Ross Verba is an idiot

As the Browns start training camp, Terry Pluto is reporting that Ross Verba has just receive an offer in the range of $1 million for one season. Verba, you’ll recall, is the idiot who stormed out of Berea claiming that he would insist on a contract in the range of $34 million.

I bring up Verba because his situtation speaks volumes about the new regime. They don’t take crap from their players, and they don’t have inflated views of their own players’ talents. Verba is addition by subtraction. The line this year will be better, and that alone will make this team better. If Dilfer can stay healthy, he has plenty of tools around him and the offense should be fine.

Many are worried about the defense, but Crennel’s dynamic 3-4 schemes should make them respectable. If the youngsters come through this could be a good unit.

With so many changes, this team might struggle, but frankly I don’t care. Anything is better than listening to Butch Davis’s bullshit. The guy belongs in politics because he is incapable of telling the truth. With Savage and Crennel the fans and the players will get some straight talk. Over time, they should be able to deliver a team that challenges for the playoffs and hopefully the Super Bowl. I’m willing to be patient.

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Twins’ Torii Hunter injured

Torii Hunter was injured in the Twins’ loss to the Red Sox. He apparently tore a tendon in his ankle and will miss 4-6. (UPDATE: It now looks like Hunter will miss the remainder of the season with a broken ankle.)

Despite a slow start in the second half of the season, the Tribe is in the race for the Wild Card, and this injury will hurt the Twins. The Tribe has had to play recently without Travis Hafner, but they are thumping Seattle tonight and they can’t be counted out.

The key for the Indians is pitching. Other than C.C., the pitching is keeping them in it, and if they make it to they playoffs they can do some damage with this pitching staff. If C.C. wakes up and remembers how to pitch, then the Indians can be very dangerous.

Is Maurice Clarett finally growing up?

Maurice Clarett helped the Buckeyes win a National Championship, and then he turned on the school and his former teammates by trying to destroy the program. Fortunately, the NCAA didn’t believe his bullshit and the Ohio State football program dodged a bullet.

Since then, it has been easy to take shots at Clarett, and we’re more than happy to do so, but we have to give him credit for the new contract he signed with Denver. The details are spelled out in a post on The Scores Report. Basically, Clarett will not take any guaranteed money and instead will receive significant performance bonuses. He’s showing he has some balls, and maybe, just maybe, he’s finally growing up.

Ohio State QB Smith did not break NCAA rules

Ohio State QB Troy Smith has been cleared of NCAA violations by Ohio State and the NCAA following an investigation over his attendence at a football camp conducted by Steve McNair. This seemed like a very minor incident, so it should be a relief for Buckeye fans that Smith will not have to sit out any more games following the opener. Regardless of whether he starts, the Buckeyes will likely need him against Texas.

Jasikevicius chooses Indiana

The Cavaliers reportedly wanted Lithuanian point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius, but so did Larry Bird. Well, Larry got his guy. ESPN is reporting that Jasikevicius has agreed to sign a three-year, $12 million deal with the Pacers Sunday. Doug Neusted, Jasikevicius’ agent, told ESPN, “It really came down to who he could win a championship with next year. He saw a chance to contribute and win and couldn’t pass it up.” I guess you can’t blame the guy for picking a quality organization like the Pacers, but I’m surprised he chose to leave (reportedly) more money and more minutes on the table in Cleveland, not to mention the opportunity to play with his best friend, Z. That said, I wasn’t as sold on him as some other people were, not for the Cavs, anyway. After the Larry Hughes signing I thought Jasikevicius made sense because the team was still in need of a three-point threat, but with Donyell Marshall on board that became less of a concern. And considering Jasikevicius’ noted defensive shortcomings, he just didn’t seem like a great fit.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many appealing options out there for the Cavs now at the point. The ABJ is still talking about Marko Jaric, but it doesn’t sound like they’ve got enough cap room to sign him and, besides, Jaric is a restricted free agent. That may be good news for Cavs fans, though, as Jaric has been injury prone throughout his brief NBA career and may very well end up making more money than he’s worth. The guy who probably would’ve made the most sense right now, Antonio Daniels, has already come to terms with the Washington Wizards. Of course, a Drew Gooden trade can never be ruled out but with how thin the Cavs’ frontline looks at the moment, I doubt they’ll move him for a guard. Want a dark horse candidate? How about free agent Gary Payton? He’s way past his prime and he’s got a big mouth, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Danny Ferry was at least kicking GP’s tires. Considering the other options out there, it makes sense.

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