Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Sports

Browns keep Manziel, hoping to trade him

The Browns were so quiet during Wednesday's start of free agency that they didn't even lower the boom on troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel. But they're unlikely to keep him beyond this week.

The Browns were originally expected to cut Manziel on Wednesday when the league's calendar reset, giving them the salary cap space they needed to absorb the $4.624 million cap hit.

However, they're going to hang onto him for a bit longer to see if another team will trade a conditional late-round draft pick for, the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, instead of waiting to claim him off waivers or sign him once he clears waivers.

It's a long shot because Manziel has the possibilities of jail time and a league suspension hanging over his head.

A grand jury will decide whether to charge Manziel after his ex-girlfriend accused him of beating her and threatening to kill them both on Jan. 30. The NFL is also investigating the incident under its personal-conduct policy and could suspend Manziel even if he's not charged.

With Manziel on the way out, the Browns are again focused on finding a franchise quarterback in the draft. Cleveland has the No. 2 overall pick and is considering North Dakota State's Carson Wentz and Cal's Jared Goff.

TEXANS add osweiler: Quarterback Brock Osweiler reportedly agreed to a multiyear contract. He appeared in eight games, going 5-2 as a starter filling in for Peyton Manning, last season for the Broncos. But Denver was unwilling to pay Osweiler the $18 million per year he was seeking, reportedly offering $16 million. Houston gave him a four-year deal worth $72 million. Another factor: Osweiler, 25, apparently wasn't happy about being benched in favor of Manning in the playoffs. "We've stayed true to our philosophy of building a team with players who want to be Denver Broncos and want to be here," team president John Elway said. "That's been a successful approach for us." Houston also reportedly signed Dolphins running back Lamar Miller for four years, $26 million.

GIANTS ADD DE IN RECORD DEAL: Olivier Vernon agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract with the Giants, a deal that includes $52.5 million in guaranteed money, $40 million of which is guaranteed fully. It was the biggest payday for a rush end in NFL history. The Dolphins, knowing the price would be too much to match, had rescinded Vernon's $12.7 million transition tag earlier Wednesday, and signed defensive end Mario Williams, recently released by the Bills, for two years and $17 million. New York's first official move in free agency was to sign defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to a one-year contract. Pierre-Paul, a former USF standout who badly injured his right hand in a fireworks accident in July, said: "I have one year to prove myself, but all I need is one." The Giants also agreed to terms with Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, a former Gator, reportedly for five years and $60 million.

Bears: Linebacker Danny Trevathan agreed to a four-year deal. Last season he was the Broncos' leading tackler.

BRONCOS: Donald Stephenson, who can play guard and either tackle position, agreed to a deal. He started 21 games for the Chiefs over the past four seasons.

CHARGERS: Tight end Antonio Gates is staying put with a two-year, $12 million deal that will allow him to retire with the team that signed the undrafted free agent in 2003 out of Kent State.

CHIEFS: Linebacker Derrick Johnson agreed to a three-year deal, ensuring that the franchise's career tackles leader will retire with the team that drafted him.

DOLPHINS: Liona safety Isa Abdul-Quddus signed a $12.75 million, three-year deal and is expected to start. Miami remains in the market for a cornerback, defensive end, guard and running back.

Falcons: Quarterback Matt Schaub and Browns center Alex Mack agreed to terms. Schaub spent three seasons with Atlanta, then was traded the Texans after the 2007 season. He played for the Raiders in 2014 and the Ravens last season.

Jaguars: Browns safety Tashaun Gipson will reportedly sign a five-year deal worth up to $35.5 million. Jacksonville also agreed to deals with Jets running back Chris Ivory and Panthers punter Brad Nortman,

PANTHERS: Defensive end Charles Johnson took a pay cut to stay. The nine-year veteran, released last week in a cap move, got a one-year deal worth $3 million.

SAINTS: Former Colts tight end Coby Fleener agreed to a reported five-year, $36 million deal, helping fill a void left by Ben Watson's departure for Baltimore.

Redskins: Linebacker Mason Foster, a former Buc, re-signed.

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