Now that Hue Jackson has left the Cincinnati Bengals to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns, how many free agents will leave the AFC North champions and follow him? One player who will definitely not be part of the Bengals plans in 2016, Mohamed Sanu, might be the first to make the move across the state of Ohio.
Sanu, who has spent his entire career at wide receiver for Cincinnati, is rumored to be a target by Jackson as he works to revamp the Browns offense this coming season.
Alex Marvez of Fox Sports broke the story last week.
“Multiple sources told FOXSports.com that there is virtually no chance Sanu will re-sign with the Bengals. Sanu will instead pursue opportunities elsewhere when the free-agent signing period begins March 9,” Marvez wrote.
The Browns will be in a market to improve its passing game, as well as find the right combination with the rushing attack. Cleveland is also expected to release troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel and draft his replacement with the second pick in the NFL Draft come April.
The Browns are not the only team that might show interest in Sanu, who was a third-round pick out of Rutgers in 2012. Atlanta and the New York Giants are rumored to have interest in improving their receiving talent.
Marvez said Sanu posted modest receiving totals last season with 33 catches for 394 yards as his role in the offense diminished with the return of wide receiver Marvin Jones and tight end Tyler Eifert from injuries that sidelined them in 2014.
MENTORING THE FUTURE
Cleveland quarterback Josh McNown sees the writing on the wall with the Browns. While the offseason talk has been about Manziel and replacing him and potentially finding a new starter in 2016, the veteran part-time starter last season has said he is willing to mentor whoever the Browns bring in as their passer of the future.
Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith outlined the position McCown is in now that there is a new head coach and a new look for the offense, forthcoming. While he wants to be able to start the entire season, he knows if the quarterback the team drafts is ready, he is willing to assume the role of mentor, if it helps the team.
“My expectation is to come into work and be available and be ready to do whatever’s asked of me. If that’s to bring along a draft pick and to start until that guy’s ready, then I’m willing to do that. If that’s to go the full 16, I’m excited about doing that. If that’s to help that guy as he takes over, whatever my role, whatever’s asked of me, I’m just here to win football games,” McCown said. “Whatever my role is, I’m all in. I just want to help.”
The Browns are on the hook for McCown’s $5 million per year for the next two seasons. It is likely they would keep him around as an experienced backup while a younger signal caller learns on the pro level.
THE MANZIEL PLOT THICKENS
To make matters worse for Johnny Manziel, a report on ESPN.com claims there is surveillance video of the troubled quarterback that is being used in an ongoing domestic battery investigation.
Pat McManamon reports that, “Police did not specify the nature of the video, but the footage is from the Hotel ZaZa in Dallas, which is where Manziel’s former girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, alleged the assault began, a source familiar with the investigation told ESPN.”
Manziel has been involved in controversy since the Browns made him the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Browns will most likely release Manziel at the beginning of free agency. There has been some talk that the Dallas Cowboys may be interested in signing Manziel as Tony Romo’s backup for the 2016 season.