Factory of Sadness

A blog dedicated to Cleveland sports

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I can’t decide if I’m more excited about the Cavs season (thankfully) coming to an end or the Indians managing to win tonight’s game batting 1-13 with runners in scoring position. 

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Free Agency Reaction: Where Are the Browns Now, and Where Do They Go From Here?

I have not been able to write an update regarding the Browns free agent acquisitions and departures, but came across one at the blog Dawg Pound Nation that analyzes and rates each one. I recommend it as a good read for those looking to gain some more insight on what the Browns did and where they are headed this upcoming season.

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Bengals decline to match Browns’ offer for Andrew Hawkins

After initial reporting that the Bengals would match the offer, it appears — now that the last day to match is here, that the Bengals will not be matching the offer.

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Cleveland Browns Release Brandon Weeden & Jason Campbell

It was only a matter of time before both of these moves happened and the Browns did everyone a favor by releasing both Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden this afternoon. That leaves Brian Hoyer and Alex Tanney as the only QBs on the Browns’ roster. 

These moves needed to be done. Neither QB was an option for next year and Brandon Weeden may have done the impossible and justified his pick less than Brady Quinn justified his.

Thus, the revolving door at QB for the Browns will continue into next year. Now the only question is if they will be bringing in veteran competition for Hoyer or rookie competition.

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Running back Ben Tate is in Berea visiting with the Cleveland Browns today

In addition to today’s news that Cincinnati would likely match the Browns offer for Andrew Hawkins, reports emerged that Ben Tate was in Berea today visiting with the Browns.

Rumors of Tate joining the Browns date back to last season. Seeing as it could be argued that RB was the weakest position on the Browns last year (yes, even more so than QB) it should come as no surprise that the Browns are interested in the guy many, if not all, analysts are calling the #1 option at RB.

Tate has looked great when given the chance to play behind Arian Foster, but he has also been injury prone while not even carrying a full workload. I love the idea of adding Ben Tate — but I’ll hate it if we overspend, seeing as productive RBs can be found in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, and the Browns have plenty of draft picks to use. Even if the Browns sign Tate I would fully expect another RB to be drafted.

More on this as news comes out.

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Report: Bengals plan to match Browns’ offer to Andrew Hawkins

Last night we found out that Andrew Hawkins, WR from Cincinnati, signed an Offer Sheet with the Browns. Since Hawkins was a restricted free agent Cincinnati now has 5 days to match that offer to keep him apart of their team.

Word last night was that they would not match but now, this morning, come reports from PFT and ESPN that Cincinnati will indeed match the offer to retain Hawkins.

This is a shame, as I think Hawkins can be a difference maker given his explosiveness and elusiveness. Given the right play calls I think he could have been a good fit on the team. The fact of the matter is we’ll never know if Cincinnati follows through and matches, nor do we know what the offense will look like anyway — as Defense was the key to day one of free agency.

Other possible targets to fill the slot WR role now could be Emanuel Sanders of PIT or Julian Edelman of NE. The latter seems far more unlikely than the former, and personally I would rather see us poach Sanders from PIT.

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Sources: Browns add LB Dansby, S Whitner

At this hour two signings have been confirmed by the media, but the Browns have not made an official statement. Those two signings are ILB Karlos Dansby and SS Donte Whitner. Terms of their respective agreements are reported as follows:

  • Dansby: 4 years, $24 million, $14 million guaranteed
  • Whitner: 4 years, $28 million, no word on guaranteed amount

Full breakdowns of the pick-ups to come later in the week. The early feel is that the Browns went for older, more experienced players to replace DQ and T.J. Ward. The general feel seems to be that many feel the defense has been upgraded and that must come from the Dansby signing. I’m not completely sold on these signings being that much of a game changer for the upcoming season, but I have some research to do just to see what the Browns acquired today.

Filed under Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns NFL Karlos Dansby Donte Whitner

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Browns Rumor Roundup: Pre Free Agency Edition

With Free Agency slated to officially being in about 2 hours rumors have been rampant today about players being connected to the Browns. Below is a quick review of what we have seen so far:

Nothing can be official until 4:00pm, so don’t expect any confirmed reports until then (on the free agent front). At the very least it looks like the Browns are going to be active in improving the team through free agency. I’m a proponent of filling team needs through the draft and then supplementing and filling holes through free agency. Given the Browns have so many holes, a lot of draft picks, a lot of cap space, and an owner who wants to win now — we may be in store for short terms signings with an eye on winning now, then supplementing those signings with future impact players at each position. 

It will be interesting to see who ends up coming to Cleveland and how much money is spent in the process. I personally love the idea of McCluster, Hawkins, and/or Emanuel Sanders joining this team in the slot role. I probably would prefer Sanders above all, but any of them should be an upgrade. I really expected their to be more talk of landing Jarius Byrd to play FS for us given his ties to the new head coach, but talk on that front has been pretty silent today. If the rumored deal with Whitner is as much as expected, it seems unlikely the Browns would spend even more money on the safety position.

Lastly, Revis and Haden could be quite the duo at CB. Browns have the cap space to absorb that contract, but at what cost? I wouldn’t want to see us fork away any early day draft picks, seeing as this guy is expected to be released if not traded by tomorrow. 

As signings become official we will be posting updates and grading the signing when financial information is available.

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What Went Wrong: 2013-2014 Cleveland Cavs

The 2013-2014 Cleveland were supposed to make the leap to playoff team from lottery team after landing the first pick in the draft and being in the far weaker conference. It wasn’t just me who believe this, but many NBA analyst and reporters expected them to make the leap as well. Instead, 64 games into the season, they find themselves tied for the 8th worst record in the entire NBA (24-40) and in prime position to land in the lottery mix once again. As bad as that sounds, they only remain three and a half games out of the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. I don’t believe many people currently believe they are a playoff team, even in the East, but they are currently on a four game losing streak that could easily be a ten game losing streak looking at the upcoming schedule (@PHX, @GS, @LAC, vs. MIA, vs. OKC, vs. HOU). Should they not pull out a victory in any of these games it will likely be time to shift focus to the 2014 draft as opposed to the playoffs. So, instead of waiting until the end of the season, let’s take a look at what has gone wrong for this year’s Cavs team.

  • Free Agency: The Cavs signed three players in free agency that were supposed to signify the commitment to winning this year. Two of those players are no longer apart of the Cavs (Andrew Bynum and Earl Clark), while the third continues to underwhelm (Jarrett Jack). Bynum netted us Luol Deng, while Clark was a part of the trade that got us Spencer Hawes. In theory, the players we received in return are much better than those that we got rid of — unfortunately both are on expiring contracts and if the locker room is half as bad as league reporters claim, why would either of them want to stay?
  • Draft: In typical Cleveland fashion, we get the #1 pick in a draft that many proclaimed to be the weakest in years. While there was no clear cut #1 choice, the player that the Cavs went with shocked pretty much everyone (I can’t recall one Mock Draft slating Anthony Bennett to go #1, and there was maybe 1 report that even through out the possibility that I can remember). To-date, Anthony Bennett’s stats are as follows: 51 games played, 12.7 minutes per game (would have taken the under on this), FG % of .352, 3 Point FG% of .245, 2.9 Rebounds per Game, and 4.4 Points per Game. This is just awful anyway you look at it. The #1 pick in the draft should be an instant contributor, or have that potential when healthy (For example, Nerlens Noel was likely the consensus #1 prior to his knee injury. I expect him to have an instant defensive impact for the 76ers).
  • Past Drafts: The Cavs have drafted in the top 4 for three straight years, as follows: #1 & #4 in 2011, #4 in 2012, and #1 in 2013. This has netted us one potential superstar and three role players, from the looks of it. Kyrie Irving is a potential superstar because I find it hard to believe someone who is a superstar can’t lead his team to the playoffs in a weak Easter Conference. There is no doubt he has all the talent in the world, but injury and leadership concerns seem to be present. The other choices, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and Anthony Bennett all appear to be role players as things currently stand. Also, all of these choices appear to lake chemistry with one another and the team as a whole. Whether that is a result of the coaching scheme or just selfish individuals there is no telling, but it is abundantly clear that the Cavs, as currently constructed, have major chemistry issues which can go back to the members of the 2011 and 2012 draft classes.
  • Front Office: If the draft and free agency are major reasons the Cavs have failed this season, that points directly back to the front office. As a result, Chris Grant lost his job as GM midway through the current season. The knock on Chris Grant following his departure was that he overvalued his players in trade talks, which turned many teams off. I don’t mind the GM of my team valuing their players highly, but it has to be warranted and you have to be able to realize when it is time to move on and take the best deal on the table. Rumors were abundant about Dion Waiters being moved, which never came to fruition. I would be curious to see what offers (if any) the Cavs received for him, as that is one player who does not appear to mesh with the team, but should have at least some trade value (granted, not pick #4 trade potential despite the fact that is where we took him). This is the one area where a problem was identified and corrected in season, only time will tell who the full time replacement will be and what they can do with this roster.
  • Coaching: If the Cavs bring in a different coach this year do they have a better record then they currently do? We’ll never know for sure, but I think yes. Mike Brown doing tour number two in Cleveland seemed like an awful idea from the get go to me, and it probably seems like an awful idea to everyone at this point. Brown was praised for his defensive abilities, something the Cavs previously lacked under Byron Scott. Unfortunately they continue to lack any defensive ability, but also lost all offensive ability since that has never been Brown’s strong suit. One has to wonder what will happen to Mike Brown after this season, despite the signing of a five-year contract worth $20 million. Despite this large amount, it remains possible Brown is shown the door after this season when a new GM is put in place.

Overall, it is undeniable that this season has been an unmitigated disaster. The playoff hopes appear to be dwindling by the week and this upcoming stretch of games will go a long way in determining the heart and determination of this team. There will be plenty of blame to go around once the season is over and all the talk is focused on which lottery pick we get, as opposed to how Kyrie looked in what was supposed to be his first taste of the playoffs.

Filed under Cleveland Cavs Cleveland Cavaliers Cavs Cavaliers NBA Kyrie Irving Dion Waiters Tristan Thompson Anthony Bennett

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Schaub is a “serious possibility” for the Browns

My reaction to this… Why? Years back Matt Schaub seemed like a reliable and consistent QB. Last year he may have been worse than Brandon Weeden. I wouldn’t expect him to start over a healthy Brian Hoyer and I’d hate to have Schaub taking up a roster spot that could go to a rookie QB whom the Browns are grooming to be the ultimate solution at the position. Though, it may just be an indication the Browns truly don’t feel any of the top 3 QBs (Bortles, Manziel, Bridgewater) are that answer — and they need a filler until they identify their QB of the future.

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