This trade shouldn’t be a surprise. Winslow is a great talent, and he played harder than anyone, but his injuries and his contract demands made him expendable. They had their best game on offense last season (against the Giants) when Winslow was hurt. He was a serious liability in the running game. Also, if we’re moving to more of a Patrots-style offense, the tight end seems to be less important.
That said, what are the draft picks? Why is this a secret? Hopefully the Browns got at least a #2 pick.
Update: The PD is reporting that the Browns “will receive Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in 2009 and fifth-round pick in 2010.”
Here’s Winslow’s statement:
In Tampa, Winslow said, “Cleveland treated me right. Everything didn’t go as planned there but I had a good time playing there. Cleveland was great to me. I had a great time playing with Braylon Edwards, Brady Quinn. I’m going to miss those guys. But it’s a new opportunity and I’ve played with some of the guys on this team — Jeff Faine, Antonio Bryant, Luke McCown.”
Like I said above, Winslow played his heart out. It’s nice to see him leave with class.
Ben Wallace has broken leg
This is a tough break for the Cavs.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Ben Wallace will miss four to six weeks after breaking his right leg in Thursday’s 93-74 loss to Houston.
Wallace said Yao Ming kicked him as the two were running down the court in the second quarter. The 6-foot-9 Wallace managed to play midway into the third quarter before leaving for good with 6:19 left.
“I thought it was like a calf bruise or something, that would probably let up eventually,” Wallace said. “But it didn’t. It was one of those freak accidents that happen in basketball.”
Wallace saw the X-rays taken at the Toyota Center that showed the broken fibula.
“I know what that little white line means,” he said.
Wallace, who guarded Yao for most of his 17 minutes, was playing his fourth game since missing Cleveland’s Feb. 18 win over Toronto with a right arm laceration that required 14 stitches.
Wallace was averaging 6.6 rebounds and 3.0 points in 53 games this season. His loss could be devastating and continues a run of bad injury luck for Cavs, who have played without Zydrunas Ilgauskas (left ankle) and Delonte West (broken wrist) for extended periods.
“It’s a tough blow for us,” said Cleveland coach Mike Brown.
This isn’t good news, but it’s not “devastating.” It’s time for J.J. Hickson to step up.
Malcolm Jenkins runs sub-par 40 times at combine
Malcolm Jenkins is a terrific player and he should be a solid choice in the first round for most teams, but he didn’t help himself today with his performance at the NFL combine.
Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins may have cost himself a top 10 spot in the NFL draft with a disappointing 40-time and sub-par ball drills at Scouting Combine Tuesday.
He may have also revealed himself as a safety instead of the shutdown cornerback he wants to be.
Jenkins, mentioned as a possible selection of the Browns at No. 5, ran unofficial times of between 4.53 and 4.58 at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium. He also dropped some passes in the ball drills, prompting Deion Sanders of the NFL Network to proclaim that Jenkins and a couple of the other DBs were “killing themselves.”
Fellow NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock concluded that “the damage has been done” with the underwhelming 40.
“His value will be affected by his time, like it or not,” said Mayock. “But there’s a lot of good tape on him and a lot of Cover 2 teams are going to love him at corner.”
Or perhaps at another position.
“Some people think day one he’s a Pro Bowl free safety,” said Mayock. “He’s got the size and the strength and the physicality to play the position.”
Jenkins is not a burner, and that will affect him in the NFL. He has great instincts, so I can see why some teams would look at him as a safety, though Mayock’s point makes sense. He can do well at corner in a Cover 2 scheme.
I don’t think the Browns will burn their #5 pick with Jenkins. My guess is that they go with a linebacker.
Bill Simmons on Lebron and other Cavs players
John Paulsen from our national site, The Scores Report, dug up another great column from Bill Simmons where he discusses the “trade value” of 40 NBA players. His take on LeBron is awesome.
1. LeBron James
Last February, I wrote that he didn’t have a ceiling. This year? I figured out his ceiling. At least for right now. At age 24, he’s a cross between ABA Dr. J (unstoppable in the open court, breathtaking in traffic, has the rare ability to galvanize teammates and crowds with one “Wow” play, even handles himself as well off the court) and 1992 Scottie Pippen (the freaky athletic ability on both ends, especially when he’s cutting pass lines or flying in from the weak side for a block), with a little MJ (his overcompetitiveness and sense of The Moment), Magic (the unselfishness, which isn’t where I thought it would be back in 2003, but at least it’s in there a little) and Bo Jackson (how he can occasionally just overpower the other team in a way that doesn’t seem human) mixed in … only if all of that Molotov Superstar Cocktail was mixed together in Karl Malone’s body. This is crazy. This is insane. This is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. And to think, LeBron doesn’t even have a reliable 20-footer or a post-up game yet. See, this is only going to get better. And it’s already historic.
As a Celtics fan, I shudder for the future. As an NBA fan, I am pinching myself.
Until next year.
Great stuff. He also has an interesting take on another Cavs player.
J.J. Hickson: My favorite under-the-radar rookie and a legitimate 2009 Playoff X Factor. If he played for the Lakers, L.A. fans would be comparing him to a young Karl Malone right now.
Delonte drops 25 in his return
The Cavs rolled over the Pistons tonight as Delonte West returned and scored 25 points.
Dump Sean Jones
Tony Grossi is speculating that the Browns might be considering placing a franchise tag on Sean Jones, but I would be shocked if Kokinis goes in that direction.
The Browns have not negotiated with any of their 13 potential free agents and don’t appear willing to use the franchise tag on Sean Jones to protect themselves from losing the safety.
NFL teams have until Thursday to apply the franchise designation to one potential free agent. Doing so would guarantee the player the average of the five highest-paid players at his position and restrict his movement. The franchise number for safeties is $6.342 million. Jones had a base salary in 2008 of $2.145 million.
The Browns have not used the franchise tag since they were reborn in expansion in 1999.
Browns General Manager George Kokinis declined to totally rule out tagging Jones, saying, “Some things in this league are done in the 11th hour.”
Sean Jones was a disaster last season. Maybe his knee was still bothering him, or perhaps Mel Tucker was completely clueless, but there’s no way Jones merits a franchise tag. Next to linebacker, safety is the biggest need on this defense. We hear lots of talk about the corners, but the Browns desperately need an impact safety. It’s time to let Jones go.
Buck Showalter’s Kerry Wood prediction
Just heard Buck Showalter on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and he predicted that Kerry Wood would lead the American League in saves. If he’s right the Indians will be playing in October. It’s exciting to think about how goodthe Indians can be if Wood stays healthy.
Buckeyes going after Nick Montana
The Buckeyes are recruiting quaterback Nick Montana, Joe Montana’s son.
According to several reports, quarterback Nick Montana, Joe’s son, said he is flying to Columbus for an unofficial visit on Monday and Tuesday before going to check out Texas for two days. He said the Buckeyes told him he is their No. 1 quarterback target in the next recruiting class.
“They told me I was going to be pretty much their guy until I tell them that I’m not interested or unless I tell them otherwise,” Montana told BuckeyeSports.com. “Until that, they won’t be looking for another quarterback.”
Remember those San Francisco 49ers who came in last summer to give the Buckeyes a pep talk — Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig and … Joe Montana? Former 49ers owner Ed DeBartolo Jr. is a Tressel friend from Youngstown. So, yes, Joe Montana played at Notre Dame and his Nick’s older brother, Nate, walked on as a quarterback for the Fighting Irish. But Jim Tressel is no stranger to the Montana family.
I remember seeing a report several years ago about Montana’s sons. Joe compared Nick to John Elway, citing his rocket arm. If Nick has Elway’s arm and Montana’s brains, he’ll be one hell of a player.
Brandon Saine is still in the mix at tailback
The Ohio State Buckeyes will need to replace Chris “Beanie” Wells in the backfield next season, and the will hae plenty of candidates, including Dan Herron and a number of freshmen who were included in Ohio State’s steller 2009 recruiting class.
Doug Lesmerises has an excellent series on Cleveland.com reviewing each of the positions on the Buckeye roster for 2009. In his latest installment, running backs coach Dick Tressel reveals to Lesmerises that Brandon Saine is still in the mix, despite past injuries.
Is Brandon Saine a tailback or some combination of a fullback and receiver out of the backfield? Where does he fit it?
Tailback. The fact of the matter was he had a great spring last spring, so we came into this fall, we have all these good tailbacks, how are we going to get them on the field? So he can do these other things, so maybe he’s the guy you move around to do these other things. He had injury issues, so it all didn’t happen for him and us. Fortunately, we get to regroup and have him in a position to move forward.
Browns freeze ticket prices
The Cleveland Browns will not raise ticket prices for the 2009 season.
The announcement means that Browns tickets remain the lowest priced among AFC North division teams, and that the club’s average ticket price now ranks 31 out of 32 NFL teams. The team has raised its prices just twice over the last six years.
In addition, the Browns $32 ticket continues to be the single lowest priced ticket offered by any AFC North team. Tickets in this pricing tier include those located in the Cleveland Browns Family Zone presented by Applebee’s – a family-friendly, alcohol-free area in Cleveland Browns Stadium.