell should shut his mouth and keep his moral code to himself. We fans who are parents are not so stupid as to hold out professional athletes as some kind of ethical role models for our children. Those athletes that do lead by example on and off the field are to be commended, however, I do not bring my sons to Browns games to have them emulate the morals and values of the athletes on the field. I bring them to have fun. Personally, I go to watch us win (although I am not so blunt with my kids). Rogers helps us win football games. He can single-handedly change a contest. I hope we will not be without him. Remember what Roger did with Stallworth when he did not like the plea bargain that was arranged in Criminal Court; he decided to suspend Donte indefinitely so that the Browns were hamstrung. Hey Roger: stick with finding different venues for the Pro Bowl (which nobody cares about) and tinkering with the overtime rules.
By the way, a quick surf on the internet this morning showed no consensus at all in terms of who the Browns will likely draft in the first round. The predictions include QB Colt McCoy, safety Eric Berry, cornerback Joe Haden and QB Jimmy Clausen, among others. I would be very pleased with Berry. Haden is a bit of a yawn but undoubtedly a safe pick and the best corner in the Draft. McCoy I like a lot but not in the first round. Clausen – no thanks.