Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Leadoff with Lee 3.31.15 #Browns #Indians #Cavs #Packers

By @cleeverizon

- On Monday, the NFL handed Ray Farmer and the Browns their severe punishment for "Text-Gate". Farmer will receive a non-paid four game suspension and the Browns will be fined $250K. The suspension will start on midnight of the Sunday before the Browns' first regular-season game and will end immediately after the Browns' fourth regular season game. Many thought, including myself, that the Browns would lose draft picks as well. But since the text messages were not made to gain a competitive edge, the teams' punishment was only monetary. This was easily the best case scenario the Browns could have imagined. I'm under the assumption the Browns knew what the outcome was going to be since NFL meetings last week. Did you notice how the NFL released it's statement about the punishment, followed by a statement by the team? So the Browns are free and clear of all the scandal and issues right? WRONG! There also could be fines handed down against Cleveland for its roles in unapproved NFL activities. These activities are the result of how the team handled it's own free agents and free agents that they wanted to sign. Another announcement is expected today.  

- Former Browns receiver Miles Austin signed a 1-year, $2.3M contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Austin's salary could reach $3M as he has $700K worth of bonus incentives available.

- The Atlanta Falcons will lose a 2016 5th round draft pick and be fined $350K for piping crowd noise into the Georgia Dome during home games the past 2 seasons. Falcons President Rich McKay will be suspended from the NFL's competition committee from April 1st to at least June 30th for failing to ensure the team complied with NFL rules. After the June 30th date, McKay can apply for reinstatement to the competition committee.

- Defensive tackle BJ Raji and the Green Bay Packers have agreed to terms for a 1-year, $3.5M contract. Raji missed the entire 2014 season with a torn right bicep. Raji will also transition back to his original position of nose tackle this season.

- The Indians 2015 starting pitching rotation is set. Last years Cy Young winner Corey Kluber will be the opening day starter. Followed by Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Zack McAllister and TJ House.

Opening day lineup should be as follows:
1. Michael Bourne
2. Jose Ramirez
3. Michael Brantley
4. Carlos Santana
5. Brandon Moss
6. Yan Gomes
7. Jason Kipnis
8. Nick Swisher
9. Lonnie Chisenhall.

- What do the Cavs want to do? Rest starters and get the 3-6 matchup in the playoffs? Or maybe play the starters and fight for the 2-7 matchup? With 7 games left, it makes sense for the Cavs to start resting the guys and get them ready for the playoffs. There is no need for the team to risk fatigue and injury heading into a post season run. Even though the Cavs don't play until Thursday of this week, if a injury would happen to Shumpert or Mozgov, that would be a HUGE blow to the team. And at this point the talent pool is little none and who knows what the Canton Charge players could offer.

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