Browns’ Joe Banner on free agency: “these will be the biggest moves we’ll make”

Today at the press conference to introduce Desmond Bryant to the Cleveland media, Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner was asked about free agency and how he feels it is going for Cleveland-

“I mentioned yesterday that I was surprised by some of the less expensive and minimal salary players that were signing so quickly. You usually see them wait. Maybe some of the better players at their position sign and the demand for them would increase a little so that surprised me a little bit. I don’t think anything more than that other than some individual anecdotal players that were perceived to be at one level and looked to be at another in the team’s minds.”

Then a few minutes later, after being asked if the Browns will sign more players-

“I think these will be the biggest moves we’ll make. If we are as lucky in getting what we want they won’t be the last moves we’ll make, but they’ll be the biggest we’ll make.”

Banner was speaking specifically about the signings of Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant, who signed deals for $41 million ($20 guaranteed) and $34 million ($15 guaranteed) respectively.

Banner refused to discuss individual free agents or positions they may or may not target in free agency as of yet.

Meanwhile, the Browns have reportedly shown interest in TE Fred Davis and CB Antoine Cason.

[Related: The best offensive free agents still available]

  • Cason would be great. I keep hoping Jennings re-signs with GB and Finley hits the open market, would be a great fit.

  • Mr0verk1ll

    …Says the guy who said they weren’t going to make any big splashes in free agency.

  • MrCleaveland

    Pretty candid, no?

  • mgbode

    That was Haslam. Here is what Banner said in January:


    Regarding free agency:

    “I need to cautiously manage expectations. I would expect us the
    players in free agency, but we’ll never be building the team around
    that. We won’t care about splash. Some of the best moves I’ve made in
    free agency were, for example, picking up a Chris Clemons from
    (Oakland), signed him to a very modest contract and for (the last three
    years in Seattle) he’s been a double-digit sack guy. You see Juqua
    Parker. We signed him in June (2005) and he was on no team in the
    league. I could rattle off a lot of examples like that . . . We believe
    we will pick up players who will make us a better team . . . We don’t
    want people to say, ‘Well who’s the biggest name in free agency?’ We are
    not precluding that either. But it could be that we are picking up two,
    three, four incremental players that are making us better or help our
    rotation as opposed to being a splash. But I’d be surprised if we are
    not participants in free agency.”

  • TSR3000

    If we can get Talib at the right price it would be huge. Dude still has loads of talent.

  • Mr0verk1ll

    Interesting. Thanks for the info. I’ll defer to you, since you seem to be one of the most prolific commenters on this site.

  • mgbode

    oh, no need to defer. just making sure we all have the right information. Haslam indeed used the words you put there during the SB week.

    Putting both quotes together, I think you can figure out they were going to avoid the “Mike Wallace” guys that will get big media attention, but are not necessarily the best useage of cap money.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It was Haslam who said it I can still feel my body convulsing, all be it a little less now, when I heard/read about it.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Denver got Cromartie…Seattle adding more nice pieces…Philly continues overhaul too. I’m still hoping the Browns add a CB in FA.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    That would be as big a signing as Kruger but I don’t see it happening unfortunately. For me CB was the second biggest need behind LBs so I guess 1/2 isn’t that bad.

  • Mr0verk1ll

    I hope I didn’t come across as snarky, but I think that’s my default mode. I can see now what they meant. So far all the signings appear to be strictly utilitarian, pretty much the opposite of everything the Miami Dolphins are up to this year. I can’t wait to see that blow up in their faces.

  • Harv 21

    agree. I’m looking at Miami and thinking: this is how you win publicity campaigns, not football games. The Wallace contract breakdown makes me think that’s a leading candidate for Move Most Likely to Get G.M. Fired.


    Would anyone else kick the tires on Dumervil since he got released due to a paperwork SNAFU? He’d be expensive, yes, but would he or would he not make our pass rush damn near unstoppable?

  • mgbode

    you have to go and kick those tires. you may walk away, but you have to at least give it a chance.