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 Browns + Shelton - Verba(?) 
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Post Browns + Shelton - Verba(?)
Quote:
Browns | Shelton Agrees to One-year Deal - from www.KFFL.com
Fri, 3 Jun 2005 19:11:27 -0700

ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reports the Cleveland Browns have reached an agreement with free agent OT L.J. Shelton (Cardinals) on a one-year deal. Financial terms have not been disclosed.


Browns | Shelton to Dig Right in - from www.KFFL.com
Sat, 4 Jun 2005 05:32:59 -0700

Mary Kay Cabot, of the Plain Dealer, reports Cleveland Browns OT L.J. Shelton will report to the Browns passing camp as soon as possible, perhaps as early as Monday, June 6, according to his agent Eric Metz. With OT Ross Verba boycotting the passing camp, Shelton could get immediate work as the starting left tackle. "It's up for the Browns to disclose their plans for him," Metz said.



IMO, Passing on LJ Shelton might have been a mistake. He is the best tackle available at this point in free agency and we could use a solid starter. I know salary cap money is tight and the Lions are considering help in the defensive secondary (Law or McQuarters) but this would have been a good catch.



In a different but related story...


Quote:
Browns | Verba Wants Out - from www.KFFL.com
Sat, 4 Jun 2005 05:27:40 -0700

Mary Kay Cabot, of the Plain Dealer, reports Cleveland Browns OT Ross Verba responded to the team's signing of OT L.J. Shelton by asking the Browns to cut him. "That's great," said Verba when informed Friday, June 3 about Shelton. "Now they have a left tackle and hopefully they'll cut me. Please cut me now!" Verba has been threatening to sit out the season without a new contract. Browns general manager Phil Savage has already said that he has no plans to redo Verba's deal. "They obviously don't want to pay me what I'm worth, so why don't they just freaking cut me?" Verba said by phone. "They don't even return my agents' phone calls. To be disrespected like that is total B.S." Verba said he'll be happy to stay in Cleveland if the Browns give him the money he deserves. "If not, I'm man enough to walk away with my head held high."



Verba is simply pulling another TO (Terrell Owens) which seems to be happening a lot this year. This disgusts me as does his attitude. If the Browns do cut Verba I hope the Lions don't go after him.


June 4th, 2005, 9:07 am
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Ewwwww L.J. Shelton


June 4th, 2005, 3:01 pm
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Brian wrote:
Ewwwww L.J. Shelton




You don't like Shelton!?

Do you think the line is set?

Who would you like to get in free agency?


June 5th, 2005, 9:10 am
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Shelton is a class act, who was criticized by Green, in his dog house, yet kept his mouth shut, and did his own thing.

But he was a poor offensive tackle and should have never gotten a contract extention, but that's what you expect out of Dave McGinnis.

I don't think that Detroit is planning on bringing in anyone in for RT. They didn't bother drafting one, they didn't pursue any in free agency, and could have even had McDougle back for a bargain.

They are content with Kelly Butler, which is a mistake. Unless Butler has become an entirely different player than he was in college, as well as in the pre-season, then they need a RT.


June 5th, 2005, 1:42 pm
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I do think it's a mistake to be content with Kelly Butler also. Mostly because he's totally inexperienced and has demonstrated nothing. When I look at the RT position and see Butler penciled in, Kyle Kosier competing / pushing him and Victor Rogers watching I get very concerned.

I would love to bring in an experienced veteran Tackle and the only names available are LJ Shelton, Dave Gragg and Chris Terry (who somehow has dropped off the face of the earth - at least I can't find anything on him since he left Seattle). Kyle Turley and Kenyetta Walker are rumored to be emanate cuts but that hasn't happened and they both have health issues anyway (back and knee respectively). I would take ANY of these over Victor Rogers.

Calling Shelton poor I think is a bit strong. I would call him serviceable if not above average. But the real issue is... Who do you want to start at RT?

In fact, I hate to confuse the issue but I can't help it.

Given that the Lions are looking at Ty Law or RW McQuarters for help in the defensive secondary (possibly Lance Schulters if he becomes available). I would go with the less expensive option of McQ and probably have cap room to grab a veteran RT giving great depth at both positions.

That would be my strategy.


BTY, if the Browns cut Verba I would not be interested. I would NEVER reward a holdout with a new contract.


June 6th, 2005, 6:20 am
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LionFan57 wrote:
I do think it's a mistake to be content with Kelly Butler also. Mostly because he's totally inexperienced and has demonstrated nothing. When I look at the RT position and see Butler penciled in, Kyle Kosier competing / pushing him and Victor Rogers watching I get very concerned.

Given that the Lions are looking at Ty Law or RW McQuarters for help in the defensive secondary (possibly Lance Schulters if he becomes available). I would go with the less expensive option of McQ and probably have cap room to grab a veteran RT giving great depth at both positions.

BTY, if the Browns cut Verba I would not be interested. I would NEVER reward a holdout with a new contract.


I agree that I wouldn't want Verba here. His comments toward Cleveland can be launched right back at him. You signed a contract, now do the honorable thing and keep to that until it is expired. I'm sick of these players talking about teams disrespecting them, and being dishonorable themselves. Shut up and play!

Given that Mooch prefers veterans over youth and is willing to have Butler play at RT tells me that Kelly may be more ready than what we know. Having Kosier as a backup is comforting. I would like to see the Lions make a run at a veteran tackle, but more to replace Victor Rogers. I feel he is a waste of space.

You bring up an interesting question regarding Chris Terry. What DID happen to him?

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June 6th, 2005, 11:49 am
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LionFan57 wrote:
I would love to bring in an experienced veteran Tackle and the only names available are LJ Shelton, Dave Gragg and Chris Terry (who somehow has dropped off the face of the earth - at least I can't find anything on him since he left Seattle).


Shelton has verbally committed to the dog pound...hence the Verba whining. Speaking of Verba...booooo. I agree. However, he is a very solid OT in my book.

He's 31 and wants a salary of around $6M/yr. There's no way anyone's going to give him a Jonas Jennings contract (stupidest move I've seen this offseason). In Verba's defense, he is signed through 2006 and it's like like he's pulling a TO and holding out after 1 year. Granted, he did sign his extension last year, so that is pretty shady. Either way, I'm up in the air on signing him.

If they could sign him for 2 years at a decent price...I'd be all over it. If he wants to hold out next year...cut his badonkadonk and draft an OT in the first round...or let Butler take over (assuming he gets a lot more reps this year).


June 6th, 2005, 6:03 pm
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m2karateman wrote:
...Given that Mooch prefers veterans over youth and is willing to have Butler play at RT tells me that Kelly may be more ready than what we know. Having Kosier as a backup is comforting. I would like to see the Lions make a run at a veteran tackle, but more to replace Victor Rogers. I feel he is a waste of space. ...



I'd agree with all of this. In fact I'd go so far as to say that I hope Butler really surprises us all. I'd love to see him develop into something special. I actually have a soft spot for the guy because he was penciled to go in the 2nd round last year but slid to the 6th due to off field issues. I figure that was a Million $ (or more) worth of lessons and he's paid plenty for his mistakes.

So I really do hope he succeeds.

Kosier is comforting but I'm still concerned about the position overall.


I a related (to this thread) story...


Quote:
Browns let Verba seek trade

Tuesday June 7, 2005 6:05PM

CLEVELAND (AP) -- With disgruntled starter Ross Verba seeking a trade, the Cleveland Browns added another left tackle on Tuesday, signing 11-year veteran Marcus Spears to a one-year contract.

Verba demanded a new contract last week, prompting the Browns to give him permission to talk with any team willing to trade for him. Verba started all 16 games last season, the only Browns lineman who didn't miss any time.

After Verba went public with his displeasure that Cleveland seemed unwilling to give him more money, the Browns signed former Arizona tackle L.J. Shelton. He's expected to replace Verba on the club's revamped offensive line this season.

Verba says the Browns have reneged on a promise to give him a raise after he reworked his deal in 2004. He is due about $7.2 million for the next two seasons and has already been paid a $465,000 bonus.

Verba has started 100 games since being drafted in the first round (No. 30 overall) by Green Bay in 1997.

While he seeks a new team, Verba, 31, has been excused from taking part in coach Romeo Crennel's passing camp.

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Spears, who has played with Chicago, Kansas City and Houston, gives the Browns depth and experience at a position where they've had trouble the past few years.

To make room on their roster for Shelton and Spears, the club released defensive backs James Boyd and Jamall Johnson.

Spears played in all 16 games, making three starts for the Texans last season. He was drafted by the Bears in the second round (No. 39 overall) in 1994.

Spears has made 21 starts and played in 104 games during his pro career. He started 16 games in 2001 for Kansas City, helping running back Priest Holmes run for a league-leading 1,555 yards.

In addition to their new tackles, the Browns signed free agent guards Joe Andruzzi and Cosey Coleman during the offseason. Center Jeff Faine and right tackle Ryan Tucker will be the only starters back in 2005.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. Via SI.com



Bottom Line: I don't want Verba. Period.



m2karateman wrote:
...You bring up an interesting question regarding Chris Terry. What DID happen to him?



Can anybody figure this out?


June 7th, 2005, 11:03 pm
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Terry was drug related I think. Four game suspension i believe.

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June 8th, 2005, 4:45 am
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Verba buying his freedom:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=a ... &type=lgns

Doubt he will up his CLE salary. Oh, well, the pride thing I guess.

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June 8th, 2005, 9:17 pm
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The only problem I have with the Verba circus is that he did restructure his contract to help the team, had a good year and got told to screw off. He is a very solid player and probably feels he got screwed. Now Cleveland want's him to pay back his roster bonus in turn for permission to seek a trade. If he dosen't have anything to bitch about than nobody in the NFL does.


June 8th, 2005, 11:12 pm
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There's been plenty of others who have restructured their contracts and had a good year but didn't demand new contracts. Remember, restructuring a contract usually means the player gets more money in hand (lump sum payment) in the form of a bonus rather than a weekly check that comes from their salary. It doesn't mean the players are taking a pay cut or giving up money. Verba signed the contract and agreed to the restructuring. If Verba would have had a poor year, would he have given money back?

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June 9th, 2005, 6:52 am
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At this point in the season, nobody can give him $2.5M per season besides teams like the Vikes and Eagles who have loads of cash under the cap. Verba was a potential Pro-Bowler last year and I would love to have someone of his talent starting on the Lions OL. IMO, he's pissed because they signed Shelton and now, he's not making as much as Shelton is...and feels he's a better OT than Shelton.

Verba knew what he was signing last year (was it last year or the year before?) and should have asked for more before signing. However, he didn't and he's doing a more admirable thing by asking to be released ("PLEASE, CUT ME NOW!") rather than pulling a TO and holding out. Asking to be cut is more professional than holding out (neither is very professional, but in comparison...).


June 9th, 2005, 10:36 am
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Post Veteran tackle Verba becomes free agent
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June 9, 2005, 5:57 PM ET

Veteran tackle Verba becomes free agent

By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com



Having defined the cost of freedom, with a price tag set at $465,000, Cleveland Browns starting left offensive tackle Ross Verba was officially released Thursday afternoon.

Image
Ross Verba


In a move anticipated for the past two days, the Browns terminated the final two seasons of Verba's contract with the club after the eight-year veteran delivered to team officials a check for $465,000. That represented the amount of a roster bonus the Browns had paid Verba earlier in the offseason.

A resolution to Verba's situation in Cleveland, where he made it clear that he would not practice again until the Browns rewarded him with a lucrative extension, was brokered earlier in the week between the team and agent Tom Condon of IMG Football. Having bolstered their roster at tackle with two recent acquisitions, the Browns offered Verba a pair of scenarios.

They provided him the option of seeking potential trade scenarios with other clubs or of speeding the divorce by rebating his roster bonus, and he chose the latter.

Verba, 31, is now a free agent and free to sign with another club. Among the teams that are likely to be most interested in him are the Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs. Condon has said that, assuming there are multiple teams interested in his client, Verba may want to visit with coaches and club officials before making a decision on his future.

"I would think," Condon said, "there will be considerable interest."

In recent days, the Browns girded themselves for the departure of Verba, signing a pair of veteran tackles to one-year contracts. On Saturday, former Arizona first-round choice L.J. Shelton signed a deal that included a $950,000 base salary for 2005. Then on Tuesday, the Browns added journeyman tackle Marcus Spears at a base salary of $765,000.

Shelton, who has already joined his new teammates for workouts, is projected now as Verba's replacement at left tackle. Spears probably will be the No. 3 tackle.

The only Cleveland offensive lineman to start all 16 games in 2004, Verba worked out at the team facility in the offseason but refused to participate in on-field activities. He made no secret of the fact his work stoppage was tied to his desire for a new contract, and even noted that he was seeking a deal that would make him one of the league's highest paid players at the position.

Verba insisted the Browns reneged on a gentleman's agreement to upgrade his contract, a promise he said was made when he restructured his deal in 2004 to aid the team's salary cap squeeze. That maneuver, in which he received a $2.75 million signing bonus and lowered his base salary to the minimum of $535,000, significantly reduced a salary cap number that would have been in excess of $6 million. At the time, Verba said, he wanted just a one-year extension. He agreed to a longer deal, he said, only because Cleveland officials told him that, if he remained healthy and played well in 2004, they would revisit his contract status.

But those promises, if true, were made by the Browns' former football regime, headed by coach Butch Davis. New general manager Phil Savage has said, speaking generally, that he is not bound by the policies or promises of his predecessors.

"It's unfortunate that, on the business side, the organization did not uphold their part of the deal,"

Verba said earlier this week. Verba was due total compensation of about $7.2 million for the two seasons he had left on his Cleveland contract, and was to have had base salaries of $2.975 million each in 2005 and 2006. Clearly, as a free agent, he and his representatives will be seeking a deal that will at least put him in that range.

The former Iowa standout, a first-round choice of the Green Bay Packers in 1997, has appeared in 106 games, and started 100 of them, in his career.



When I first heard this story on Verba I thought "What a S***Bag." But as I read this story (assuming it's all true) I'm beginning to feel a little differently.

Here's why:

1) I'd be pissed if the old management got fired and the new management reneged on a handshake deal too. While I'm surprised that Tom Condon (his agent and seasoned one at that) would let that happen - it's certainly possible that it did.

2) He was willing to pay back the bonus money - and in fact never did "hold out." FYI, training camps don't start until July. All the camps going on league wide are just organized training and are completely voluntary.

3) He was not mad about LJ Shelton coming in - he wanted out before that came down. Cleveland brought in Shelton to protect themselves anticipating this issue with Verba.

Given all of that - assuming it's true; and it appears to be - I'm OK with Verba. Now whether or not we have cap room is another issue altogether.


June 9th, 2005, 10:34 pm
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He wants Walter Jones money. That will be impossible to lock down. My guess would be less than his CLE salary. It will be interesting to see.

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June 9th, 2005, 10:42 pm
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