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Cleveland Browns: Nick Harris impresses, Logan Ryan Interest, and Passing on Ngakoue

The Cleveland Browns had a busy weekend when it came to the rumor mill. They also hit the field at First Energy Stadium for a scrimmage/practice on Sunday.

Cleveland Browns at First Energy

With fake crowd noise pumping, the Browns players took the field for a combo practice scrimmage in front of a few family members and Browns employees. The offense looked strong, scoring multiple touchdowns in both the practice and scrimmage sessions. Even with things looking good, Browns franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield says the players are not satisfied.

“There is definitely room to improve. I thought we did some things well, but we will look back on the film and probably be not as satisfied.” Mayfield went on to say, “We did not run the ball as much with the live periods, just trying to prevent some injuries and stuff like that,” Mayfield said. “Just trying some things out. Obviously, ran a few trick plays, not normally how we would call a game. We will look back on the film, and there is always room to improve.”

– Mayfield on the Browns offense

Browns interested in Logan Ryan?

According to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, the Browns front office has expressed some interest in former Patriots and Titans cornerback/Safety Logan Ryan. Ryan has recently switched agents to Joel Segal. It is rumored this move was made because Ryan wants to be on an NFL roster by week one. Segal also represents Browns’ rookie safety Grant Delpit. Delpit went down with an Achilles injury and is gone for the season.

Ryan set career highs last season with 113 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 18 pass deflections, and four forced fumbles. Ryan also had four interceptions in 2019. With that, he became only the third player since 2000 to record at least four sacks, four interceptions, and four forced fumbles in a season.

Ryan is talented and can play all over the field. The issue? He has been asking for ten million per year at 29 years old. If Ryan is now coming off that price or willing to structure a deal with incentives, then being on an NFL roster by opening day is very likely. Will it be the Browns?

Cleveland Browns passed on Ngakoue trade

Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com has the scoop. According to the Browns writer, the team “engaged in serious trade talks for pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, traded from the Jaguars to the Vikings on Sunday, but opted, in the end, to move on from the deal.”

Ngakoue is now a Minnesota Viking and took less than the franchise tender to be one, first reported by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Vikings gave up a second-round pick in 2021 and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2022. The fifth-round pick becomes a fourth-round pick if Ngakoue goes to the Pro Bowl this season. It can become a third-round pick if he is a Pro Bowler and the Vikings win the Super Bowl.

Last season for the Jaguars, Ngakoue compiled eight sacks and has 37.5 in his first four years total. According to Mary Kay’s report, the Browns back out once the time passed for players to sign the franchise tender. Giving up a second-round pick with no guarantee that an extension could get done did not appeal to the Browns. The Browns had also decided it was time to move on and restructured defensive end Olivier Vernon’s contract.

Nick Harris impressing offensive line coach Bill Callahan

With J.C. Tretter out after having surgery to remove loose bodies from his knee, rookie Nick Harris has been starting at center in camp. According to coach Callahan, he has handled himself well.

“His development has been interesting, just because of the fact that he was not expected to come in and run the show,” Callahan said Saturday. “He has been impressive in the sense that he can communicate all of the various sequences of communications along the line, whether it is the point system or the call system. He can get us in and out of the protection calls that we need to make. That aspect for a young center has been really impressive.

“So far, we are really pleased, but until you get him matched up against teams like Baltimore and obviously Cincinnati, you just do not know. He has just come in there with a really good confidence about himself and nice poise, and that is refreshing for a young player.”

Head coach Kevin Stefanski had some thoughts on Harris’s improvement since the start of camp also.

“Center is a position that you are really making a lot of calls, and you are running the show,” coach Kevin Stefanski said. “We are fortunate to have JC, a veteran who has seen a lot, and then you have a young kid in there who has not. To his credit, he has every day gotten better at understanding the defensive looks that he is going to see.”

It seems that if the Browns are forced to start the rookie in the opener against the Ravens, there is some comfort level with where he is at.


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