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Browns with Eyes on Veteran QB’s Case Keenum and Chase Daniel in Free Agency

The Browns may be in the market for a veteran backup quarterback for third-year QB Baker Mayfield, and Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reports that one player the team may have interest in is Case Keenum.

Here’s a report on Cabot’s story:

Keenum, 32, has the obvious connection with Browns coach Kevin Stefanski from their successful year together in Minnesota in 2017, where he led the Vikings to an 11-3 mark, beating the Saints in the Divisional round before losing to Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game.

Keenum has thrown for 14,368 yards with 75 touchdowns and 47 interceptions with a career passer rating of 85.3. He’d provide Mayfield with an experienced backup who could help implement Stefanski’s system.

With Sam Bradford suffering a season-ending injury in 2017, the Vikings turned to Keenum, who had a 9-15 record heading in. He also had a 58.4% completion percentae, a 78.4 rating and 24 TDs against 20 INTs. With Stefanski as his QB coach, Keenum completed 67.6% of his passes, and earned a 98.3 passer rating. He threw 22 interceptions and only 7 interceptions.

Cabot reports in the same story that the team also has their eyes on veteran quarterback Chase Daniel, and that he could be a solid mentor for Mayfield should he get signed by the Browns.

It sounds like the team will be parting ways with veteran QB Drew Stanton, who didn’t play at all last season due to a knee injury.

Baker Mayfield to Plans to Play “Slimmer and Faster” in 2020

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield plans to play “slimmer and faster” in 2020 according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Rapoport added that Mayfield, “Put on some weight last year to bulk up and lost some quickness.” The former No. 1 overall pick weighed in at the 2018 combine at 215 pounds but the visual eye made it clear he was playing well above that weight in 2019.

He struggled to make his way out of the pocket last season, limiting some of his lethal improvisational play. Still, this is the type of news that is common in the offseason. Mayfield will ultimately need to show major signs of improvement on the football field in 2020 in order to get his career back on track.

Report: Browns Likely to Move on From Defensive End Olivier Vernon

The Browns will “probably” move on from defensive end Olivier Vernon this offseason according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer.

Vernon is owed a non-guaranteed $15.5 million in the final year of a deal he originally signed with the New York Giants in 2016.

After an injury-shortened 2019 which saw him put up only 3.5 sacks in 10 games, the 29-year-old Vernon would likely need a pay cut to return with the Browns — something he seems unlikely to accept. Cleveland may look to free agency — they’ve been linked to Everson Griffen — to replace Vernon as Myles Garrett’s bookend.

Browns Dump Four Players Including CB Carrie, TE Harris

The Browns started the work week of by purging their roster, releasing linebacker Adarius Taylor, tight end Demetrius Harris, cornerback T.J. Carrie, and offensive lineman Eric Kush according to the team’s official Twitter account.

None of the moves were surprising, especially since all four players were brought into the organization over the past two years by deposed general manager John Dorsey. The 29-year-old Taylor signed a two-year, $5 million contract to join the Browns last March but added very little to the Browns in 2019, seeing the field on just 58 defensive snaps while mostly functioning in a special teams capacity. His next stop will be his third team in three seasons.

Harris was used sparingly in his first (and only season) in Cleveland despite the fact that starting TE David Njoku spent most of the season on injured reserve. Harris posted a 15/149/3 line in 15 games and surprisingly took a back seat to Ricky Seals-Jones in the passing game. known mainly for his blocking prowess, the 28-year old tight end should have little trouble finding another team.

Carrie had two years remaining on his initial four-year contract, but his poor play coupled with his $6.75 million cap hit in the new league year made him expendable; Browns also have Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams on team-friendly rookie deals for years to come. With the ability to play both in the slot and along the perimeter, perhaps Carrie lands with the Broncos since he was initially linked to Denver before inking a contract with Cleveland.

Kush began the year as the team’s starting right guard over perennial bust Austin Corbett, but the former was quickly replaced by Wyatt Teller given Kush’s lackluster performance out the gates. Expect the 30-year-old to land elsewhere as an interior reserve since he logged 435-of-436 snaps at right guard just last year.

Browns DL Myles Garrett Reinstated Following 2019 Suspension

The Browns and their fans got the news they have been waiting for on Wednesday, as the NFL has officially reinstated defensive linemen Myles Garrett and he’s back with the franchise following his suspension.

New Browns GM Andrew Berry released a statement, welcoming Garrett back into the fold for the team.

“We welcome Myles back to our organization with open arms. We know he is grateful to be reinstated, eager to put the past behind him and continue to evolve and grow as a leader.

“We look forward to having his strong positive presence back as a teammate, player and person in our community.”

Myles Garrett Meets with Roger Goodell; Expects to be Reinstated

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is expected to reinstated after meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Monday according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

Garrett and Goodell met about his reinstatement in New York Monday morning.

The Browns defensive lineman was suspended for the final six games of the season after he ripped the helmet off Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and swung it at him, hitting him in the head.

The NFL indefinitely suspended Garrett for his action. His punishment was the stiffest levied by the league, which suspended two other players and fined both teams $250,000 for the incident.

Could TE Demetrius Harris Be on the Chopping Block for the Browns This Offseason?

Numberfire.com has out a list of one player for each AFC team they think might be on the chopping block this offseason.

For the Browns the site has picked tight end Demetrius Harris as the player that could find himself released. Here’s what they have to say about Harris getting cut.

Cleveland Browns – TE Demetrius Harris

Dead Cap Hit $1M, Cap Saving $2.5M

Tight end Demetrius Harris signed for the Cleveland Browns prior to the 2019 season, but despite David Njoku missing most of the season due to injury/personality clash with the head coach, Harris was far from a dominant force.

He played in 15 games, starting 6, but totaled a mere 15 receptions all season. He never amassed more than 33 yards in any one game. New Browns coach Kevin Stefanski is likely to use the tight end position more than his predecessor, but the team can likely find a cheaper alternative to Harris.

Browns RB Kareem Hunt Found with Marijuana in Car During Stop, Won’t Be Charged

Browns running back Kareem Hunt is back in the headlines dealing with police again, as reports say that during a traffic stop for speeding last week that Police officers found marijuana in his car.

Here’s the story from Pro Football Talk:

An incident report obtained by 92.3 The Fan says that officers from the Rocky River police department in Ohio detected the odor of marijuana after stopping Hunt for speeding. They searched the car and found “small amounts of marijuana located in 3 different locations” of a backpack in the back seat of the car.

Officers confiscated the marijuana, but only cited Hunt for the speeding infraction.

Hunt missed the first eight games of the season while serving a suspension under the Personal Conduct Policy. Hunt is set for restricted free agency in March, which means the Browns will have the right to match any offer for his services if they tender him a contract.

The story says that Hunt won’t be charged with a crime or cited by authorities.