Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.

PHOENIX -- Bill Belichick is here at NFL owners meetings, but not long enough to attend the annual AFC coaches media breakfast on Tuesday.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Belichick will leave the meetings after Monday to scout prospective draft picks.

That doesn’t mean the Browns won’t have the opportunity to pursue a trade for Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo. But it does mean Belichick most likely won’t be available to comment.

Belichick has gotten word through media channels that he won’t trade Garoppolo. But that can be interpreted as a means of driving up the price. Until he or Patriots owner Robert Kraft publicly state that Garoppolo will not be traded, the possibly exists of the Browns pursuing a deal.

And while some may fear Belichick would fleece the Browns in a deal involving Garoppolo, the New Browns Order of Sashi Brown, executive vice president of football operations, and Paul DePodesta, chief strategy officer, has established a fairly good trade record.

Wheeling and dealing: Since Brown and DePodesta were teamed by owner Jimmy Haslam to head the Browns front office in early January of 2016, they have made nine trades involving seven teams. They have made two trades with Belichick’s Patriots and two with the Panthers, and one apiece with the Eagles, Titans, Dolphins, Steelers and Texans.

In those transactions, the Browns have traded 10 draft picks and acquired 17.

They have subtracted linebacker Barkevious Mingo, punter Andy Lee and cornerback Justin Gilbert.

They have added cornerback Jamar Taylor, linebacker Jamie Collins and quarterback Brock Osweiler.

Here is our analysis of each trade.

1. April 20, 2016: Traded 2016 first (2nd overall) and a 2017 conditional fourth round pick (139th) to Philadelphia for the Eagles’ 2016 first (8th), third (77th) and fourth (100th) round picks and 2017 first- (12th) and 2018 second-round picks.

Result: If you liked Carson Wentz, you didn’t like this trade. Wentz went 7-9 as a rookie with a mediocre Eagles team. The Browns conceivably can still win this trade by parlaying the Eagles’ first-round pick this year and second-round pick next year into a franchise quarterback.

2. April 28, 2016: Traded 2016 first- (8th overall) and sixth-round (176th) picks to Tennessee for the Titans’ 2016 first- (15th overall), third- (76th) and 2017 second-round (52nd) picks.

Result: This netted the Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman and projected 2017 starting right tackle Shon Coleman, plus a second-round pick this year.

3. April 29, 2016: Traded third- (77th overall) and fifth-round (141st) picks to Carolina for the Panthers’ third- (93rd), fourth- (129th) and fifth-round (168th) picks.

Result: These picks became quarterback Cody Kessler, safety Derrick Kindred and guard Spencer Drango.

4. April 30, 2016: Traded seventh-round pick (223rd overall) to Miami for the Dolphins’ seventh-round pick (250th) and DB Jamar Taylor.

Result: This was a gem. Energized by a change of scenery, Taylor emerged as a starting cornerback and earned a three-year contract.

5. Aug. 25, 2016: Traded LB Barkevious Mingo to New England for the Patriots’ 2017 fth-round pick (177th overall).

Result: The 2013 NFL draft was an unforgettably bad one mostly throughout the first round. Mingo, taken sixth overall, was one of many busts. He did little more for Belichick than run down on kickoffs and punts and moved on in free agency to the Colts. Getting anything for him was a bonus.

6. Aug. 29, 2016: Traded P Andy Lee and a 2017 seventh-round pick (233rd overall) to Carolina for P Kasey Redfern and a 2018 fourth-round pick.

Result: The Browns dumped a $2.833 million salary owed one of the league’s best punters for a middle-round pick. They really didn’t miss Lee’s missile punts, as replacement Britton Colquitt proved reliable and earned a multi-year contract.

7. Sept. 3, 2016: Traded DB Justin Gilbert to Pittsburgh for the Steelers’ 2018 sixth-round pick.

Result: Classic addition by subtraction, ridding the locker room of an entitled athlete who doesn’t love the game. Gilbert did nothing for the Steelers and was released after the season. He stands as one of the Browns’ all-time first-round draft busts.

8. Oct. 31. 2016: Traded a conditional draft pick -- 2017 compensatory third-round pick (103rd overall) -- to New England for LB Jamie Collins.

Result: Collins auditioned for eight games and showed enough to usurp a $50 million contract for four years, including $26.4 million guaranteed. The one-time Pro Bowl linebacker will be a foundation player for the defense implemented by new coordinator Gregg Williams.

9. March 9, 2017: Traded fourth-round compensatory pick (142nd overall) to Houston for 2017 sixth-round pick (188th), 2018 second-round pick and QB Brock Osweiler.

Result: The Browns immediately sought to distance themselves from the stigma of overpaid Osweiler by saying how pleased they were to acquire another second-round pick in the 2018 – their third. Haslam picked up the cost of Osweiler’s $16 million guaranteed salary. Originally, it appeared the Browns had a deal in hand to flip Osweiler and half of his salary to another team. But that was speculation, at best. They may have to bring Osweiler to their offseason program beginning April 17 and hope they can include him in a Jamar Taylor-like throw-in deal in the late rounds of the 2017 draft.

CINCINNATI -- Now that the Cincinnati Bengals are two weeks into free agency, they have a more accurate picture of how the roster will look heading into the 2017 draft.

We're taking a look at each position, how it changed in free agency and where it stands now.

Previous entries: Specialists, Tight Ends, Running Backs


AJ McCarronChristopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY SportsBengals quarterback AJ McCarron has thrown six touchdown passes and two interceptions in limited duty as a backup.

Current roster: Andy Dalton, AJ McCarron, Jeff Driskel

Departures: None

State of the position: McCarron's name has come up repeatedly as a possible trade candidate over the past two seasons. At the end of the season, McCarron essentially said his goodbyes, expressing his appreciation for Cincinnati in the event a trade did occur.

But with the bulk of free agency already over, McCarron remains in a Bengals uniform. Technically, he has one year left on his rookie contract, but the Bengals could potentially hold his rights for up to two years if its determined that he did not spend enough time on the active roster as a rookie to accrue a year toward free agency.

Though the quarterback market has been picked over, it's still possible the Bengals could deal McCarron during the draft. They prepared for that scenario by adding Driskel to the team this season and keeping all three quarterbacks on the active roster.

However, the Bengals have also said multiple times that they would be just fine keeping McCarron around for the duration of his contract. McCarron took over after Dalton was injured during the 2015 season and proved himself a capable backup. The Bengals would have to be very comfortable with Driskel, or look for a veteran to back Dalton up, before they ship McCarron elsewhere.

They've also implied it would take a substantial offer from another team to part ways. As it gets closer to OTAs, it seems more and more likely that McCarron isn't going anywhere for a while.

"The phones in our office work. They always work. I’ve got an interest in listening to any of you that want to talk," Bengals player personnel director Duke Tobin said at the NFL combine. "The larger point on AJ McCarron for us is he’s a very valuable piece of what we do. It’s not a point where we’re saying, 'What do we do with this guy? We don’t have a plan for him.' There is a plan in place for us. He plays a very valuable position and you’re always one play away from going to your backup quarterback. We view our team as a team that can challenge ...

"If you don’t have a viable No. 2 quarterback that you can go to and win with, you can tank your entire season. He’s a very valuable piece of what we do. If somebody wants to call and talk to us, call and talk to us. But they’re going to find out we value AJ McCarron quite a bit."

Will the Miami Dolphins' third starting linebacker please step forward?

Currently, that player is a complete mystery to the Dolphins team and coaching staff.

Miami did plenty this offseason to plug its holes following a successful, 10-6 season that ended in the wild-card round of the playoffs. But the Dolphins still have a weakness at outside linebacker beyond starters Lawrence Timmons and Kiko Alonso.

Koa MisiMichele Eve Sandberg/Icon SportswireKoa Misi is an option at outside linebacker for Miami, but the seven-year veteran has had durability issues.

Here are the candidates and where things stand this week:

Candidate No. 1: Koa Misi

2016 stats: 22 tackles

Analysis: Misi currently has the inside track simply because he’s on the roster. The Dolphins reportedly worked out a pay cut to keep Misi for 2017 after he played only three games last season due to injury. Before that, Misi’s play was inconsistent, which is why the Dolphins are still searching for an upgrade. At a reduced rate, Misi is worth keeping around for depth purposes. He is mostly a two-down linebacker who is a liability in coverage and with durability concerns. It is risky if the Dolphins rely on Misi next season to be a full-time starter for 16 games.

Candidate No. 2: Zach Brown

2016 stats: 149 tackles, one interception

Analysis: The Dolphins expressed some interest in Brown, but not to the degree most expected. They hosted Brown for a visit in free agency and didn’t offer the 27-year-old the kind of contract he was looking for; he left Miami without an agreement and visited his most recent team, the Buffalo Bills, this week. Brown's market has been lukewarm, which is somewhat surprising considering the numbers he put up last season. Perhaps the Bills, Dolphins and other teams are aware of his limitations beyond the numbers. But Brown would be an upgrade over Misi.

Candidate No. 3: NFL draft

2016 stats: N/A

Analysis: Perhaps one reason why the Dolphins aren't going overboard in their pursuit of Brown in free agency is the NFL draft is loaded with talented linebacker prospects this year, particularly in the first two rounds. The Dolphins hold the No. 22 overall pick and Temple’s Haason Reddick, Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham and Florida’s Jarrad Davis are possibilities and would be solid fits in Miami’s 4-3 scheme. All three are athletic playmakers with high ceilings. The potential trio of Timmons, Alonso and one of these three rookies is a nice upgrade from 2016 when Miami had the NFL's 30th-ranked run defense.

videoCollege pro days are in full swing and the Bears sent the kitchen sink to quarterback Deshaun Watson's workout at Clemson. The only Chicago Bears' representatives missing, it seemed, were Team Chairman George McCaskey and Staley the mascot. The Bears' presence at North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky's pro day consisted of Chicago's top scouts, but not Ryan Pace, John Fox, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains or quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone, which leads us to today's mailbag question.

Jeff Dickerson: I've witnessed the Bears be all over a guy at a pro day and not draft him. I've also seen the Bears skip a pro day and end up taking the guy. There are plenty of settings in which teams can collect information on players -- college all-star games, the combine, pro days and private workouts. Plus, the college scouts have monitored these players for years, too.

That being said, the Bears probably do like Watson, but not at No. 3. To draft Watson, the Bears will have to be creative; either trading out of third overall pick (difficult to do) or moving back into the first round to grab him.

Watson is a winner, and therefore may be long gone by the time Chicago picks in the second round.

"If I'm a decision-maker, I'm looking for a quarterback who elevated the program,” ESPN College Football analyst Brock Huard told me in December. "Deshaun Watson did that at Clemson. I had a defensive coordinator say to me that people want to compare Louisville's Lamar Jackson and Watson and say they are the same guy. They are not. One is an NFL wide receiver; one is an NFL starting quarterback.

"Deshaun is NFL ready. He is phenomenal off the field. He's the anti-Jay Cutler. He would be a breath of fresh air for the Bears. He would come into that organization and people would just gravitate towards him. He's a lot longer and more athletic than people think. He's very gifted athletically, and I think he's a smooth passer that makes every NFL throw. There will be a transition from their scheme at Clemson to the NFL level, but when Nick Saban says that preparing for Watson was as difficult as preparing for Cam Newton, people take notice."

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Watson going No. 13 overall to Arizona in his 2017 Mock Draft 3.0, one spot ahead of Trubisky, who Kiper projects at No. 12 to the Cleveland Browns.

The problem with Trubisky is that he had such a limited body of work in college. But he could go before Watson next month.

So, to answer your question, no, I don't think the Bears were bluffing at Watson's pro day. I'm not sure they draft him, but I bet the interest is very real. Again, though, the Bears can't mess around at No. 3. If they are unable to trade down, Chicago has to draft a no-brainer on defense without any medical red flags. That's why I feel the two most likely options are Stanford's Solomon Thomas and LSU's Jamal Adams.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Three Patriots-based follow-ups from ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton's ranking of the 20 best free agents available (Insider):

Michael FloydCharles Krupa/AP PhotoThe return of Michael Floyd to the Patriots in 2017 is looking like a long shot.

Looks like Floyd has been squeezed out. Wide receiver Michael Floyd (No. 12) might be the receiver most affected by the team's acquisition of Brandin Cooks in a trade. With Julian Edelman, Cooks, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell atop the depth chart -- and the club holding on to Danny Amendola in a reflection that they hope to work something out to keep him at a reduced salary -- there doesn't appear to be a spot for Floyd at this time. Floyd provided the Patriots with insurance and depth late last season and into the playoffs, but a return in 2017 now looks like a long shot.

18 rushing touchdowns doesn't get you what it used to. Running back LeGarrette Blount (No. 18), who is coming off one of the best seasons of his NFL career with 18 rushing touchdowns, hasn't been definitively linked to any club as an unrestricted free agent. My understanding is that the Patriots and Blount discussed his potential return but couldn't come to an agreement, and no other team has stepped up at this time to officially take Blount off the market. The Patriots signed running back Rex Burkhead (Bengals) and also have Dion Lewis, James White and D.J. Foster on the roster, but none of those players qualifies as a pure power back like Blount. If the Patriots don't draft a power back, and Blount still is available, perhaps the sides revisit things at that time.

Does Revis still have something to offer? When Darrelle Revis played for the Patriots in 2014, his 1-2 cornerback tandem with Brandon Browner helped the defense produce some impressive results in the second half of the season. If restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler were to wind up elsewhere, some have speculated the team could consider bringing Revis back to fill the void. While that door might not be officially closed, I'd be surprised if it's a serious consideration at this point.

Continuing to shop in the bargain aisle, the New York Jets have signed free-agent wide receiver Quinton Patton, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers. This is a "connection" signing, and the connection is Jets offensive coordinator John Morton. He was Patton's first position coach with the 49ers in 2013.

Terms: Not immediately available, but it's likely a one-year contract with a small amount of guaranteed money.

ESPN 150 ranking: Not ranked

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Quinton PattonJason O. Watson/Getty ImagesQuinton Patton set career highs with 37 receptions and 408 yards last season for San Francisco.

Grade -- C: Patton is the first wide receiver to be added since the Jets released Brandon Marshall, but Patton isn't expected to replace Marshall. No, no, no. But let's say this for Patton: Unlike the Jets' first four free-agent signings -- Kelvin Beachum, Chandler Catanzaro, Morris Claiborne and Josh McCown -- Patton isn't coming off a down or injury-plagued season. He set career highs with 37 receptions and 408 yards, playing 68 percent of the offensive snaps for the 49ers.

What it means: Patton, 26, will add veteran depth at receiver. His background with Morton should give him a jump on the others in terms of learning the new system. The former fourth-round pick has 73 career receptions, which puts him third on the team, behind Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa. Patton can play outside and in the slot, where he made 16 of his 37 catches last season, per ESPN Stats & Information. His role expanded in 2015 after being an afterthought in his first two seasons behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. The new regime in San Francisco made him expendable, as they re-signed Jeremy Kerley and added Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin. Patton, listed at 6-foot and 204 pounds, is not explosive (only one career touchdown) but rather a possession receiver. He dropped six passes over the past two years, a bit much for 120 targets.

What's the risk: There really is no risk, financial or otherwise. Patton will battle the likes of Robby Anderson, Charone Peake, Jalin Marshall (four-game suspension) and Devin Smith for a reserve role. It could be anywhere from No. 3 to No. 5/6 on the receiver depth chart. Things will change if Decker gets released at some point, which is a possibility. If Patton sticks, the Jets will have two receivers whose first names start with Q. How many teams can say that?

videoThe NFL Network reported that New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton had breakfast with Johnny Manziel during Super Bowl week and that Payton appears to have taken an interest in the former Browns quarterback. But there are no indications that the Saints are planning to sign Manziel at this time.

It could just be a matter of friendly advice or due diligence. When the Saints took on a different type of reclamation project, Joey Harrington, years ago, Payton said he got good advice about taking a chance on a player who came into the league with tools and talent but didn't pan out for one reason or another, and that quarterback is "the one position that all of a sudden a player can have success in his 11th season."

On the flip side, signing Manziel would come with a ton of media attention, including things like possibly being selected for "Hard Knocks" (something the Saints have made clear in past years that they don't want).

The Saints are looking heavily into quarterbacks in this year's draft class since Drew Brees is 38 and heading into the final year of his contract. They have held private workouts with Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes II and Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs this week, and will likely do the same with many of the top quarterback prospects. But that could also be classified as due diligence, since Brees is still thriving. New Orleans did the same thing with the top quarterbacks in last year's draft class and didn't wind up drafting one.

The Saints also visited with their former backup Chase Daniel, who is now a free agent, last week -- but that was mostly about their history with Daniel. They don't necessarily need to sign a new veteran backup since they like the one they have, Luke McCown.

videoSAN DIEGO -- Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco recently said that even though the team has franchise quarterback Philip Rivers, the organization will still do its work on this year's draft prospects at the position.

Telesco apparently is staying true to his word. According to a source, the Chargers held a private workout with Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II in Lubbock, Texas, last week.

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn attended the workout, along with offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and quarterback coach Shane Steichen. Like Mahomes, Lynn also is a Texas Tech product who played running back for the Red Raiders.

Mahomes has been working out north of San Diego at Exos Training facility in Carlsbad, California.

Patrick MahomesThomas B. Shea/USA TODAY SportsTexas Tech's Patrick Mahomes was responsible for more touchdowns (53) than any other FBS quarterback in 2016.

Rivers, 35, is signed with the Chargers through the 2019 season. However, with the team moving north to Los Angeles, the Chargers are looking to find the eventual replacement for the North Carolina State product as his career winds down.

Whisenhunt and Steichen worked out Paxton Lynch at his Memphis Pro day before last year’s draft. And a Chargers contingent that included Telesco and then head coach Mike McCoy traveled to Eugene, Oregon, to host a private workout with Marcus Mariota before the draft two years ago. The Chargers were rumored to be involved in a potential trade with the Tennessee Titans to get into position to draft Mariota, something that never came to fruition.

Mahomes was responsible for more touchdowns (53) than any other FBS quarterback in 2016. It’s been 13 years since a quarterback from Texas Tech was drafted -- B.J. Symons in 2004 by the Houston Texans.

At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Mahomes has great arm strength, good mobility and throws with anticipation. However, Mahomes is considered a developmental prospect because of his time spent in the Air Raid offense at Texas Tech.

Mahomes totaled 5,052 passing yards, 41 touchdown passes and 12 touchdown runs his final season at Texas Tech.

The Chargers have the No. 7 overall selection, which is considered too high to take Mahomes, but could either trade up late in the first round or take the Texas Tech product if he’s still around early in the second round.

ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports that the Chargers also held a private workout for Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs. And ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports Whisenhunt was at Pittsburgh’s pro day this week, presumably to watch quarterback Nathan Peterman.

The Chargers have selected just one quarterback in the draft under Telesco -- Brad Sorensen in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.

It’s been more than a decade since the Chargers selected a quarterback in the first round, Eli Manning in 2004, who the Chargers traded to the New York Giants to receive Rivers.

Along with Rivers, Kellen Clemens and Mike Bercovici are the other quarterbacks on the Chargers’ roster.

Colin KaepernickKelley L Cox-USA TODAY SportsThough Hue Jackson liked Colin Kaepernick before last season, we don't expect him to give him a look for 2017.

Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.

Hey Tony: Why not Colin Kaepernick?

-- Ken, Rocky River, Ohio

Hey Ken: A year ago, Kaepernick was under consideration by Hue Jackson even though he was under contract with the 49ers for about $13 million. Now he is unsigned and is not being mentioned as a possibility. What changed? I think three things: 1. He was 3-16 the past two years with the 49ers. Yes, they are a team bereft of talent. But he certainly didn’t have enough impact to lift the talent around him. 2. After the failed Robert Griffin experiment, it’s doubtful the Browns are in the mood to take on another reclamation project. 3. Kaepernick’s national anthem protests have probably rendered him persona non grata by Jimmy Haslam, who doesn’t want to risk negative backlash from ticket-buyers.

Hey Tony: Do you think Davis Webb is the quarterback the Browns target if the Jimmy Garoppolo trade doesn't happen?

-- Jordan, Youngstown, Ohio

Hey Jordan: I think Webb belongs in the conversation. He checks off a lot of boxes of what Jackson likes in his quarterback. Plus, he has that hole card of playing one year for Jackson’s beloved University of California Bears.

Hey Tony: Why is no one talking about Jay Cutler to the Browns? Is it just me or would he be OK behind our line?

-- Josh, Kent, Ohio

Hey Josh: Blessed with a great arm and above-average physical traits, Cutler has proved to be a non-winner in 11 NFL seasons, posting a career record of 68-71 with Denver and Chicago. Is he better than any other quarterback currently on the Browns’ roster? Yes. Would he make an appreciable difference? Probably not.

Hey Tony: If Cody Kessler increases his velocity, are we even looking at a quarterback?

-- Brendan, Canton, Ohio

Hey Brendan: Actually, Kessler tested OK in velocity at the 2016 NFL combine. Obviously, there’s more to quarterbacking than measurables. Analytics web sites have posted highly favorable grades of Kessler in his rookie year. Beyond the statistics, however, is the fact he couldn’t produce a win in eight starts. We can expect improvement from Kessler in Year 2. But I still question whether his body can withstand the rigors of the position -- even with an improved offensive line.

Hey Tony: Where would you rank Brock Osweiler among the many QBs who have started for the Browns since 1999?

-- John, Huron, Ohio

Hey John: Playing on two teams with outstanding defenses, he has a 13-8 record in 21 starts the past two seasons. That’s a better record than any of the 26 quarterbacks to start a game for the Browns. But we haven’t seen him play in a Browns uniform -- and probably never will.

Hey Tony: Are the Browns looking at veterans to be backup behind Kessler?

-- Joshua, Brunswick, Ohio

Hey Joshua: Strangley, no. This is one of the reasons why I hold out hope they intend to make a strong pitch for Garoppolo at NFL owners meetings next week in Phoenix. If that pitch is unsuccessful, I suspect Plan B would be to draft a quarterback high to join Kessler and Kevin Hogan, along with a yet-to-be determined veteran.

Hey Tony: Chances the Browns use picks to trade back into first round after No. 1 and No. 12?

-- Logan, Delaware, Ohio

Hey Logan: Earlier I dismissed this possibility, believing the club’s influential analytics department would not accede to surrendering draft picks to move up in the draft order. However, I now think a trade up is more possible than before if there is a desired player that falls into the late 20s in the first round. Perhaps that is where they take their quarterback?

Hey Tony: Trying to get a fellow fan to face reality when talking Browns. Thoughts? He loves Kessler and predicted 7-9 '17.

-- Tony, Las Vegas

Hey Tony: While in Las Vegas, tell him to put his money where his mouth is.

Hey Tony: If the Browns win three or less, what's most likely -- Head Coach Tracker, GM Tracker or Regime Tracker?

-- JB, Copley, Ohio

Hey JB: I think none of the above. The Browns have rolled a lot of assets into the 2018 draft, causing me to believe Jimmy Haslam considered this experiment in analytics to be a three-year commitment, at minimum. So no matter the record in 2017, I believe Haslam will keep status quo through the 2018 season.

Hey Tony: When can we expect any reinstatement news on Josh Gordon? Likelihood he is traded during the draft?

-- Dave, Walton Hills, Ohio

Hey Dave: I’ll have to ask commissioner Roger Goodell the status of Gordon’s reinstatement application at league meetings next week in Phoenix. If he is reinstated, I have no idea what the Browns do with him.

Hey Tony: Best guess for starting right tackle?

-- Cory, Chickasaw, Ohio

Hey Cory: Most likely, the offseason program in April 2017 will begin with Shon Coleman slated as the starting right tackle. They took him in the third round while knowing he was still recovering from 2016 knee surgery. Coleman finally got on the field at right tackle in the final game against Pittsburgh and didn’t embarrass himself. So I think they are committed to seeing him in his second season in better health.

Hey Tony: Is Josh Cribbs in the Hall of Fame?

-- Dave, Bay, Ohio

Hey Dave: Not only is Cribbs a unique player in Browns history -- perhaps their best returner, but also their best kick coverage specialist -- I consider him one of the franchise’s all-time players. Does that make him a Hall of Famer? Not necessarily. Let’s see Cribbs receive a deserving spot in the club’s long-dormant Ring of Honor first.

Hey Tony: I'm going to the draft, in your opinion will I be disappointed?

-- Ty, New Albany, Ohio

Hey Ty: I’ve only been to one NFL draft in New York -- the first draft in 1996 when the Browns went on hiatus. It was interesting to me, but not very exciting to fans. However, the league has recently tried to make the draft a more fan-interactive event, complete with a fan festival and special appearances by the drafted players. Please note the event on April 27-29 will be held in an outdoor theater built at the Philadelphia Museum of Art -- site of the famous Rocky Balboa statue. The fan festival is held over an expanse equivalent to 25 football fields and is free to the public. Let me know what you think of the experience, because it probably will be held in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019 or 2020.

Hey Tony: Will two wins be considered progress?

-- Kurt, North Ridgeville, Ohio

Hey Kurt: Considering the Browns went from 3-13 to 1-15 last year and that was deemed “tremendous progress” by team officials, I would expect a “jump” to 2-14 would be characterized similarly.

In the past week or so, the question of whether the Seattle Seahawks should consider trading Richard Sherman has picked up steam both locally and nationally.

During a podcast on The Ringer, former league executive Mike Lombardi suggested that the New Orleans Saints might be better off trying to acquire Sherman instead of New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler.

"I truly believe based on what I hear around the National Football League that the Seahawks would in fact for the right deal trade Richard Sherman," Lombardi said.

"Seattle really thought twice about paying Richard Sherman [in 2014]. They thought they had to when they won the Super Bowl."

Does it make sense for the Seahawks to gauge the trade interest in Sherman around the league? The answer here is a resounding no for the reasons listed below.

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesIf the Seahawks traded Richard Sherman, one must wonder who on their roster would be able to cover elite receivers like the Falcons' Julio Jones?

Sherman is an elite player

Above all else, Seahawks cornerbacks are asked to eliminate big plays over the top. Sherman defends the fade better than anyone in football. His 30 interceptions since entering the league are four more than any other player and 10 more than any other corner.

Sherman has never missed a game (a string of 108 straight, including the playoffs) and has played at a consistently high level.

When I asked coach Pete Carroll last year why he's comfortable using a single high safety so often, the first thing he pointed to was the play of his corners. Sherman has been a perfect fit for what Carroll wants to do.

Sherman is not easily replaceable

The argument that the Seahawks could easily replace Sherman in this draft is silly. Yes, there are a lot of cornerbacks in this class that fit Seattle's physical profile, and the team should definitely address the position. But not to replace Sherman. Instead, to complement him.

The Seahawks are thin at corner with DeShawn Shead rehabbing from a serious knee injury and Jeremy Lane coming off a down year. Trading Sherman would create an immediate hole, and Seattle would be going into the season (one with Super Bowl expectations) with a giant question mark at an important position.

Seattle plays plenty of Cover 3, but the Seahawks also employ a fair share of man coverage -- specifically on third downs. In the past two years under defensive coordinator Kris Richard, Sherman has been used more to shadow opposing No. 1 wide receivers and has had a lot of success.

To expect a rookie to come in and give the Seahawks elite production right away is far-fetched. Even with guys like Byron Maxwell and Shead, developing them into quality starters took years, not months.

The Seahawks' salary-cap situation is not dire

Creating cap space at this point in the offseason would not do the Seahawks much good, considering the free agents who are left on the market.

And looking ahead to next offseason, the Seahawks are not in bad cap shape.

OverTheCap.com projects them to have $45.4 million in cap space. That's more than they had going into this free-agency period ($26.6 million). Seattle has players such as Kam Chancellor, Jimmy Graham and Justin Britt entering the final year of their deals. But the Seahawks can create more cap room if they move on from guys such as Lane, Jermaine Kearse or Ahtyba Rubin next offseason.

The Seahawks have done a great job of locking up their core players while still maintaining the flexibility to add supplemental pieces. They do not need to trade Sherman for financial flexibility.

It's the coach's job to manage challenging personalities

Last year was a tumultuous one for Sherman. He had two separate sideline blow-ups -- one directed at Richard and another directed at offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Carroll. After the second one, Carroll expected Sherman to apologize publicly. He did not. He doubled down on his argument that the Seahawks should not be passing the ball from the opponents' 1-yard line.

Was his behavior a problem? Absolutely. Carroll admitted as much. And receiver Doug Baldwin had some strong words on the topic recently as well.

But the bottom line is that it's Carroll's job to handle difficult situations with talented players, and he's fully aware of that. It's one of the reasons why Seahawks owner Paul Allen is paying him.

Bad coaches and bad organizations get rid of talented players when difficult situations arise because they think they can scheme their way to success, even though that's rarely the case.

That's not Carroll. He knows he needs talented players and has built his program on encouraging them to let their personalities show. There are both positives and negatives to his philosophy. But one of Carroll's goals going into next season will be to find a way to communicate with Sherman and let him know what's acceptable and what's not.


General manager John Schneider said last year that 90 percent of his job is listening -- to his staff, coaches, players, agents and other teams. He views every trade and free-agent signing as a possibility -- until it's not.

In other words, Schneider would be willing to have a conversation about every player on the roster, but there is no realistic deal involving Sherman that makes sense.

The Seahawks are positioned to win a Super Bowl now, and their chances are clearly better with Sherman than without him.

Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon SportswireIt could be a while before Adrian Peterson finds his new home.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Adrian Peterson, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Tuesday, is spending the offseason working out at his gym in Houston while waiting to discover the identity of his employer for the first time in 10 years. The Minnesota Vikings already told their all-time leading rusher they won't be bringing him back after signing Latavius Murray. As Peterson looks for a new team, there could be a shortage of immediate dance partners.

The Oakland Raiders have an opening after Murray's departure and seemed like a logical fit for Peterson thanks to the strength of their offensive line and their willingness to put the quarterback under center. But they've been reported in recent days to be seeking a trade for Marshawn Lynch, should he come out of retirement.

The New York Giants -- another team Peterson had mentioned -- signed former 49ers running back Shaun Draughn to join their group of backs on Tuesday. The Green Bay Packers have some interest in a visit with Peterson, but it's believed that might not happen until after the team can take stock of its roster following the draft.

There hasn't been an obvious fit for Peterson, now two weeks removed from the start of the free-agent negotiating period and three weeks removed from the day the Vikings announced they wouldn't pick up his $18 million option for 2017. And as Vikings coach Mike Zimmer talked on the team's radio flagship on Tuesday about the addition of Murray, he highlighted some ways the 27-year-old's game might fit better with the Vikings' offense at this point than Peterson's would.

"Obviously, he's a big back -- almost 6-3, 225 -- he's got strength in his running game, power in his running game. He catches the ball well out of the backfield, and is a good pass protector and receiver," Zimmer said of Murray. "I just think his big-play ability, being able to catch the ball, not having to substitute him on third downs, a lot of those are big for him."

Although Peterson would undoubtedly like to know where he'll spend the 2017 season, there's an argument to be made for him waiting things out. A deep running back class could mean more teams head into OTAs with their running back situation settled, but an untimely injury could create an opening for a veteran like Peterson. As the three-time rushing champion switches teams for the first time in his career, it behooves him to find the right fit as much as it does to find the best price.

As Peterson marks his 32nd birthday during the middle of his second week on the open market, it appears possible he could be biding his time for a while yet. It's likely not the reception he expected in free agency, but the right fit for the running back could present itself in time.

The Atlanta Falcons addressed the void left by one-time Pro Bowler Patrick DiMarco with the additions of fullbacks Derrick Coleman and Soma Vainuku, and also added depth to the offensive by signing offensive guard Hugh Thornton.

Coleman and Vainuku will compete for the fullback role after DiMarco departed to join the Buffalo Bills.

Coleman, who is deaf, was with Seattle when Falcons coach Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator there. Coleman hasn't let his disability keep him from playing football, although he was out of action all of last season due to legal issues. Vainuku, who signed with the Houston Texas last year after going undrafted, played at USC under new Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, so he's familiar with Sarkisian's expectations.

Thornton, a former third-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts who has overcome personal tragedy, has 32 career starts at guard but is viewed as more of a backup now.

Derrick ColemanMark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SportsFullback Derrick Coleman did not play last season, but he was with the Seahawks when Dan Quinn was their defensive coordinator.

Terms: Not immediately available, although Thornton signed a one-year deal.

Grade C-: We'll see how things pan out, but there's nothing to get too thrilled about with these signings.

What it means: The Falcons had a reliable fullback in DiMarco, so we'll see if Coleman or Vainuku can step in and have a similar impact. The 6-foot Vainuku was listed at 255 pounds with the Texans and was 270 at USC. Coleman, from UCLA, was last listed at 6-foot, 233 pounds. Vainuku made his mark on special teams in college, which could benefit him. Coleman also played special teams with the Seahawks.

As for Thornton (6-foot-3, 320), his arrival probably won't alter the Falcons' plan to pursue a guard in the draft, maybe even with a high pick. The Falcons are still awaiting word on whether veteran Chris Chester, the starter the last two seasons, plans to continue his playing career. Even if Chester decides to keep playing, the Falcons need to groom a right guard for the future.

What's the risk? These are probably low-cost signings, so there's unlikely to be much risk. Coleman had an off-the-field incident in Seattle which resulted in an arrest and a suspension, but Quinn wouldn't have signed him if he thought Coleman was a risk to get in trouble again.

Thornton, who had a couple of arrests during his college days at the University of Illinois, had some weight issues that he previously addressed.

videoOne day after signing free-agent quarterback Josh McCown, the New York Jets were back on the quarterback trail. They were well-represented Tuesday at Mitchell Trubisky's pro day at North Carolina, another step in the evaluation process.

Because this is the silly season in the NFL, some will read too much into it. It doesn't mean they envision Trubisky as their quarterback of the future; it's just due diligence on the path to the draft. Truth be told, some teams believe these made-for-TV pro days are becoming less and less helpful, finding that private workouts are more beneficial. Perhaps that explains why general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles weren't in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to observe Trubisky.

AP Photo/Gerry BroomeAt his pro day, North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky completed 54 of 63 passes, including four drops, per USA Today.

But, as Trubisky mentioned to reporters after the workout, the Jets are among several teams that have scheduled private workouts. They're also expected to bring him to their facility for a pre-draft visit. He named the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs as other teams that will conduct private workouts.

As for his pro day, Trubisky completed 54 of 63 passes, including four drops, per USA Today. Watching on TV, hardly the ideal vantage point, he demonstrated quick feet and excellent footwork, especially on rollout-type throws. His throwing was solid, not spectacular. He displayed very good arm strength, especially on deep balls, but his ball placement was off the mark on a handful of short and intermediate throws.

But, again, don't read too much into a scripted workout with no pass rush and no defense. The tape matters most, and I can tell you the Jets are very intrigued by what they saw from Trubisky in his 13 starts last season. Enough to pick him sixth overall? I'd be surprised if that happens, but you never know.

A year ago, Maccagnan traveled to Penn State and fell in love with Christian Hackenberg in a private workout, eventually picking him in the second round. Despite a non-descript rookie year, Hackenberg remains in the team's plans. They certainly won't bail on a second-round pick this soon, but there's a reasonably good chance they will draft a quarterback at some point. That wouldn't bode well for Bryce Petty.

Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer will have his pro day on Thursday. And, yes, the Jets will be there.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Adam ThielenAP Photo/Andy Clayton-KingThe Vikings signed Adam Thielen to an extension but lost Cordarrelle Patterson in free agency.

MINNEAPOLIS -- At present, the Minnesota Vikings only have three receivers on their roster who caught more than 10 passes last season: Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Jarius Wright.

All three are under contract for 2017, and the Vikings will hope to get more of an impact from Laquon Treadwell after the 23rd overall pick in last year's draft caught just one pass in his rookie year. But in an interview Tuesday on KFXN-FM in Minneapolis, the Vikings' radio flagship station, coach Mike Zimmer said the team still needs to add to its roster at the position.

"I do think we need some more receivers, yes," Zimmer said. "I think it would be important for us to get some guys to stretch the field a little bit. That's not saying I don't feel good about the guys we have. But we lost a couple in free agency, and we're going to have to add one or two, maybe."

Thielen, who finalized his three-year, $17 million extension Tuesday, figures to start along with Diggs next season. Wright could return to a bigger role after seeing his playing time dwindle last year, and Treadwell is in what offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur called a "critical offseason" last month. But with Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson departing in free agency, the Vikings could look to add to their receiver depth.

Isaac Fruechte, whose stock rose after a solid training camp last summer, was promoted to the 53-man roster at the end of the season and could compete for a bigger role this year. If the Vikings address the position in the draft, though, they'll be able to lean on a position coach with an intimate knowledge of the college game. Darrell Hazell, whom the Vikings hired to replace George Stewart last month, had previously coached receivers at Ohio State and was the head coach at Purdue from 2013 to 2016.

Patterson's departure meant the loss of a playmaker on offense, and Johnson's most notable flashes in the Vikings' passing game over the last three years came as a downfield threat. Especially if the Vikings use one of their three picks in the first three rounds on a receiver, it's worth watching the implications for Treadwell after a disappointing rookie season. With Diggs and Thielen at the top of the pecking order, the Vikings seem intent on creating more competition in the group overall.

This was the New York Giants' plan all along: Keep together the defense that evolved late last season into one of the league’s best units. Simple in theory, much more difficult in practice, with players hoping to be paid for their performance last season.

The Giants have so far been fairly successful this offseason, even if reserve cornerback Coty Sensabaugh got away Monday and landed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Still, days after re-signing defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in a move that ultimately created more salary-cap space, the Giants made sure not to let linebackers Mark Herzlich and Keenan Robinson leave.

Herzlich re-signed Monday for a seventh season with the Giants, and Robinson is expected to re-sign within the next few days, a source told ESPN.

Robinson, 27, is a substantial move for a defense that went from 32nd in the NFL in yards allowed to 10th in the span of a year. The former Redskin played the second-most snaps among Giants linebackers this past season, behind only Jonathan Casillas. In Robinson's first year in New York, he proved capable of remaining healthy as a full-time nickel linebacker.

Now, he’s back for more.

Terms: Not disclosed

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon SportswireKeenan Robinson played the second-most snaps among Giants linebackers last season.

Grade: B+ The goal was to keep intact last season's defense, which allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL, and this helps the cause. The Giants don’t have another linebacker on the roster who can fill Robinson's role as the full-time nickel linebacker, given his cover skills. That is an important role, considering they have struggled at times to cover running backs and tight ends in recent years. The signing is a move that makes sense for the Giants and Robinson. The team retains depth and a different skill set to their linebacker room; Robinson has a chance to thrive and stay healthy in a specific role that seems to be a fine fit for his ability.

What it means: The Giants have options at linebacker, especially on passing downs. Even if B.J. Goodson, a fourth-round pick last year out of Clemson, can lock down the starting middle linebacker job and prove to be a quality three-down linebacker, he can play alongside Robinson, who was the team's best cover linebacker last season. If Goodson can't, the Giants know they can be successful with the combination of Casillas and Robinson, regardless of what they do in the upcoming NFL draft. The signing gives the team options. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is likely to continue to mix and match his linebackers and defensive backs in a multitude of different packages designed to maximize their skills. Robinson gives the unit flexibility.

What’s the risk: Robinson has struggled with injuries in the past, though he remained healthy this past season. He played in 16 games in 2016 for the first time in his career. The Giants are banking on Robinson remaining healthy again, one year after they wrote an injury waiver into his contract for a pre-existing condition related to his right shoulder (a rotator cuff/labrum tear). But staying healthy could be difficult for Robinson if Goodson fails to win the starting job and Robinson is asked to play a bigger role. He isn't known as the most physical of linebackers at 6-foot-3 and 238 pounds, and he could wear down if asked to play regularly against the run. It's a risk the Giants are hoping doesn't come into play.