NFL Free Agency is over a week old, and while the Cleveland Browns have not been among the most active teams early, they aren't done making moves yet. With that in mind, here are all of the interesting rumors and news tidbits around the Browns.
Browns won't budge on Kaepernick offer
Kaepernick has been the subject of plenty of rumors this offseason and they might not stop for quite a bit. The 49ers have had discussions with the Jets, Browns and Broncos about a possible trade. The Browns and Broncos are the major players, but no one appears ready to budge, reports CSN Bay Area.
"There’s a good chance he’s still on the team the way things look now," a source told CSNBayArea.com. The source said the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns or New York Jets -- teams currently without starting quarterbacks -- have not shown much urgency to acquire Kaepernick in a trade. The 49ers are holding tight in their trade demand, believed to be a second- or early third-round draft pick.
The Browns are still searching for a franchise QB, but are only willing to five up a third-round pick for Kaepernick, and the 49ers are asking for a second-rounder. San Francisco will seemingly need to make a decision by April 1st, when Kaepernick's $11.9 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed, but CSN Bay Area reports the team will not cut him and that are prepared for him to compete for the starting QB job.
Donte Whitner next player to be cut?
The Browns made the unsurprising moves of releasing wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and linebacker Karlos Dansby earlier this week, but are they done making cuts? Dawg Pound Daily's Thomas Moore suggets that safety Donte Whitner is the mostly likely veteran player to be shown the door:
Donte Whitner has seen his game continue to decline since arriving in Cleveland as a free agent in 2014. His career is following a familiar path for “big-hitting” safeties as he is now a player who simply runs into opposing wide receivers and running backs, rather than trying to wrap them up and make a tackle. He has two years left on his contract with a cap hit of $8.45 million and a dead cap space of $4.5 million in 2016; in 2017 those numbers are $8.45 million and $2.25 million.
If the Browns were to move on from Whitner, the current options on the roster to replace him are second-year player Ibraheim Campbell and … that’s it. While Campbell showed some flashes as a rookie, it could be a big jump to believe he could take over a starting role. Having said that, Whitner is not going to get any better with age and the Browns have the cap space to rip off the band-aid this year if the want to.
Whitner had 81 tackles with one forced fumble last season.
Browns met with Connor Cook at Pro Day
Cleveland is expected to take a quarterback - likely North Dakota State's Carson Wentz - with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, but it doesn't look like that will stop them from possibly drafting another QB later in the draft. One guy they seem to have their eye on is Michigan State's Connor Cook, who they met with after his Pro Day with the Spartans. He is projected to be a second round pick.