Browns Free Agency 2012: Kicker Phil Dawson Given The Franchise Tag

The Browns decided to franchise tag kicker Phil Dawson once again this year.

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Browns Free Agency 2012: Peyton Hillis Likely Leaving Cleveland

Compared to the other teams in the AFC North, the Cleveland Browns are a mess. They haven't won more than five games in four straight seasons and struggled badly in 2011. Colt McCoy doesn't seem to be the answer the Browns were looking for at quarterback and Peyton Hillis, who came off a great season in 2010, was bad in 2011. If the Browns don't get things together, they're going to fall even farther behind the Steelers, Ravens and even the Bengals.

The Browns are likely going to lose Peyton Hillis in free agency this year. Other free agents that could be leaving Cleveland tomorrow are Mike Adams and Dimitri Patterson. Hillis is the biggest name to possibly leave the Browns as there were reportedly problems in the locker room. The team already re-signed middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson.

The Browns have some money to spend to improve their chances in 2012, but they need to find the right players. Since Hillis likely going to leave, the Browns could go after Brandon Jacobs, who is a similar style running back. They need help at wide receiver, so players like Mario Manningham or Pierre Garcon could help them. More than anything, though, the Browns need a quarterback. Peyton Manning is out of the picture and since the Rams-Redskins trade, so is RG3. The Browns could make a serious move for Matt Flynn, but they'll have to outbid a few other interested teams.

For more free agency updates, got go SB Nation's Browns blog, Dawgs By Nature.


Browns Franchise Tag Kicker Phil Dawson For Second Consecutive Year

The Cleveland Browns had a number of options for their franchise tag but have chosen to place it on kicker Phil Dawson. This is the second consecutive year Dawson has received the franchise tag so he will be paid 120 percent of his $3.25 salary last season, which comes out to about $3.8 million.

Dawson has been in the league for 13 years. He converted 24 of 29 field goal attempts last season.

The Browns had a couple of other options for their franchise tag. Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson would've been hit with it had he not agreed to a contract extension. Special agent Peyton Hillis was also a candidate to receive it but the team opted to let him test the market.

For more on the Browns, visit SB Nation's Browns blog, Dawgs By Nature. And for more on Cleveland sports, check out SB Nation Cleveland.


Peyton Hillis Set To Hit Free Agency After Considering Retirement, CIA

The Cleveland Browns were widely expected to use their franchise tag on linebacker D'Qwell Jackson but they were able to ink him to a longterm contract, which made the franchise tag available again. Some thought the tag could go to running back Peyton Hillis, but ESPN reports they won't be using the tag on him. Previous reports had indicated it was unlikely he would get the tag anyway.

This means Hillis will become an unrestricted free agent on March 13 and available to sign with any team.

Where the story gets bizarre is that ESPN reports Hillis considered retirement after last season. And, even more bizarre, is that Hillis considered joining the CIA.

That's strange and it won't help his market in free agency. Teams usually don't like to commit to players who have recently considered retirement.

There will be a market for Hillis, though probably not at the money he's seeking. There were reportedly some issues in Cleveland last season with Hillis seeking a longterm deal. That deal obviously never came,and now he'll hit the open market to get paid.

It's still possible he returns to Cleveland, but he'll at least be able to test the waters.

For more on the Browns, visit SB Nation's Browns blog, Dawgs By Nature. And for more on Cleveland sports, check out SB Nation Cleveland.


NFL Free Agency Rumors Link John Carlson, Browns

Tight end John Carlson of the Seattle Seahawks is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13. The Seahawks are likely to use their franchise tag in order to retain star running back Marshawn Lynch, so it is likely that Carlson could soon be testing the waters of the open market.

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Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the Cleveland Browns are very much interested in signing Carlson during the offseason. The Browns are attempting to drastically rebuild their offense for the 2012 season. They're likely candidates to make a splash on a bevy of offensive prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft, and with the No. 4 overall pick they are perfectly positioned for either a huge name or a boatload of picks and players in exchange for their spot in the draft order.

For more on the John Carlson and the Seahawks, visit Field Gulls. For updates on the Cleveland Browns, check out Dawgs By Nature. Head over to SB Nation NFL for more on the upcoming 2012 offseason.


Peyton Hillis Unlikely To Get Franchise Tag From Browns, According To Report

Cleveland Browns running Peyton Hillis is slated to hit unrestricted free agency after a very disappointing injury filled season in 2011. The Cleveland Browns would like to keep the running back, hoping to recreate his stellar 2010 NFL season. The Browns don't plan to use their franchise tag on Hillis, however, according to a report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Browns running back Peyton Hillis, who had a tumultuous 2011 season, is unlikely to be franchised by the Browns. But they'll still try to re-sign him before he hits the open market March 13 at 4 p.m.

According to the Plain Dealer, the Browns will likely use their tag on kicker Phil Dawson for around $3.8 million instead of the $7.7 million to $8 million that would come with franchise tagging Hillis. The two sides were trying to negotiate a new deal during the season, but talks broke off mid-season after the two sides were far apart.

For more on the Browns and free agency, visit SB Nation's Dawgs By Nature.


Browns, D'Qwell Jackson Agree To Multi-Year Contract

The Browns were prepared to use their franchise tag on LB D'Qwell Jackson. Instead, they were able to sign him to a multi-year contract.


NFL Free Agency 2012: Browns Could Lose Peyton Hillis

Since coming to the Cleveland Browns in 2010, running back Peyton Hillis has been one of the few standout offensive weapons in the team's arsenal. But with free agency approaching, Hillis could very well depart for greener pastures, or perhaps a team better positioned to win in the short term.

Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reports that the Browns organization is split on what to do about their star running back.

The Cleveland Browns remain uncertain exactly how to handle running back Peyton Hillis. Some in the organization want to try and keep him, while others want to part ways and draft Alabama's Trent Richardson. I think the draft option will win out, but no one knows for certain just yet.

The draft route would certainly be the cheaper option for the Browns, but only time will tell what the team decides to do.

For more on the Browns offseason, be sure to check out Dawgs by Nature.


Browns Free Agents 2012: Peyton Hillis, Mike Adams Could Bolt

The NFL returned to Cleveland in 1999, but like so many of the years since, 2011 was not a kind one. The Cleveland Browns went 4-12 this year and missed the playoffs for 12th time in 13 seasons. That was mostly the fault of a feckless offense that ranked toward the bottom of the league in almost every category. On the free-agent front, it's a bit of a "beauty in the eye of the beholder" situation.

Depending on how you look at it, the Browns are either lucky to have just 15 players hitting free agency this year or have some tough decisions to make on the players already under contract. Even among the starters slated for free agency, none are coming off spectacular seasons. Running back Peyton Hillis (unrestricted) was solid when healthy, but he also rushed for just 587 yards and scored just three touchdowns in 10 games. Safety Mike Adams (unrestricted) started all 16 games, but his three interceptions are a bit low from a position that is supposed to be all about ball-hawking.

Here's a complete list of Browns free agents (via Mac's Football Blog):

Exclusive Rights Free Agents (4)

WR Jordan Norwood
DE Marcus Benard
DT Brian Schaefering
LB Titus Brown

Unrestricted Free Agents (11)

RB Peyton Hillis
TE Alex Smith
OT Oniel Cousins
OL John Greco
OL Artis Hicks
OL Steve Vallos
LB D'Qwell Jackson
CB Mike Adams
CB Dimitri Patterson
K Phil Dawson
P Brad Maynard

For more on the Browns offseason, be sure to check out Dawgs by Nature.

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