Free agency day has finally arrived! At 4:00pm Tuesday afternoon, all 32 teams in the NFL were officially able to talk to free agents and their representatives. It’s all very, “have your people talk to my people.” And let me tell you, the Cleveland Browns talked to some people.
As of the five o’clock news, the Browns had a deal with former Ravens LB Paul Kruger for 5 years and $40 million, with $20 million guaranteed. Later, news came from the Berea Facility that the Browns had stayed with their 5-year trend, signing DT Desmond Bryant, former Oakland Raider, to a 5-year $34 million contract with $15 guaranteed.
Kruger and Bryant are both expected to make a huge impact for the Browns next year under new defensive coach Ray Horton. It’s interesting that Kruger was let to go to free agency, but even more interesting that a former Super Bowl champion Raven is moving to a division rival. As if the Browns vs. Ravens games needed any more, um… drama… for lack of a better word.
It’s also worth mentioning that Desmond Bryant was arrested last month in Florida on a charge of “criminal mischief.” We don’t need any criminal issues here in Cleveland; we have enough issues on the field and while supposedly “there is no such thing as bad publicity,” off the field issues are very bad for business. Lets try to stay out of trouble.
In other news around the NFL, two other Browns divisional rival players are moving to new teams. Ravens LB Dannell Ellerbe agreed to a 5-year $35 million contract with the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens also, in a surprise move (at least to him, he says), traded Anquan Boldin to the other Harbaugh brother in San Francisco. By my math, that’s three former Super Bowl players gone, which is very interesting to me, a Browns fan. For all the latest about the Ravens trades, free agency, or other info, checkout The Purple Nest.
Also interesting is the fact that Steelers WR Mike Wallace has taken his talents to South Beach. Wallace is now a Miami Dolphin for the cool price of 5-years and $60 million. Wallace played all his NFL career in Pittsburgh, so this is also an interesting move. For more on this, check out Steel City Blitz. The winds in the AFC North are definitely changing. More drama to come, I’m sure; after all, Tuesday was only Day 1.