Previewing The 2014 Cleveland Browns Schedule Release

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The Cleveland Browns have a new coach and have even shaken up their entire front office in an effort to keep progressing. They were oddly very competitive in 2013 despite a poor overall record, and if they can land the right pieces, they could be a surprise wild card playoff team.

Cleveland will have to take care of business on at home to take that next step, however, and it won’t be all that easy with the Colts, Saints and Texans coming into town. The Raiders and Buccaneers are easier contests on the home schedule, while the battle with Houston will be especially interesting with former Texans running back Ben Tate taking on his former team.

The Cleveland Browns schedule on the road is just as important (if not more important), but gets slightly easier with trips to Atlanta, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Buffalo and Carolina. The Panthers are a brutal road trip and the Falcons are tough to beat at home, but overall the Browns have a fairly favorable road schedule and could be looking at more wins in 2014.

All Cleveland Browns 2014 Opponents

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers

For a look at all 32 NFL team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon Goes “Big” On His New Back Tattoo

Cowboys vs. Browns

While you won’t see it during the season when he throws his jersey on, right now Browns WR Josh Gordon is making waves over a new back tattoo that has taken over his entire back.

The tattoo, which was unveiled on Gordon’s Instrgram account, takes up his whole back and also confirms he’d better always like the number ’12′.

Check out the tattoo in the pics below!

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Report: Browns Will Sign Ben Tate After Physical

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The Cleveland Browns have money to use and they are looking to improve as fast as possible. Early in free agency, the Browns were addressing the defense heavily with the signs of safety Donte Whitner and linebacker Karlos Dansby, but now, the Browns are looking to improve the offense.

According to a report, the Browns will sign former Texans’ running back Ben Tate if he passes his physical. Tate is coming off an impressive 2013 season after starting seven games and running for 771 yards and 181 carries and four touchdowns. Tate had an average of 4.1 yards a carry.

Tate has backed up running back Arian Foster since coming into the league in 2011 and has done a pretty nice job. Tate’s biggest issue has been holding onto the football. Tate put the ball on the ground five times in 2013 and a total of 10 times in his short career. Tate has the same amount of fumbles in the league as he has rushing touchdowns (10).

Tate has suffered from many injuries since being drafted but an improvement nonetheless for the Browns. Contract details have not been leaked yet but if Tate passes the physical, expect the sign to happen right away.

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

Browns Sign Quickly; Whitner and Dansby Agree to Terms

Whitner

The Cleveland Browns did not wait long before signing their first free agents of the 2014 season. The Browns struck quickly by reaching a deal with both safety Donte Whitner who has previously played with the 49ers and Bills, and linebacker Karlos Dansby, who has played with the Cardinals and Dolphins before now signing with Cleveland. Both players agreed to terms no longer than ten minutes after the free agency period began.

The Browns struggled all around last year but now with new men in the front office, coaching staff and on the field, they hope that luck will change.

The Browns are also attempting to bring in cornerback Darrelle Revis according to multiple reports. The All-Pro is on the trading block of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Browns are trying to bring him back to the AFC. Revis spent just one season with the Buccaneers.

The Browns are obviously addressing the defense early. This should surprise no one, seeing how they have a defensive minded head coach in Mike Pettine. We will continue to track their progress of free agency.

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

State of the Franchise: Browns Before Free Agency

Joe Haden

 

Written By: Christina Rivers

The Cleveland Browns couldn’t wait until the end of a disappointing 2013 NFL Season.  In February, the organization completely revamped their front office.  The team promoted Ray Farmer to General Manager and the team’s football operations during free agency and the draft.

Owner Jimmy Haslam released a statement, saying, “First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we’re fortunate to have in Ray Farmer.  Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he’s compelling and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland.”

Reading between the lines, the Cleveland Browns appear to be a team in rebuild mode.  On March 5, Vic Carucci said,  “This team is not going to fix everything it needs to fix in one offseason. In many cases, they are going to spend their most money on players who are already wearing Cleveland Browns uniforms.”

Inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was released from the team, making headlines across the NFL. Jackson was due a roster bonus that the Browns didn’t want to extend to him. Browns insiders expect that move spells not only a leadership change, but a sign that Cleveland is going to use the draft to find inside linebackers.  They also feel that safety T.J. Ward is a higher priority to be re-signed to the team, yet the Browns did not use the franchise tag on him, leaving the deal up in the air.

Instead, the Browns designated Alex Mack as their ‘transition player’ for the 2014 NFL Season.  It is a move that has drawn some questions.  The tag will allow Mack to still test free agent waters and agent Marvin Demoff is expected to present the Browns with a deal that may be difficult to match.  Cleveland made Mack their number one priority during the offseason, but have yet to seal the deal.

Alan Herman, Browns defensive end Ahtyba Rubin’s agent, admitted that the team spoke about Rubin’s contract and that he will be with the team in 2014.  Rubin is expected to make $6.6 million for the 2014 season, but his 53 tackles and two sacks may have been too good for the Browns to pass up.

The Browns re-signed kicker Billy Cundiff to a one-year, $1.02 million contract.

At wide receiver, the Browns released Davone Bess and Brian Tyms while signing Royce Adams.

Cleveland tendered exclusive rights to free agent inside linebacker Craig Robertson, but waived linebacker Paul Hazel.

Despite the comment by Carucci, the Browns haven’t shown a ton of activity in the free agent market.  This seems to indicate that the organization will look to the draft to fill spots and build the team with fresh blood.  Browns fans are likely to be in a state of mourning as the team struggles to find a new identity.

Christina Rivers has been a freelance journalist, writer and photographer for over 20 years with a vast range of personal experiences. Credentialed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, her work has been featured on Examiner.com as well as CBS Sports, CBS Sports Local, KDKA in Pittsburgh, ‘The Beam’ in Pittsburgh, If It Ain’t Steel, SteelBlitz Steelers blog, SteelersDepot and more. She has written over 10,000 individual pieces of work and continues to add photographs to her growing portfolio. You can follow Christina’s work here on SteelersGab, on Facebook, via Twitter @3Rivers_Writer  and Google Plus.

Browns Use Transition Tag On Center Alex Mack

Alex Mack

The Browns have designated Alex Mack as their transition player for 2014, meaning they can match any offer for Mack, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reports.

If Mack plays under the tag, he would receive $10.039 million for 2014.

A team signing the Pro Bowl center would not owe the Browns any compensation.

Teams can begin contacting Mack on March 8, and extend offers March 11, the start of free agency.

Meanwhile, the Browns chose not to franchise safety T.J. Ward, meaning he’ll likely hit the free-agent market.

Browns Release Long Time LB D’Qwell Jackson

D'Qwell Jackson

The honeymoon with the fans and new GM Ray Farmer may have just ended.

Today the Browns made a surprise move, announcing they have released linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, a player who has been with the team longer than any other, and was a leader on defense.

“We had positive discussion with D’Qwell and his agent over the last several days, and we came to the mutual agreement to go in different directions,” Farmer said in a statement released by the team.

“D’Qwell is the epitome of class, leadership and professionalism. Every day of his NFL career, D’Qwell has been a solid representative of the Browns and the City of Cleveland, both between the lines on Sundays and off the field in our area community.

“We want to thank him for his eight years of service and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

He was an eight-year vet who was the clubs second-round pick back in 2006.

Jackson was due a $4.1 million roster bonus on March 15th, which likely was a huge reason why the team decided to cut ties with him.

Mike Pettine, the new coach of the Browns, did comment on Jackson during his time in Indy at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“He came into town. It was within the first week I was hired…he bounced right up to the office and you could tell he’s special,” said Pettine.

“He and I sat down and had a great meeting. It’s easy to see why he’s so highly thought of, the leadership ability and the intangibles to me are off the chart.”

The linebacker inked a five-year extension with the Browns that would have taken him through 2016. The deal was worth $42.5 million, with a $9 mil signing bonus.

He’s now free to ink with any team.

Jackson released a statement that the team put out.

“To the people of Cleveland and Browns fans everywhere: Eight years ago I began a journey that blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful organization and community. I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for opening your arms and hearts to my family and me, and for making Cleveland an easy place to love and call home. It’s been an honor playing in front of you.

“I also would like to thank the Browns players, coaches and staff for their tireless work and commitment. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all and will always carry you with me.”

Lombardi At Combine With Documents With Browns Logo

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Mike Lombardi sounds like a conflicted man these days, now working for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, yet (as you can see above), he’s still walking around with documents with a Browns logo on it.

So what’s up with that?

It’s probably a lot to do about nothing, and were old docs anyway before Jimmy Haslam pushed him out the door a few weeks back.

At the same time, kinda funny if you think about it.