Browns Reported Interest in Top Free Agent Disputed

Getty Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski.

Before Cam Newton signed with the New England Patriots, the former MVP wasn’t drawing much attention on the free agent market. In fact, it was next to none.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, outside of the Patriots, the Cleveland Browns were the only other team to contact Newton about a possible deal.

“The truth of the matter is that Cam Newton did not have any other offers from any other teams. There was one other team that did have one conversation with him,” Schefter said on his podcast. “It was very brief and didn’t go very far, but the Cleveland Browns did speak to Cam Newton at one point in time, but those talks never really went anywhere. They did with New England and Cam winds up on a one-year contract with the Patriots, which makes all the sense in the world.”

The Browns reported interest in Newton was puzzling for a variety of reasons. The team has shown they are committed to former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield and signed veteran Case Keenum to a fairly lucrative three-year, $18 million deal to be the backup in Cleveland.

In light of the report, Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot of said that the Browns in fact did not have interest — or even a conversation — in Newton.

“I’ve checked into this, and I don’t have any indication that the Browns had such a conversation about Newton,” Cabot wrote in her Q&A column. “It doesn’t make sense that they would have, because they’re committed to Baker Mayfield as their franchise quarterback, and are very happy with Case Keenum as his backup.”

The reported interest might have been drummed up by Browns star Odell Beckham Jr. working out with Newton in California.

Beckham recently shot down the rumors that he’d be looking to join Newton in New England via trade, writing on Twitter: “”U can find me in The LAND homie! We got unfinished business.”

Cam Newton Not Worried About Money

Newton was the top quarterback left on the free agent market but has failed to find any suitors after being released from the Carolina Panthers earlier this offseason. Newton was the top pick in 2011 and guided the Panthers to Super Bowl 50.

However, Newton was injured for the majority of his final season with the Panthers, finishing his season on the IR thanks to a foot issue. After parting ways with Newton, the Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal.

Newton ended up signing a one-year deal for the league minimum on Sunday and he can reportedly make up to $7.5 million in incentives. Newton posted on social media shortly after signing saying his deal wasn’t about money, but about respect.

That’s a little easier to say for Newton, who has made $121 million so far his career on the field. But not everyone was satisfied seeing the former MVP sign for so little, premier among those being 49ers quarterback Richard Sherman.

Browns Still Possible Landing Spot for Free Agent Jadeveon Clowney

One free agent the Browns are still interested in is free agent edge-rusher Jadeveon Clowney.

Clowney suffered a core muscle injury in Week 10 last season with Seattle, which he had surgery on this offseason. It slowed his production and he played in 13 games — starting 11 — notching just three sacks and 31 tackles. However, he’s still among the top pass-rushers in the game and would make a huge impact for the Browns opposite of Myles Garrett.

Clowney reportedly spurned the Browns offer, which is the most lucrative he has on the table. However, that doesn’t mean Cleveland is out of the running.

“I have not narrowed down a final team,‘’ Clowney told Josina Anderson this week. “I’m still open.”

Anderson added that Clowney intends to sign before the season starts.

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