Browns exec Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Vikings GM finalist, set for second interview

Kwesi is a finalist and his second interview is set in Minnesota for next week:

The Cleveland Browns could be losing a member of their front office this offseason. As we have been covering, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has been requested for multiple interviews for general manager jobs in the NFL. Last year, Adofo-Mensah interviewed with the Carolina Panthers.

This year, he has added the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings to that list. Noted as a “sleeper” candidate at the start of the interview process, the Browns VP of football operations is now a primary candidate.

According to multiple reports, the Browns VP is one of two finalists for the top front-office job with the Vikings. First, Tom Pelissero reported the two candidates:

Adam Schefter followed that up with news that the two finalists were due to conduct their second interviews early next week:

If Adofo-Mensah is hired, Cleveland would acquire a third-round compensatory pick in the upcoming 2022 NFL draft and another in the 2023 draft.

Another Browns executive, Glenn Cook, has also interviewed for the Minnesota job but seems to be out of the running.

Cleveland could lose a valued executive but gain valuable draft picks if Adofo-Mensah beats out Ryan Poles for the Vikings GM job. Based on the interview schedule, it is likely Minnesota makes their decision between the two in the near future.

Vikings announce interview with Browns exec Glenn Cook completed

Cook’s resume is an interesting one and could interest teams looking to get ahead of the curve in their front office:

The Cleveland Browns have a couple of front office executives that are in high demand for interviews this offseason. With the success of GM Andrew Berry, teams are interested in replicating what has gone well in Cleveland over the last two seasons.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Glenn Cook have had multiple interviews over the last two weeks. Adofo-Mensah interviewed with Carolina last season and was seen as a sleeper candidate for jobs this year. Cook’s name had not been mentioned in many circles but has drawn the interest of the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, along with Adofo-Mensah.

Cook was promoted to VP of Player Personnel when Berry took over in 2020. Previously, Cook was Assistant Director of Pro Scouting with the team. He has been with Cleveland since 2016.

The Vikings announced that they have completed their interview with Cook on Thursday:

In their write-up, the Vikings highlighted Cook’s four years as a linebacker with the Miami Hurricanes and being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2009.

With this being his first chance to interview for the top front-office position, Cook may be a long shot to take over a team in 2021 but would likely be a more likely candidate in 2022.

Report: A Browns special teams coach no longer on staff

The only move or the first move? A report has a special teams coach out:

The Cleveland Browns have a lot of big decisions to make this offseason. Between free agency, trades and the NFL draft, the roster could look quite different in 2022.

There are some who are hopeful that there will be some changes related to coaching as well. The possibility exists that Kevin Stefanski will hand over play-calling duties to Alex Van Pelt. Both defensive line coaches have already moved on with Chris Kiffin joining his brother and Jeremy Garrett headed to Liberty University.

Change on special teams is reportedly in the air but, at this point, not the big change that fans have been calling for. According to Field Yates, Cleveland’s assistant special teams coach is no longer on staff:

The report has not been verified by the team and Colman is still listed on the team’s coaches page alongside Mike Priefer as the special teams coordinator.

The Browns special teams play struggled in 2021 with poor kicking in both phases, regular penalties and minimal explosive plays out of the return game. It is possible, like what happened with the defensive line coaches, that the assistant is first out the door with Priefer to follow but there has been no inclination of such.

We will keep you up to date on Colman’s official future and all Browns news, here on Browns Wire.

Browns bring back RB John Kelly on reserve/futures deal

Browns continue to bring back key practice squad players for the 2022 offseason:

The Cleveland Browns continue bringing back some of their key practice squad players from the 2021 season on reserve/futures deals.

Over the last couple of weeks, the team has brought back a number of players including eight at once including Alex Taylor and Curtis Weaver. Three more were added a few days later before Herb Miller was also signed to a reserve/futures deal.

This week, the team announced that they had signed RB John Kelly as well. Kelly played in four games for the Browns in 2021 before injuring his ankle late in the season. Kelly’s contract with the team had expired last week.

The reserve/future deals are allowed for teams eliminated from post-season to start preparing their offseason roster. Only players who were on a practice squad or free agents at the end of the year are eligible for this kind of contract at this time.

Kelly will join the rest of the reserve/futures deals for offseason activities and training camp in 2022 with Cleveland. He can also rehab his ankle with the team if needed or desired now that he signed his contract.

Browns DT Malik McDowell arrested in Florida for public exposure, physical altercation with police

Disturbing details as McDowell is arrested in Florida on three charges including battery of an officer and public exposure:

Cleveland Browns DT Malik McDowell is back in the news for off-the-field issues. Monday, the Cleveland starter was arrested on three charges stemming from an incident in Florida including aggravated battery of an officer and public exposure.

McDowell’s checkered past, as well as physical health issues, had kept him from playing an NFL game before 2021 despite being a second-round pick in 2017. He had legal issues in the past that also included a physical altercation with law enforcement. Video of that altercation is included in the linked piece.

The Browns gave McDowell a chance this offseason in a surprise move. He rewarded the team with good play and was named a starter.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Monday’s arrest included McDowell with a “violent attack” as described by the officer:

The deputy said McDowell “charged at me … at full speed with closed fist,” leaving the deputy injured, the report said.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested McDowell in Deerfield Beach on Monday on charges of exposing himself in public, resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer.

According to their report, law enforcement received a call of a naked man near a learning center for children that was in session. Responding to that call led to the incident. The official inmate record notes bond amount of $25,000 for the battery charge.

The Browns released the following statement on McDowell’s arrest:

We will update the situation as information becomes available.

Former Browns teammates celebrate OBJ’s play Monday night

A few of OBJ’s former teammates took notice of OBJ’s play Monday night and showed it on social media:

The Cleveland Browns are sitting on the sidelines of the 2021 postseason after making a run in 2021. Last year looked like a stepping stone to even greater things with continuity, the return of Odell Beckham Jr. to the offense and a ton of additions on defense.

Instead, the season fell apart leaving Jarvis Landry wishing he was playing in the playoffs. Whoever you choose to blame (poll here for you to weigh in), the Browns had a poor season.

Cleveland has already said that they expect a “bounce back” year from QB Baker Mayfield. That leaves free agency, trades and the NFL draft to help right the ship. The team rolled over $10 million in cap space Monday and has a variety of ways to add even more space, if they choose.

Unfortunately, the team (and their fanbase) also has to watch Beckham thrive in the playoffs. On Monday Night Football, the first of “super wild card weekend,” Beckham made a number of big plays including a touchdown reception and throwing a pass for 40 yards.

OBJ ended the game with four receptions for 54 yards to go along with that 40-yard pass. His former Browns teammates noticed and showed it on social media:

8 Browns practice squad players become free agents Monday

Eight players from the team’s practice squad did not come to an agreement on future/reserve deals and are now free agents:

The 2022 NFL offseason gets started quickly for some teams and some of their practice squad players. As we’ve covered, the team has added kept a number of players on future/reserve deals in the last couple of weeks.

A week ago, the team signed eight players to such deals including Alex Taylor, Johnny Stanton and Curtis Weaver. They followed that up with three others including Chris Blewitt the next day. Finally, Herb Miller was signed to his reserve/future deal.

Monday players from teams’ practice squads that had not signed a deal with their team had their contracts expire. For Cleveland, eight players became free agents:

  • DB Brian Allen
  • DB Adrian Colbert
  • DE Joe Jackson
  • RB John Kelly
  • RB Benny LeMay
  • DB Jovante Moffatt
  • RB Artavis Pierce
  • DB Tedric Thompson

Those eight are now able to sign future/reserve deals with any team in the league. Jackson and Moffatt played important snaps for the Browns down the stretch and could be looking for more than a future/reserve deal this offseason.

Jarvis Landry bemoans not playing in playoffs this year

Landry wishes he was playing in the playoff again this year. Will he get another chance with the Browns in 2022?

The Cleveland Browns and their fans are at home watching the playoffs on this wild card weekend. A year after making the playoffs and knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland’s high expectations went up in flames throughout the year.

Injuries, COVID-19 and inconsistent play were rampant throughout the season. The wide receiver group that many thought was going to be one of the best in the league, failed to live up to any hype. Odell Beckham Jr. was released, Jarvis Landry was injured and had the worst season of his career and Donovan Peoples-Jones didn’t break out like many thought he could in training camp.

Landry took to social media on Saturday wishing he was playing in a game this weekend:

In 2020, Landry played in two of the three playoff games he’s been in during his eight-year career. Both his Miami and Cleveland teams have missed the playoffs three out of his four seasons.

Often called the heart and soul of the Browns, Landry has one year left on his contract with the team. Given his huge cap number, $16.6 million, and low dead cap if the team moves on from him, only $1.5 million, his future with the team may be in question.

For now, Landry, his teammates, the organization and their fans have to sit and watch the playoffs and dream of what the future might hold.

3 Browns named to All-Pro teams

Not the season that they wanted to have as a team but the 3 All-Pros are 3 guys they’ve invested recent contract extensions into:

The Cleveland Browns failed to live up to preseason expectations in 2021 and will be home watching the NFL playoffs. A year after making the postseason and defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening round, Cleveland fell flat.

The team had some bright spots during the season leading to three members being named to All-Pro teams.

OL Joel Bitonio led all left guards with 28 votes to take the top spot there over Quenton Nelson (13) and Joe Thuney (6). DE Myles Garrett got the second most votes at his position with 29 while T.J. Watt led the way as one of the five unanimous All-Pro selections.

OL Wyatt Teller joined the second-team list at right guard. Zach Martin received 46 votes at the position with Teller the only other player with more than one vote at the position. Teller got two votes.

No other Cleveland player received a single vote. Nick Chubb fell victim to the great season Jonathan Taylor had which led him to get all 50 votes at running back. The cornerback position is quite strong in the NFL right now, keeping Denzel Ward off the list.

In Bitonio, Garrett and Teller, the Browns have three All-Pros that they have invested recent contract extensions into. The investments have already paid off despite the team’s lack of success this season.

Browns sign CB Herb Miller to reserve/futures deal

A 12th player has been signed to a future/reserves deal. Miller played in a lot of games for the Browns this season:

The Cleveland Browns continue to add players to their plan for the 2022 season off of their practice squad. Thursday, the team signed CB Herb Miller to a reserve/futures contract.

Miller played in nine games for the Browns in 2021 after playing four games with Tampa Bay in 2020. For Cleveland, Miller saw all but nine of his snaps on special teams. He was an important part of coverage units in 2021.

Going into 2022, Miller will be competing for a 53-man roster spot as a cornerback but primarily for his special teams work.

Earlier this week, the Browns signed 11 players to reserve/futures deal. The first group was eight players with another three coming a couple of days later.

Any player that ended the year on the Cleveland practice squad or who was a street free agent at the end of the season is eligible to be signed to these deals. All 12 players signed so far will return for offseason activities and training camp for the start of the 2022 season.