Tag:Free Agency
Posted on: September 22, 2009 9:40 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2009 9:43 pm

The $1,701 Bottle of Water

Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini is widely regarded as a disciplinarian in most league circles. There's nothing wrong with a little discipline in today's NFL - especially with the pampered state of the professional athlete.

However, there are times when a little discipline goes too far.

According to Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports as reported per Profootballtalk.com , Eric Mangini fined an unnamed Browns player the league minimum of $1,701.00 for taking a bottle of water without properly paying for it.

"The rules are clearly laid out," Mangini said in response to the situation.

"I don't ask them to do anything anyone in society isn't asked to do."

There are two ways to look at the situation.

From the coaches' perspective, there's no reason not to pay when you take something. The rules have been explained and players should understand what is and is not available to them. Mangini is likely trying to establishing a precedent that the team will remember for years to come.

From a player's perspective, this is just petty. This seems like an instance of Mangini being overbearing and authoritative.

And I agree.

There is absolutely no reason to enforce such a petty rule. The correct way to handle such a situation would be to explain the rules to the player and demand he pay the $2.00 for the water.

The bigger picture here is not good for the Browns.

Instances like this only harm league-wide perception of Eric Mangini and the Cleveland Browns. Former players criticized Eric Mangini saying he takes all the fun out of winning .

There have been reports of agents sterring their players away from Cleveland. Key personnel claim Mangini is too tough, and incidents like this won't help.

Free agency for Braylon Edwards among others is rapidly approaching, and news like this only hurts the re-signment effort.

Mangini could get away with this if the Browns were winning. They're not.

He needs to ease up, otherwise no one will buy anything he's selling.

Posted on: March 1, 2009 10:36 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2009 10:37 pm

No Flurry for these Browns

In Cleveland, Ohio, early March is normally a season filled with flurries.

Every year around this time, scattered snow flurries refuse to acknowledge the beginnings of the warm spring months. The Cleveland Indians play in a flurry of irrelevant spring training games while the Browns kick off free agency by making a flurry of moves.

This year in Cleveland, something definitely unusual and I’m not talking about the white stuff on the ground.

For the first time since their reincarnation into the league in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have withstood the devilish temptations of free agency and stood firm in their organizational philosophy.

Browns rookie general manager George Kokinis knows the period of these past few days very well. Kokinis spent the last five seasons working as the director of pro personnel for the Baltimore Ravens under Ozzie Newsome. Part of his job in Baltimore included compiling and analyzing detailed information about prospective free agents. His contributions to free agency helped Baltimore land players such as special teams standout Brandon Ayanbadejo and talented cover corner Samari Rolle. For a man with such as strong background in player personnel, last Friday’s beginning of NFL free agency should have been like Christmas to the George Kokinis.

Instead, it was just another day at the office.

As of today, Kokinis and the Browns have yet to sign a single free agent. In fact, since the “Ko-genius” regime has arrived in Berea, the Browns have done nothing but release, cut or trade pieces of last year’s 4-12 football team. This conservative approach toward free agency comes in stark contrast to that used by the previous Browns’ regime. Former GM Phil Savage relied heavily upon free agency – signing high profile veterans in each of his 4 seasons with the team. The limited success he garnered was marred in inconsistency – as many of his signings never lived up to the lofty expectations that come with high-priced contracts.


George Kokinis and head coach Eric Mangini understand the proper way to run a football organization. Building a winning football team in professional football’s free agency era comes through a solid draft and astute salary cap management. Without these two things, a football team is doomed to mediocrity and inconsistency. Although it is still early, the Browns appear on their way to striking the perfect balance of both.

Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make. George Kokinis and the Browns’ coaching staff should be commended thus far for avoiding the pitfalls of expensive veteran players. If new Browns management continues to exert good judgment and temperance, Clevelanders will have a flurry of something new to look forward to this fall:




The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com