Daily Dawg Tags: The offseason starts to get serious now

The Cleveland Browns have made it through the opening weeks of the offseason. Now it is time for things to get serious.

It was a busy weekend for the NFL as far as the offseason is concerned.

On Saturday, the league watched as the Senior Bowl was played in Mobile, Ala., the culmination of a week’s worth of practice from a selected group of college players. Depending on who you talk with, players – most notably Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen – either locked up their standing as the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, or doomed their future prospects in the eyes of NFL talent evaluators.

On Sunday, the league hosted the annual Pro Bowl, which was won by the AFC by a score of 24-23. For those keeping score at home, Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker was named the offensive MVP after catching the go-ahead touchdown with 1:31 left on the clock. Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller took home the defensive MVP for forcing a fumble that sealed the win.

The Cleveland Browns were represented in the game by linebacker Joe Schobert, who finished with four tackles.

Now that those two somewhat minor events are out of the way, the league’s offseason will pick up speed as team’s and draft-eligible players prepare for the annual Scouting Combine, which will take place in Indianapolis from March 2 to March 5.

During those four days more than 300 players will be poked, prodded, questioned and evaluated as teams work to see who is worthy of being drafted. The NFL Network will have exclusive coverage of the weekend and, as always, Browns fans will be paying close attention to the quarterback workouts, which will take place on March 3.

Coming on the heels of the Scouting Combine will be free agency, as teams will be allowed to contact unrestricted free agents and work on contract details starting on March 12. The new league year and free agency will begin on March 14.

The Browns have somewhere north of $100 million in available cap space, so they can be active in free agency if general manager John Dorsey so chooses. Whether they splash the case or take a more sensible approach to free agency, those decisions will provide some clarification on what the team will do in the 2018 NFL Draft, which will take place on April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Cleveland Browns news:

Browns fans react to the return of the XFL

The Cleveland Browns have not fared well in the NFL since 1999. But does that mean that Cleveland would embrace a team in the new XFL?

Could the Browns swing a deal for the Colts first-round pick?

The Cleveland Browns have draft assets and the Indianapolis Colts may be open to a trade. Could the two teams work out a deal?

A dangerous, unfair quarterback comparison for Browns fans (cleveland.com)

When you’ve been burned, it’s natural to avoid the flame. But the last thing Browns decision-makers, or fans, should do is use the failure of a past Browns quarterback to cast aspersions on a potential Browns quarterback. You know how the NFL works — scouts and front office types put players in boxes, find easy reference points and can’t find a way to offer fresh analysis.

 

Senior Bowl confirms who the No. 1 pick should be (ohio.com)

After watching Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield closely throughout the Senior Bowl practice week in Mobile, Ala., it’s difficult to envision either one as the No. 1 selection.

NFL news:

New England’s Rob Gronkowski returns to practice (Boston Herald)

The Patriots received a big boost to their spirits — and Super Bowl game-planning process — in the form of an energetic, 6-foot-6, 265-pound All-Pro tight end yesterday morning.

Texans players excited about Romeo Crennel’s return as DC (Houston Chronicle)

With Mike Vrabel leaving the Houston Texans after one injury-plagued season as defensive coordinator to become the Tennessee Titans’ new head coach, Romeo Crennel is back in his old defensive coordinator role. This figures to be a smooth transition for the Texans after an uncharacteristically rocky season on defense last year. It’s a move that’s been met with enthusiastic approval of several key defensive starters.

Looks can be deceiving with Mike Pettine (Wisconsin State Journal)

The playbook has been misjudged by its cover before. Often enough, in fact, that Mike Pettine is used to it now. With a shaved head and a salt-and-pepper goatee — not to mention a default setting that, at least while coaching, could be best described as glowering — Pettine knows he can appear a bit menacing.

How and why Pat Shurmur became the Giants head coach (ESPN)

Pat Shurmur’s head-coaching tenure for the New York Giants is underway. His introductory news conference Friday provided insight into how he landed the job, what he brings to the table and how he intends to operate. There is more to the former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator than what is etched on his resume. He’s more than just an X’s and O’s quarterback guru.