ESPN Cleveland expects third-round CB Leon McFadden to be the Browns' Week 1 starter at right cornerback.
McFadden was viewed by most teams as a slot corner coming out of San Diego State, but the Browns plan start him opposite Joe Haden. With only Buster Skrine currently ahead of him on the depth chart, McFadden will be forced into significant playing time as a rookie. At 5-foot-9 5/8, 193, McFadden is undersized and will likely struggle in coverage against bigger receivers.
League and team sources tell SI's Don Banks that the FBI's investigation into Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's truck-stop company Pilot Flying J is unlikely to affect his ownership "for now."
Per Banks, there's "there's no real sense the sky is falling in Cleveland," or that Haslam's legal troubles will "seriously imperil" his ownership. That's true, but it's also true the FBI has yet to press charges. It's been barely one month since their surprise raid of Haslam's company. What we know for sure is that the investigation shouldn't affect the Browns this season. All bets are off beyond that.
ESPN Cleveland reports the Jets "really wanted" QB Brian Hoyer before he signed with the Browns.
It's not surprising. With David Garrard headed to the beach and Mark Sanchez's roster spot up in the air, the Jets have perilously little depth behind second-round pick Geno Smith. Despite a media-inflated reputation, however, Hoyer isn't any more proven than Greg McElroy. He's attempted just 65 more regular-season passes.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns plan to throw to TE Jordan Cameron "a lot," and targeted him on "plenty of deep balls" in OTAs.
It's the Rod Chudzinski recipe at tight end, and reason for legitimate excitement over Cameron's 2013 fantasy prospects. Cameron can seal his status as a high-upside TE1 candidate with a strong camp and preseason. He has the talent to take advantage of his golden opportunity.
ESPN Cleveland "wouldn't rule out" Brian Hoyer winning the Browns' backup quarterback job.
Hoyer's two-year deal contains just $250,000 in guaranteed money, so he still needs to compete for a roster spot. But with the support of GM Mike Lombardi, it's not impossible he could make Jason Campbell expendable if the Browns decide not to carry three quarterbacks. ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi believes the Browns will keep both Hoyer and Campbell.
Jordan Cameron and Kellen Davis are running as the first-team tight ends at Browns Organized Team Activities.
In Rob Chudzinski's Panthers offense, Ben Hartsock and Greg Olsen were the first-team tight ends. Hartsock was the blocker, a role now to be played by Davis. Olsen (now Cameron) was the pass catcher and finished last season as the No. 6 overall fantasy tight end. Cameron's breakout candidacy remains on schedule.
Josh Gordon is working on his route running.
Gordon was one of the NFL's rawest rookies last year, but as the season went on he was arguably the most improved first-year player from beginning to end. CEO Joe Banner called Gordon out in March, saying the 22-year-old still needs to improve and keep working. Gordon appears to be doing that. He has a real chance to be a WR2 this season in coach Rob Chudzinski's vertical attack.