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Browns Trying To Deal Faine Already?

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Browns Trying To Deal Faine Already?

Unread postby swerb » Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:18 am

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/14079604.htm

Bentley snubs Eagles

The rumors put him in Philadelphia. Instead, he went home to Ohio and signed with the Browns.

By Bob Brookover
Inquirer Staff Writer


Yes, that was another painful interception the Eagles were forced to endure yesterday.

This time, they watched helplessly as their primary free-agent target was picked off by the Cleveland Browns, a team that has had just one winning record in its seven seasons since returning to the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1999.

It was no secret that the Eagles wanted to sign unrestricted free agent LeCharles Bentley, and they thought they had an outstanding opportunity to do so. But when free agency finally opened at 12:01 a.m. yesterday, the Browns used their hometown advantage to sign the Pro Bowl center to a six-year deal worth a reported $36 million, including a $12.5 million signing bonus.

"He only had one team on his mind - the Cleveland Browns," said Jonathan Feinsod, one of the agents representing Bentley. "He's from Cleveland, he went to Ohio State, and that's where he wanted to play. I heard the rumors about the Eagles, but I don't know where they came from."

The consolation prize for the Eagles may end up being a defensive lineman from the New Orleans Saints, the team that employed Bentley last season.

Two league sources said that defensive end Darren Howard is scheduled to visit the Eagles today at the NovaCare Complex.

Howard drew the Eagles' interest two years ago when he was a free agent, but the team signed Jevon Kearse instead. Howard, 29, averaged nearly 71/2 sacks in six seasons with the Saints, including 11 two years ago. He had a career-low 31/2 sacks last season and missed the final four games with a knee injury.

The Eagles, according to multiple sources, also have struck a deal with tight end Matt Schobel, which they will announce either today or tomorrow. Schobel, who will serve as the backup to L.J. Smith, has agreed to a five-year deal worth $1.8 million. Schobel, a four-year veteran from TCU, has nine touchdowns among his 90 career catches with the Cincinnati Bengals. He had 18 catches for 193 yards and one touchdown last season and is considered an outstanding receiver.

Through a team spokesman, the Eagles denied that they ever had a deal in place with Bentley, as was reported by the Trenton Times yesterday. Feinsod also said that wasn't the case.

That spin is fine, but a close friend of Bentley's was telling people just before free agency originally was scheduled to open March 3 that the center was ready to sign a deal with the Eagles. There was also a strong feeling at One NovaCare Way that Bentley wanted to join the Eagles.

Why the change?

Most likely it was Bentley's ties to Cleveland. He was born and raised there, went to St. Ignatius High School, a football power in the city, and his family, including two children, remains there.

The Eagles, according to a league source, feared that Bentley might be leaning toward signing with the Browns earlier in the week when word leaked that Cleveland was trying to trade center Jeff Faine, a three-year starter and former first-round draft pick who is just 24 years old.

By sunrise, the Eagles knew Bentley was headed to Cleveland and they would have to look elsewhere to improve their offensive line.

The news about Bentley probably wasn't quite as jarring to the Eagles as watching Dallas safety Roy Williams return that Donovan McNabb interception for a touchdown in the Monday Night Football game that ended the Eagles' playoff hopes and the quarterback's season. But it was an awful way to open the free-agent season that they hope they can use to recover from a 6-10 record that was matched by the lowly Browns.

Cleveland, which has a lot of money to spend, was the busiest team in the NFL on Day 1 of free agency. They also signed Atlanta left tackle Kevin Shaffer and Seattle receiver Joe Jurevicius.

What now for the Eagles' offensive line?

If it's really a center that they want, they could try to sign veteran Kevin Mawae, who was recently released by the New York Jets or maybe they could attempt to trade for Faine. Mawae has received interest from a number of teams, including Miami and New England.

If the Eagles do not sign a center, they will likely rely on Jamaal Jackson, with veteran Hank Fraley in a backup role.

It will be interesting to see if Bentley's decision changes the Eagles' approach with veteran offensive tackle Jon Runyan, an unrestricted free agent who has yet to receive an offer from the team. The Eagles have not given up on the idea of re-signing Runyan, but he is definitely testing his market value.

Despite losing out on Bentley, the Eagles still feel as though they can make some significant moves to upgrade their roster in free agency. And even though some big names went off the board yesterday, there's still talent out there.
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Unread postby HoodooMan » Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:49 am

Sounds like a fine idea to me, but how much could he possibly command in a deal right now?

I'd be very surprised if we could manage anything more than a 3rd rounder, but in a draft this deep that might be worth it. It also might be worth it to keep him around for another year at center with Bentley at guard and see if he can finish the year somewhere other than the IR and increase his trade value for a trade down the line (although I wouldn't think he'd ever be likely to net more than a 2nd rounder).
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Unread postby swerb » Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:55 am

A 3rd round pick seems to be about "market". I would agree with that. Faine is still just 24 years old, and could still end up being a good center in the right system.

I thought Faine played much, much better last year once surrounded by competent guards. That said, he's a little undersized for the mentality this team wants to operate under. And the Browns still sucked in short yardage in the red zone.

The Browns want to win games running the football and playing stout defense. And they desperately needed to improve in the red zone. Bentley is the ideal player for this team, perfect for the middle of the line. And ... he wanted to be here. Twas a no brainer for Savage, now he just needs to figure out what to do with Faine. Keep him for depth, or deal him.
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Unread postby swerb » Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:00 pm

FYI, Philly picks 2 spots ahead of us in the 3rd rd. Would love to have 76 and 78 in addition to our #1 and #2.

Here's GBN's latest prediction of what will happen around that portion of the draft.

http://www.gbnreport.com/2006projection.html

70 Buffalo (from Tennessee) Martin Nance WR Miami (Ohio)
71 New York Jets Omar Jacobs QB Bowling Green
72 Arizona Tony Scheffler TE Western Michigan
73 Buffalo Garrett Mills TE Tulsa
74 Detroit Alan Zemaitis CB Penn State
75 New England (from Baltimore) Darnell Bing DB Southern California
76 Philadelphia Jeremy Trueblood OT Boston College
77 St. Louis Charles Gordon CB Kansas
78 Cleveland Devin Hester WR Miami
79 Atlanta Ray Edwards DE Purdue
80 Dallas Pat Watkins FS Florida State
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Unread postby furls » Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:06 pm

That Devin Hester thing still makes me laugh. Didn't someone tell them that Butch Davis is no longer drafting in Cleveland and therefore we will no longer mindlessly be drafting players from Miami.
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Unread postby swerb » Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:21 pm

PD officially reports the obvious this morning: Browns are trying to move Faine.

http://www.cleveland.com/browns/plainde ... xml&coll=2
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Unread postby swerb » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:51 pm

http://trentonian.com/site/news.cfm?new ... 8120&rfi=6

An unexpected door opened when the Eagles struck out in their bid to sign Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley, who inked a six-year, $36 million pact with the Cleveland Browns at the outset of free agency.

It appears incumbent Browns center Jeff Faine, a first-round pick out of Notre Dame that would be a good fit for the Eagles, is on their radar. Faine also would interest the Green Bay Packers, who are seeking a pivot.

The Browns gave Faine (6-3, 291) permission to seek a trade after signing Bentley, who was coveted by the Eagles, among other teams, and veteran utility man Bob Hallen, who plays center and guard. The Eagles wanted to shore up the interior of the line exposed by the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX and exploited by several teams thereafter.

Faine is scheduled to earn $550,000 this season and his contract runs through 2009. The 21st overall pick in the 2003 draft turns just 25 this month, but has an injury history. He missed the last two games in 2005 with an injured right biceps and has been on injured reserve in each of his three NFL campaigns.

Browns head coach Romeo Crennel, however, said Faine answered questions about his size and toughness last year. Faine has started 36 games with the Browns.
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:27 pm

http://nfl.com/news/story/9344736

The guy who might warrant the most compensation right now is Faine. There is only one center with a first-round grade in the draft, and that is Nick Mangold from Ohio State. Faine has a modest salary at just over $500,000 and has two years left on his original deal. He has some medical history, but he also has 27 starts in the last two seasons. Faine could easily justify a third-round pick for his services. Is he a better player than Harrington or Moulds? Probably not, but he has the criteria for a better trade value.
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