This certainly comes as a surprise. The Browns have announced that WR Joe Jurevicius has been released, apparently due to a contract disagreement. Jurevicius had missed all of last season due to injuries, but was expected to attempt a comeback this season, pumping up the entire nation of Cleveland Browns fans. Now, however, everyone is left wondering why the most reliable receiver has been dumped by the team.
Sure, he is nearing the end of his career. Sure, there is no guarantee he will even play in 2009. However, his absence was surely felt last season, as the Browns finished as one of the worst offenses in the league without him. His sure hands and third-down effectiveness in 2007 was reason enough to at least give the guy a chance in contributing for another season.
Apparently, ManKok did not see it that way. I can understand their viewpoint, which leaves me torn. Jurevicius was one of the players I most respected, and I appreciated his team-first attitude that has become an unfortunate rarity in pro sports nowadays. I also realize that he was coming off major surgeries and could have potentially failed in his comeback bid with the team. From a money standpoint, it was probably the right move. From a player standpoint, his reliability is going to be hard to match. He’s a player I think we are all really going to miss.
The other problem to consider here is that the receiver corps is even weaker than it was before. Jurevicius was thought to bring back some sense of stability to the position if he were able to play, but with his release, what do the Browns do now? I would imagine the prospect of finding a receiver in the draft is even greater, and no one should be ruling out WR Michael Crabtree at this point. Or, uh, Jeremy Maclin, I guess. This should also put to rest some of the Braylon Edwards trade rumors.
– It has also been reported that the Browns have been talking to free agent OL Adam Goldberg, who has spent the last three seasons with the St. Louis Rams. What is most intriguing about Goldberg is his versatility; it is believed that he was the only NFL player to start four different positions (RT, LT, RG, LG) last season. If he treats his opponents in any way similar to how this Goldberg does, I want him.