by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer (5/8/14) With the No. 8 pick in the NFL Draft, the Browns traded up and selected defensive back Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State.
The Browns swapped first-round choices with the Vikings. In addition to receiving the Browns' No. 9 selection, the Vikings now have Cleveland's 2014 fifth-round pick (145th overall).
Gilbert is 6-foot, 202 pounds, and he ran a 4.31 40-yard dash. He will likely start opposite Joe Haden, and the Browns defense and Browns DST now have a formidable defensive backfield.
Gilbert will also provide the Browns help in the return game. In 2013, Gilbert had six interceptions, including two for touchdowns, and a 100-yard kickoff return.
Joe Haden's extension 'imminent'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/27/14) A contract extension for Browns No. 1 cornerback Joe Haden is "imminent," reports ESPNCleveland.com. Haden is entering the final year of his contract and could command $12 million annually in a new deal.
Browns release eight-year vet D'Qwell Jackson
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/26/14) The Browns released inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, the longest-tenured member of the team. Cleveland cut Jackson rather than pay him a $4.1 million roster bonus due March 15.
“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," general manager Ray Farmer said. "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."
Browns facing big decision on D'Qwell Jackson
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/11/14) New Browns general manager Ray Farmer must decide by March 11 whether to keep inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson and pay him a $4 million roster bonus or release him. Jackson, 30, made 139 tackles last season.
If the Browns retain Jackson, he'll count $9.4 million against the cap in 2014.
Barkevious Mingo asked to bulk up
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/6/14) New Browns coach Mike Pettine wants outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (6-4, 241) to gain weight and says he believes he can get last year's No. 6 overall pick to play like it, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. Mingo had 42 tackles and five sacks as a rookie.
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Browns fans have gotten used to the notion of their defense changing schemes and personnel -- it's like the seasons changing. Maybe there will be some stability now that Mike Pettine, a disciple of Rex Ryan, is in charge of the team. Typically defenses associated with Pettine have played well, and this unit has a chance to do just that given the offseason upgrades made at middle linebacker (Karlos Dansby), safety (Donte Whitner) and cornerback (first-round pick Justin Gilbert). They'll join a team that's actually loaded with good players and some youngsters with high upside. If Pettine can put it all together then the Browns DST will actually be useful for Fantasy. Problem is that there are safer options out there, so owners can afford to take a wait-and-see approach with the Browns DST. They shouldn't be in your thought process when you're in the last two rounds of your draft.