2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Haslam returns to Browns facility, preps for draft

    2013-04-18 16:31

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III joined his football operations staff at work Thursday as they prepared for their first draft with the franchise.

Haslam, who purchased the Browns for $1.05 billion last October, arrived in Cleveland three days after FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents executed four search warrants at his Pilot Flying J company headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn.

Haslam is the CEO of Pilot Flying J, as well as the ultimate decision-maker with the Browns, who have the sixth overall pick in the NFL draft. He was not made available to the media, but Browns CEO Joe Banner said Haslam jumped right back into his football job.

``This is the first year Jimmy has really owned the team and has the chance to put his imprint on it, so I think he's excited in general,'' Banner said. ``We're glad to have him here. He asks good questions. He's a good asset to have as an owner.

``Jimmy isn't in there, watching film (of potential draft picks), but he's very involved with our entire process.''

At a Tuesday press conference in Knoxville, Haslam revealed the government is investigating rebates offered by the truck stop chain, but said, ``We believe we did nothing wrong.'' His family - including his brother, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam - owns 59 percent of the business.

Haslam added that he has not been subpoenaed and no Pilot Flying J employees have been arrested, but subpoenas were issued to several members of the company's 23-person sales force.

``Jimmy made a statement about that the other day, and there's not much I can add to it,'' Banner said. ``Everything I can and want to say about this, I already have. I can tell you that the Browns' operations are the same as they've always been.''

Haslam's visit coincided with the third and final day of Cleveland's first voluntary minicamp under new coach Rob Chudzinski. Banner, a former Philadelphia Eagles executive, and general manager Michael Lombardi also are in their initial season with the Browns, who went 5-11 last year and have not made the playoffs since 2002.

``Jimmy has said it himself, he's an impatient person,'' Banner said. ``He's going through the same thing we're all going through, trying to balance the need to win now with our plan of building a team that can sustain long-term success. We don't want to have a team that makes the playoffs once, then falls back out of contention for a number of years.''

The first step toward Cleveland achieving that goal is the draft, which takes place next week. Lombardi indicated the Browns' top priorities are a pass rusher and a cornerback, but would not rule out picking a quarterback to compete with incumbent Brandon Weeden and recent signee Jason Campbell.

``It certainly is all about fit,'' said Lombardi, who previously worked with Banner in Philadelphia and spent the last five seasons as an NFL Network analyst. ``Like every year, there are some quarterbacks that do some positive things, but it comes down to terms of value with the pick.''

Assistant general manager Ray Farmer and Chudzinski will be seated with Haslam, Banner and Lombardi at the head table in Cleveland's draft room. None were part of the organization at this time last year, when team president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert Jr., and coach Pat Shurmur ran the process for then-owner Randy Lerner.

``Joe and I have sat in the room before,'' Lombardi said. ``It's football. It's just football. Coach Chud has handled that, and (Joe) has handled it, as well. You have to work out every player in the draft and you better know them all.''

Banner said the Browns' plan is ``to build a consensus'' when they go on the clock, rather than taking a vote on which player to draft in the first round. Cleveland does not have a second-round selection, making it essential to hit on its opening pick.

No one in the organization is more aware of that than Haslam, who is an avid football fan and a major supporter of the University of Tennessee's team.

``Jimmy is very excited, which is why he'll be with us for the next two days, as scheduled all along,'' Banner said, indirectly referring to the Pilot Flying J situation. ``He'll also be here almost all of next week, and of course for the draft itself.

``There is a lot of pressure - mostly self-imposed, really - for us to be successful. Jimmy is a big part of our efforts to do that.''

---

NOTES: The Browns held a two-hour morning practice outside under sunny skies. The temperature was 74 degrees. ``We've got a little Cleveland sun and a Lake Erie breeze today,'' Chudzinski said. ``I'm glad we got out here.'' The first two minicamp sessions were held inside the Browns' fieldhouse because their four grass fields were recently aerated. ... NFL veteran Shayne Graham and undrafted rookie Brandon Bogotay shared the kicking duties, but neither is guaranteed of a roster spot in the regular season. ``We'll continue to look at the kicker position going forward and see what other guys are out there,'' Chudzinski said. Phil Dawson was Cleveland's kicker from 1999-2012, but signed with San Francisco after not being offered a contract by the Browns.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group