Jun 12, 2012; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) throws to fullback Owen Marecic (48) during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

NFL News: Cleveland Browns Name Rookie Brandon Weeden as Starter

It’s official – Brandon Weeden has passed incumbent Brown QB Colt McCoy on the depth chart.

Weeden, the team’s second first-round draft pick this year, should greatly benefit from being on the field with their first first-round selection, Trent Richardson, selected at #3 overall.

Weeden’s abilities aside, Richardson’s presence would have helped McCoy or any other QB they put out there. Richardson has been touted, correctly I think, as the best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson. While that remains to be seen, it does mean that enemy defenses will be forced to honor the threat, and that translates into better opportunities for Weeden in the play-action passing game as well as helping to keep things balanced offensively in general. A young QB’s best friend is a great left tackle, and that’s the ONE thing the Browns already have in Joe Thomas. A strong running game is a close second.

Dec 24, 2011; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace (17) attempts to get away from St. Louis Rams safety James Butler (37) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory credit: Vincent Pugliese- US PRESSWIRE

In other news, Mike Wallace and the Pittsburgh Steelers remain at an impasse. The restricted free agent has yet to sign his tender, in the area of $2.75 million non-guaranteed for 2012, and wants a long-term guaranteed deal. Steelers’ GM Kevin Colbert said “Mike knows where things stand. The next step for him really is to report and to sign his tender, and until that happens, there won’t be anything else. And if that happens, nobody knows where it will go from there. So that’s where it is and has been, and hopefully it comes to an end sooner rather than later because it will be good for us, but it will also be good for Mike.”

The Steelers signed fellow WR Antonio Brown to a 5-year $42 million dollar contract but only about $8 million is guaranteed, so it’s not the chops-buster that many fans seem to think it is for Wallace. It’s no secret that Wallace is one of the league’s best downfield threats – if not the biggest of all these days. He just doesn’t get caught from behind and one would have to think Big Ben has been lobbying behind the scenes for somehow signing him, but if so, they’ve kept everything within the organization and private…just as it should be.

This looks similar in some ways to the now-resolved Chicago Bears/Matt Forte situation. Forte was an RFA as well, but knew at some point he would have to sign with his team. As an extreme measure, Wallace could possibly sit out until week 10, when he MUST report or lose a year of accrual towards becoming an unrestricted free agent. Vincent Jackson did that in 2010.

The Steelers have made it clear that they don’t wish to trade Wallace and have a first-round tender on him – meaning if another team signs him, the Steelers will receive a first-round pick in the 2013 draft from the signing team and league rules is where the $2.75 million figure comes from.

The Seattle Seahawks signed 38 year old shameless self-promoter Terrell Owens, which says a lot about how Pete Carroll feels about the wideouts he’s got now. All of them have some issues – Sidney Rice can’t stay healthy, Braylon Edwards is a career underachiever, and Mike Williams has shown flashes of the talent that made him a top-ten pick of the Detroit Lions during that run where the Lions were legally obligated to draft WRs with their top picks. Consistency is Williams’ Achilles Heel.

One notable remaining free agent is Plaxico Burress. It’s interesting that Carroll signed the 38 yr old Terrell Owens over 37 yr old Burress, but Plexiglass is reportedly asking for too much money…especially for someone who has been out of the league for several years. Owens himself couldn’t find a team last year and is the NFL’s second all-time receiver in most categories behind the apparently un-catchable records of a fellow from a small college in Mississippi named Jerry Rice. Fans sometimes mix up his college state with the name of the QB Rice used to hook up with TO school the rest of the NFL. Just remember “Joe Mississippi” is what you say only to delay yourself from rushing the passer in flag football. Montana was the man…Matt Flynn’s prowess has yet to be resolved. Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice were once teammates ages ago in San Francisco when Montana’s successor and a Hall of Famer himself, southpaw signal-caller Steve Young, was under center.

Lastly, there was a much-ballyhooed scrum at the Jets’ scrimmage yesterday afternoon. What wasn’t widely mentioned was that there were actually several. While fights break out in training camp between a couple of people pretty much every year with every team, the fact there was more than one on Monday doesn’t speak well for Rex Ryan’s control over his team. One fight is going to make a coach angry, and Ryan let them know of his disapproval. Therefore, others decided to fight.

Rex screamed at the team: “Save it for Cincy – WE’RE ALL WE’VE GOT!” The Jets and Bengals play Friday night.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Brandon Weeden Chicago Bears Cleveland Browns Jerry Rice Joe Thomas Matt Forte Mike Wallace New York Jets Pittsburgh Steelers Plaxico Burress Rex Ryan Terrell Owens Trent Richardson

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