Tom Heckert: “focus was re-signing our own players.”

Tom Heckert would argue that he’s been active in free agency this year. Namely, he would say he has been active in keeping key Browns players from leaving Berea via free agency.

“Trust me, I completely understand the fans are saying, ‘Why aren’t we going out and signing all of these free agents?’” Heckert said. “But when you talk about D’Qwell Jackson, Joe Thomas, Chris Gocong, Ahtyba Rubin … I mean, we’ve signed some really good players. You look around the league, and some guys are losing these kinds of players.

“So we feel very, very confident that, instead of going out and spending money on other players that we don’t know about, we spend money on our own players that we think are great. And, obviously, the players we’ve signed have performed very well for us. That’s kind of been our goal — to keep our own guys and not go out and get everybody else’s castoffs.”

Heckert makes some points as the Browns have kept D’Qwell Jackson, Dimitri Patterson, Joe Thomas, Ahtyba Rubin and Chris Gocong, not to mention tight end Evan Moore. At the same time, unless these players help the team make a jump from year one to year two in the Browns’ system under Pat Shurmur, it is a leap of faith for fans. It is difficult to assume the draft will help the team rack up more than the four wins they won a year ago, especially considering that the Browns play what most consider to be a tougher schedule.

According to Heckert it isn’t for a lack of trying.

“It wasn’t like we didn’t try to help ourselves on offense,” he said. “We did, and it just didn’t work out. But if we missed out on somebody we really targeted, we weren’t just going to sign somebody just to sign somebody.”

When plan A doesn’t work out, you move along to plan B. In this case, plan B is the NFL draft. Even with a lot of picks and chances to help the team, the pressure is on.

[Related: Digging into the Packers blueprint under Ted Thompson]


  • cmm13

    When SF is barely existent in two years because they have no QB, a beat up RB and no WR threat you’ll need to eat those words.

  • cmm13

    i’ll see your entire lot and raise you 1 Andre Rison.

  • mgbode

    I want to push Sheard into that star category too, but he was a rookie, so it’d be a tough sell.  I pretty much agree with what you have there.

    and the 4 I mentioned that you didn’t I agree are mediocre to average at best.  they are just the youngsters I have the most faith in that could possibly make a jump up, so I wanted a line item for them (not expecting them to though).

  • mgbode

    with or without the mansion that left eye burnt to the ground?

  • mgbode

    and my point is if we have the 3 basically tied in grading, why choose 1 of the 3 when we can pick up a top50 pick and still get 1 of them?

    Heckert has shown he’s willing to trade up to get “his guy” and he’s willing to trade down when he feels there’s good value in doing so.   That is one of the reasons that I like him as our GM (that and he’s not wasting all our 1st and 2nd round picks like we had been doing)

  • mgbode

    I don’t either.  He doesn’t have those measurables.  I do see a guy who is great at creating space and getting YAC.

  • mgbode

    oh, and unless the new CBA changed things more than I remember, the 1st round deals are usually 4 or 5 years.  the rest of them 4 years.  that’s off memory though.

  • Jeremy

    Teams may turn it around faster, but how many are those teams are perrenial contenders?  I would rather wait for the FO to build that then get a one or two good years with alot more bad ones mixed in.  Oribiasi I get the frustration, and I hate to be patient too since we have been patient since 1999.  If these guys get this right, and I choose to think they will, then we could be talked about like the Steelers, Patriots, etc… This team may suck now, but they are building a foundation.  This should’ve been done like this a looooong time ago.  The ownership decided to listen to the fans and keep firing people after losing seasons.  It sucks we have to pay for the past FO building projects, but I think this is the way it has to go.  Think back when the Indians were good for a decade, they built the minors and let those kids grow together, and then they were good for years.  I can’t understand how you call us kool-aid drinking idiots, when every FO staff before this one has done things the way you want them to do and it has been epic fail after epic fail.  When I hear Ozzie Newsome say that you have to build it this way and to be patient, I listen to him.  I think he knows a thing or two about building a team that contends year in and year out.  Until we have given this FO more than 2.5 years to build the foundation of this team, you need to stop acting like you can see the future.  People say that it takes a draft pick 3 years to develop.  If thats the case then his first draft hasn’t even developed yet, and you want to ax everyone.  I asked this once before with no response, do we keep firing people every two years until we find one that turns it around in that amount of time?  Doesn’t sound very smart- and it hasn’tworked here yet because that is what we’ve done.

  • porckchopexpress

    I really would have liked to see RT upgraded.  Somewhere below Eric Winston there had to be an upgrade to Cousins at a reasonable price.  Its one of those moves that I think would have had a much greater impact for the dollar value as opposed to FA WR or even rookie linemen.  If they spent a little ona RT it allows all three top picks to be used on offensive skill positions.  I get why they didn’t do it but its defnitely a move I disagree with.

  • cmm13

    without the mansion but with the interest on the bank loan Modell took out to sign him in FA.

  • Wait, I thought I wasn’t allowed to use SF as an example?

  • mgbode

    Rison got to keep the interest?

  • mgbode

    we’ve tried to find a FA RT how many times now?   it’s about time we just draft one and be done with it.

  • mgbode

    to know what I think of free agent right tackles, just take the acronym above and remove the space 🙂

  • Jeremy

    FA RT? LOL  I know grow up, but come on that is funny.

  • mgbode

    why grow up?  what fun is that?   and I didn’t notice it until I hit submit, but man it applies to what we have gotten out of those, no?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Just heard another report that the Browns have a serious interest in Tannehill at #4.  I’m sorry but I have had a real feeling that he’ll be the first selection for the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 draft.  Meanwhile Blackmon, Richardson, Claiborne and the rest will be gladly scooped up.  Shurmur coming out and talking about McCoy probably sealed the deal.

  • mgbode

    or we are putting up a smoke screen.  our best situation still involves Miami trading up to #3 for Tannehill.

    that leaves Kalil, Claiborne, Richardson and Blackmon for our pick.   We can trade down #5-7 and still get one of them.

    Plus, a team desperate for a LT might be willing to really overpay for Kalil and we could make out well.

  • Steve

     Why can’t Tannehill be that playmaker, why can’t we get a playmaker at 6?

    Look, I get the idea that the Browns need to add high-class players to the roster, but if the difference between 4 and 6 is negligible, why shouldn’t we take advantage of that?

  • porckchopexpress

    Thats awesome, I’ve probably typed “get a RT in FA” 1000 times and never been bright enough to see that.
    I’m going to start my own free agency tracker website just so I can grade right tackle free agents by their gaseousness.

    Nasty FA RT: Eric Winston
    Old FA RT: Tony Pashos

  • Tom Wynne

    yeah…lets re-sign our own players because that 4-12 last year is worth retaining

  • Jim Brown

    Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

    While Andrew Luck’s and Robert Griffin’s Pro Days got all the attention
    of the national media, Ryan Tannehill’s workout was
    much more beneficial for scouts. Tannehill is coming off a foot injury and teams needed to see if it had any lasting
    impact. From all I’ve heard from evaluators there, Tannehill’s foot
    looked fine, he showed off his athleticism with 4.61 seconds in the 40,
    and his throws showcased high velocity, completing NFL throws that now
    further increase his chances of being a Top 10 pick come late April