- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren wrapped up his combine news conference Friday.
HolmgrenHere were Holmgren's thoughts on a variety of issues:
Let's start with the quarterbacks since that is the hottest topic in Cleveland. Although a final decision hasn't been made, Holmgren was very candid in saying it's a "long shot" that Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn will both be on the roster next season. If one has to go, it's likely Anderson, who is due a $2 million roster bonus next month.
Here is an interesting note: Defensive end Julius Peppers is on Cleveland's radar in free agency. ESPN's Chris Mortensen recently mentioned the Browns as a sleeper team for Peppers, who is arguably the biggest unrestricted free agent on the market. Cleveland also has the money to spend. "When we talk about possible free agents, Julius is one of the guys we talk about," Holmgren admitted.
Although he didn't want to provide a timeline, Holmgren is confident that he can turn Cleveland around. Three teams in the AFC North had winning records last season. So the division would be extremely tough if Cleveland also gets up to par.
The contract situation with Pro Bowl returner Josh Cribbs isn't settled, according to Holmgren, but both sides are making progress. Reportedly, Cribbs was expected to have a deal in place by the end of the week. But Holmgren believes it will take longer than that. "It's moving," Holmgren said. "We're not quite there yet. But actually I'm very, very pleased with both sides talking."
Cleveland plans to retain restricted free agent Jerome Harrison. The tailback led the team in rushing, but the Browns also want to get him some help so the smallish Harrison won't take the same pounding he did last season.