Cleveland Browns

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  • Panthers sign free agent linebacker Trusnik to 1-year deal (The Associated Press)

    The Carolina Panthers announced they've signed free agent linebacker and special teams contributor Jason Trusnik to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not released Tuesday. The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Trusnik is an eight-year NFL veteran who spent the last four seasons with the Dolphins. Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Trusnik is ''an experienced player who adds more competition to the linebacker position and has also been a special teams ace.

  • Young NFL fan takes Cam Newton to task in elementary school newspaper (Shutdown Corner)

    A hot take on the Carolina Panthers from my son's elementary school newspaper. pic.twitter.com/uxzeurkcIl — Jeff Atkins (@atkinsjeff) March 30, 2015 In some respects, the Carolina Panthers had a successful 2014 campaign. They won their division, made the playoffs and even won a wild-card weekend game against the Arizona Cardinals before losing to the then-defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Cleveland Browns fans pray for such a season. But one elementary school student isn't buying that hype. Not by any stretch of the child's imagination. In a piece penned for a grade-school newspaper and shared by Virginia-based Ph.D. student Jeff Atkins on Twitter, a young NFL observer sums up the Panthers' problems better than most football scribes could. My favorite football team is the Carolina Panthers. I feel that they need a better quarterback. The quarterback is Cam Newton. The team never seems to win and I think he is the reason. He gets intercepted a lot. Now I know what you are thinking. What if he does not have the support from his team? What if they are not very good? Maybe ... but, the players on the team are pretty good. I will admit that maybe the team is responsible for some of the losses, but most of the time it is his fault. There is a spot for him on the team. That is as a running back. That would probably use his talents better. Now that I think about it ... the Panthers were never a very good team. Maybe he is not the only bad player. Spot on, young man. Newton's quarterback rating of 82.1 ranked 26th in a league with only 32 teams, and his backup Derek Anderson finished 2-0 in his absence this season. Then again, Newton faced an uphill battle against injuries, a subpar receiving corps and a defense that allowed 23.4 points per game. So, while the Panthers indeed "were never a very good team," this kid probably wasn't too thrilled to hear the Carolina brass is  reportedly considering signing Newton to an expensive contract extension. This little dude's stream-of-consciousness writing style is one we should all consider adopting — beginning with one hot sports take before thinking it through and concluding with an even hotter one. Like, "Roger Goodell's response to the Ray Rice issue wasn't great. Now that I think about it ... his responses to most issues aren't great. Maybe he is not the best commissioner." Or, "Tim Tebow deserves another NFL chance. Now that I think about it ... He's gotten plenty. Maybe he isn't that good." But really I'm really just hoping this article was written by the same kid from that "Play 60" commercial. (h/t Deadspin )

  • NFL Transactions Tracker (Rotoworld)

    Nick Mensio keeps track of every offseason transaction for all 32 teams.

  • Jameis Winston working to leave off-field problems behind (The Associated Press)

    Jameis Winston has spent much of the past two months crisscrossing the nation, sharpening his quarterback skills and trying to convince NFL teams he's learned from mistakes made off the field and ready to become the face of a franchise. A lot of his effort was geared toward the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have the first pick this year's NFL draft. Heading into Winston's pro day at Florida State on Tuesday, by all accounts the 2013 Heisman winner has made a strong impression. All the Bucs' decision-makers, coach Lovie Smith, general manager Jason Licht, and - maybe even more importantly - the Glazer family, which owns the team, appear to be comfortable with Winston's history of off-the-field issues.

  • NFL's Falcons fined, stripped of draft choice for piping in fake noise (Reuters)

    The National Football League on Monday fined the Atlanta Falcons $350,000 and stripped them of a fifth-round draft choice in 2016 for piping in artificial crowd noise during their home games in 2013 and part of 2014. Separately, Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer has been suspended four games for texting coaches during games in 2014 and the team was fined $250,000, the NFL said. Falcons President Rich McKay, although not implicated in the scheme, will be suspended from the league's competition committee from April 1 through at least June 30 for failing to ensure that the team complied with NFL rules, the league said. "What took place was wrong and nowhere near the standards by which we run our business," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Monday in a statement.

  • Browns GM banned four games for texting to sideline (AFP)

    Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer was suspended for four games without pay by the National Football League on Monday for violating rules banning the use of electronic devices during games. Farmer sent text messages to the Browns sideline with a cell phone during games last season. The suspension will begin at the start of the 2015 regular season and forbids Farmer from any involvement in club matters or from being at the team's offices, practice facility or Browns games. The Browns were also fined $250,000, although the league found no other members of the front office were involved.

  • NFL suspends Browns GM for texting, team holds onto picks (The Associated Press)

    The NFL sent a tough message to Browns general manager Ray Farmer for texting. The league announced its punishment on Monday, ending an investigation that hung over the franchise during yet another turbulent offseason and threatened to undermine the Browns' upcoming draft. The league said his ban begins on midnight of the Sunday preceding the Browns' first regular-season game and will end immediately after the fourth regular-season game. ''I respect the league's decision and understand that there are consequences for my actions,'' Farmer said in a statement released by the Browns.

  • Falcons to lose draft pick, but Browns won't for their crime (Shutdown Corner)

    There had been a little debate going around league circles the past few months. Which was the worse crime: Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer found guilty of texting down from the booth to the sideline or the Atlanta Falcons guilty of piping in crowd noise during games? It turns out that the Falcons got the worst of it, losing a draft pick while the Browns didn't. The Falcons will lose a fifth-round pick in 2016 for the crowd noise controversy, ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure said. Falcons president Rich McKay was suspended from the NFL's competition committee, effective April 1. He can't be reinstated until June 30 at the earliest, McClure reported. McKay has been on the competition committee the past 21 years. Roddy White, the former director of event marketing (no, not the Falcons receiver, there were actually two Roddy Whites in the organziation ) was found to be solely responsible for pumping in the crowd noise and he'll get an eight-game suspension to be served if he lands another NFL job, McClure said . Even though White was responsible, McKay oversees the game-day operations. The Falcons were also fined $350,000. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer confirmed the Browns' punishment: A $250,000 fine to the organization and a four-game suspension without pay for Farmer. The reason the Browns didn't lose a pick, apparently, was that ownership and other team executives didn't know of Farmer's actions. That's why most of the punishment came down on Farmer himself. Is McKay's spot with the Falcons in jeopardy? That much is not clear. He's working closely with the team's newly formed AMB Sports & Entertainment Group, which will oversee the Falcons' new stadium development. But this latest incident will not go over well with owner Arthur Blank, and it's clearly a team in transition with a new head coach and a reformed front-office structure. What about Farmer with the Browns? This incident alone might not be cause for termination, but if the Browns flounder and Farmer's recent draft haul and free-agent additions don't pan out, that might be enough for this rudderless ship of a team to make yet another tack in the flight plan. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm