NFL Nation: Jason Trusnik

2015 Miami Dolphins free agents

January, 5, 2015
Jan 5
The Miami Dolphins completed their second consecutive 8-8 season in 2014. They enter 2015 offseason with 16 free agents. The new league year opens at 4 p.m. ET March 10, when unrestricted free agents will be free to sign with any team.

Here’s a list of the Dolphins’ restricted and unrestricted free agents:


Charles Clay, tight end
Jared Odrick, defensive tackle
Matt Moore, quarterback
Knowshon Moreno, running back
Daniel Thomas, running back
Daryn Colledge, guard
Samson Satele, center
Jason Fox, offensive tackle
Jason Trusnik, linebacker
Kelvin Sheppard, linebacker
Jimmy Wilson, safety
Louis Delmas, safety


Derrick Shelby, defensive end
LaMichael James, running back
Jonathan Freeny, linebacker
RJ Stanford, cornerback

Miami Dolphins' Thursday injury report

December, 11, 2014
The Miami Dolphins (7-6) will travel to face the New England Patriots (10-3) Sunday in an important game for both teams.

Here is Miami's official injury report for Thursday:

Did not practice: DB Walt Aikens (illness), LB Koa Misi (hamstring, knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (foot), LB Jonathan Freeny (hamstring), G Nate Garner (illness)

Limited practice: TE Charles Clay (hamstring, knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), LB Chris McCain (ankle), CB Jamar Taylor (shoulder), DT Anthony Johnson (ankle)

Full practice: DE Dion Jordan (ankle), TE Dion Sims (neck), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring)

Analysis: The Dolphins were without starting linebackers Misi and Jenkins for the third consecutive day. Head coach Joe Philbin rarely goes with players who cannot practice during the week, so chances do not look good for those players Sunday against the Patriots. Backup linebackers Jason Trusnik and Kelvin Sheppard could see a lot of playing time. Miami also had two new additions to the injury report Thursday. Aikens was not present due to an illness, and Johnson was limited after presumably suffering an ankle injury in practice. Johnson was on crutches in the locker room Thursday.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins (7-6) held their third practice of the week in preparation for the New England Patriots (10-3).

Here are some notes and observations:
  • Misi
    The Dolphins were without starting linebackers Jelani Jenkins (foot) and Koa Misi (hamstring, knee) for the third straight practice. This is an awful sign for Miami, who could be very thin at the position. Without Jenkins and Misi, the Dolphins might look to backups Jason Trusnik and Kelvin Sheppard as potential replacements. The Patriots will look to exploit the matchup with tight end Rob Gronkowski.
  • Cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan and Jamar Taylor practiced for the third straight day, which is an encouraging sign. Finnegan missed the past three games with an ankle injury, and Taylor missed the past two with a shoulder injury. Miami needs its cornerback depth against Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
  • Backup guard Nate Garner and rookie defensive back Walt Aikens were not present during Thursday’s portion of practice open to the media. Garner has an illness. Aikens had no reported injuries on Wednesday.

The Dolphins will release their final injury report with game designations on Friday. They will travel to Foxborough on Saturday in preparation for Sunday’s must-win game.
The Miami Dolphins (7-6) will travel to face the New England Patriots (10-3) in a must-win game Sunday.

Here is the team's official injury report on Wednesday:

Did not practice: LB Koa Misi (hamstring, knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (foot), LB Jonathan Freeny (hamstring), G Nate Garner (illness)

Limited practice: TE Charles Clay (hamstring, knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), LB Chris McCain (ankle), CB Jamar Taylor (shoulder)

Full practice: DE Dion Jordan (ankle), TE Dion Sims (neck), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring)

Analysis: The Dolphins are hurting at linebacker. Two starters -- Misi and Jenkins -- missed practice for the second straight day. Their status for Sunday is in question. They may have to look at backup options such as Jason Trusnik, Kelvin Sheppard or Chris McCain. Taylor and Finnegan were limited but both appear promising for the Patriots game. They are certainly needed against New England quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL’s seventh-ranked passing game.
An examination of what the Miami Dolphins must do after their win over the New England Patriots:

The Dolphins were in a celebratory mood Sunday evening following their impressive 33-20 win. The defense shut out New England in the second half and Miami's offense scored 23 unanswered points to cap a dominant performance.

On the surface, all seemed well for the Dolphins. But there is one underlying issue facing the team entering Week 2.

A pair of Miami starting linebackers were hobbled in the locker room after the game. Starting middle linebacker Koa Misi injured his left ankle and did not return to the game. He was limping and in a boot Sunday night. Dannell Ellerbe injured his hip in the first half and will be put on season-ending injured reserve, the Dolphins announced Monday. The team signed free-agent linebacker Kelvin Sheppard to fill Ellerbe's roster spot.

With Philip Wheeler missing the game with a thumb injury, the Dolphins played the entire second half without their three starting linebackers. However, backups Jason Trusnik, Jelani Jenkins and Jonathan Freeny stepped in and held their own.

"I'm proud of the way the guys stepped up. I told the team it was really a team win," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. "Injuries seem to happen in waves at one position -- it just seems to be the nature of things. Our guys were able to step in. Jelani [Jenkins] came in there, I thought [Jason] Trusnik played a heck of a game and really contributed. [Jonathan] Freeny got in there and contributed. Chris McCain got in there and contributed. I said to the team at the end of the game, the name on the back of the jersey didn't really matter. I thought the guys played like a team."

With Ellerbe out and Wheeler's and Misi's status up in the air, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Miami could play the undefeated Buffalo Bills next week without their starting linebackers. But Sunday's performance by the backups should give Miami confidence it can look in-house to solve the issue.

Observation Deck: Miami Dolphins

August, 23, 2014

MIAMI -- Until Saturday night, the Miami Dolphins were left to wonder what their running game looks like at full strength under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Miami had gone without Knowshon Moreno, a key free-agent pickup, the entire preseason due to knee surgery.

But Moreno made an impressive 2014 debut in Saturday's 25-20 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Moreno rushed for 64 yards on 10 carries (good for a 6.4-yard average) in his Dolphins debut. Moreno ran strong between the tackles and added a new dimension to the Dolphins' offense. He showed good vision, burst through the hole, and wasn't afraid to punish defenders at the end of runs.

Moreno is competing with incumbent starter Lamar Miller (34 rushing yards) and perhaps closed the distance with this preseason performance. Miami hopes Moreno's output Saturday is a taste of things to come in the regular season.

Here are some other thoughts on the Dolphins' third preseason game:
  • It was a mixed bag from Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who completed 13-of-21 passes for 119 yards and one interception in the dress rehearsal game. The third-year quarterback did a decent job of moving the Dolphins' offense down the field, but sloppy play kept points off the board. Tannehill threw his interception into double coverage while Miami was driving down the field in the third quarter on his final throw of the night. Tannehill also completed a pass to tight end Dion Sims, who fumbled the ball in the first half to stall another drive.
  • The Dolphins’ starting defense held up well against a talented and dangerous Cowboys’ offense. Miami held Dallas’ offense to just six points in the first half when starters were on the field. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo looked befuddled at times by Miami’s defense. Romo was 10-of-18 passing for 87 yards in the game and was sacked three times. Dolphins starting defensive ends Cameron Wake (two sacks) and Olivier Vernon (one sack) got to Romo.
  • In addition to Moreno, Dolphins starting tight end Charles Clay also made his 2014 debut. Clay tweaked his knee during Miami's team scrimmage earlier this month and missed the first two preseason games. Clay played in the first quarter and recorded one reception for 18 yards.
  • The Dolphins still have a lot of work to do on special teams. Dallas reeled off big returns Saturday, including a 50-yard kickoff return from Cowboys receiver Dwayne Harris in the first quarter. Miami rookie receiver Jarvis Landry also fumbled a punt return that he later recovered. The Dolphins also had a punt blocked, but it was called back due to a Dallas penalty. On top of that, Miami kicker John Potter also injured his hip in the first half and didn't finish the game. Punter Brandon Fields performed kickoffs in the second half. It was a rough night for Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi, who certainly has a lot to talk about with his group next week.
  • Miami starting middle linebacker Koa Misi was a late scratch Saturday night with a shoulder injury. He practiced during the week but was held out against Dallas. The Dolphins started backup linebacker Jason Trusnik in place of Misi. Dolphins kick returner Marcus Thigpen, kicker Caleb Sturgis and running backs Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee were also among the key players who didn’t suit up for Miami Saturday night.

Dolphins Camp Report: Day 11

August, 6, 2014
DAVIE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:
  • It was a bounce-back day for Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He struggled mightily this week and had his two worst practices of training camp on Monday and Tuesday, when he threw a combined six interceptions. But Tannehill was sharper Wednesday. He made several nice throws to receivers Damian Williams and Rishard Matthews. Tannehill did have one interception in practice, but the pass was tipped and fell into the hands of Miami linebacker Jason Trusnik.
  • The “Play of the Day” goes to Miami rookie receiver Jarvis Landry. Not known for his speed, Landry surprised the Dolphins’ defense by running past defensive back Kevin Fogg for a 50-plus yard touchdown reception in team drills. Landry caught the ball in stride on a ball thrown by Miami backup quarterback Seth Labato. Landry received a high-five from teammate Mike Wallace, who usually runs the deep routes. Landry, a second-round pick, has been very good so far in training camp. He’s steady, reliable and will be difficult for the coaching staff to keep off the field at this rate.
  • On the injury front, the Dolphins saw the return of running back Knowshon Moreno, who missed all of training camp because of knee surgery. Moreno dressed in full pads but only participated in individual drills. It seems unlikely that he will play this week in Miami’s exhibition opener. Also, starting defensive end Olivier Vernon returned to practice Wednesday from a back injury. Vernon’s chances of playing Friday are more optimistic.
  • New Dolphins center Samson Satele got first-team reps for the third day in a row. Therefore, it would be surprising if he is not the starter Friday against the Atlanta Falcons. Satele signed a one year, $2 million contract over the weekend and split first-team reps on Monday. But the past two practices Satele has worked nearly exclusively with the first team. Satele is expected to replaced injured Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey in Week 1 of the regular season. “All we have to do is solidify,” Satele said. “Once you find that five, and then just work the next couple weeks of communicating up front.”
  • The Dolphins will have their first “travel day” of the 2014 season. They are off from practice and heading to Atlanta on Thursday. Miami will play its preseason opener at 7 p.m. Friday against the Falcons.

Dolphins inactives: Dannell Ellerbe out

October, 20, 2013
MIAMI --– Here are the players you won't see for the Miami Dolphins (3-2) Sunday against the Buffalo Bills (2-4):
Backup linebacker Jason Trusnik will get the start for Miami in place of Ellerbe, who leads the team in tackles with 40. This is a big challenge for Trusnik. He will play against the NFL's third-ranked running game in Buffalo.

Dolphins' depth on defense put to test

September, 24, 2013
DAVIE, Fla. -- It was the biggest concern I had about the Miami Dolphins entering the season: Spending more than $200 million in free agency fixed the starting lineup, but did the Dolphins have enough depth to overcome injuries?

We are about to find out as Miami (3-0) prepares for the New Orleans Saints (3-0) on “Monday Night Football” in a battle of undefeated teams. The Dolphins are off to a fast start, but the injury bug has hit this team in a major way.

The status of defensive starters Cameron Wake (knee), Paul Soliai (knee), Dimitri Patterson (groin) and Koa Misi (shoulder) are all in question. There is a good chance most of this aforementioned group will not be ready for Monday’s game.

This opens the door for Miami’s backups. Reserve players like Dion Jordan, Derrick Shelby, Randy Starks, Nolan Carroll and Jason Trusnik could have bigger roles against New Orleans’ high-powered offense. Can the Dolphins keep up the same level of production?

“I honestly can tell you that the whole philosophy is that you never worry about the players that aren’t there,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said Monday. “It’s the ones that are there, the ones that are going to play in the game and try and get them in the right spots so you have an opportunity to win the game. I was really pleased with the fact that there were a number of guys that had to step up.”

Miami’s defense didn’t play well in last Sunday’s 27-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons, but the group survived. In particular, the run defense and tackling wasn’t very good.

Injuries are going to take place over the course of a 16-game season. The Dolphins just didn’t know when and where they would happen. How Miami’s backups respond over the next game or two will say a lot about the Dolphins.

Observation deck: Bucs-Dolphins

August, 10, 2012

MIAMI -- The Dolphins began the Joe Philbin era Friday night on a sour note with news of quarterback David Garrard requiring knee surgery. But the Dolphins had a preseason opener to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay beat Miami, 20-7.

Here are some notes and observations:

What I liked: Miami first-round pick Ryan Tannehill showed promise in his NFL debut. The No. 8 overall pick made several nice throws and finished 14-of-21 for 167 yards and one touchdown. Tannehill was just 3-of-7 in the first half. But the rookie warmed up and did better in the second half when the Buccaneers played most of their third stringers. I don't want to overrate anything that happens in the second half of a preseason game. But Tannehill at least showed some things physically that prove he deserves to be in Miami's quarterback race, especially now that Garrard is out with a knee injury.

What I didn’t like: It was a disappointing start for Miami's new-look, 4-3 defense. The Buccaneers played starting quarterback Josh Freeman for just one drive, and Tampa drove down the field 59 yards on 13 plays for a first-quarter touchdown. Freeman was replaced by Buccaneers backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky on the second drive and Miami’s defense still struggled. The Dolphins had a mix of starters and backups on the second drive, but allowed a second consecutive touchdown. Orlovsky made two big connections with receiver Tiquan Underwood for 23 and 44 yards. The Dolphins are relying on their defense to lead the team this year.

Moore up and down: Dolphins starting quarterback Matt Moore failed to make a strong impression with the starting offense. Moore was 7-of-12 for 79 yards and an interception. It wasn't an awful performance. But Moore missed a golden opportunity to put his stamp on this quarterback race. Instead, Moore left the door wide open and will continue to compete with Tannehill.

Johnson's missed opportunity: Chad Johnson only got one chance to impress in his Dolphins debut and missed it. Johnson had one pass thrown his way in limited playing time. It was a third-down throw by Moore that went right through his hands. That drop will probably stick with Johnson until he plays his next game. He’s been the best receiver in training camp for the Dolphins.

Trusnik shines: It's never too early for a bubble watch. Miami backup linebacker Jason Trusnik is one of those players who must impress a new coaching staff to make the team. Trusnik had six tackles (one for loss) and fumble recovery on special teams. Trusnik played with good energy, which has to catch the eye of the coaching staff as he plays his way off the bubble.

Healthy returns: Miami has a lot of options at kickoff returner. But rookie receiver Rishard Matthews was the most impressive. Matthews had two returns for 73 yards, including one return for 46 yards in the first half. Special teams are the best way for Matthews to make the 53-man roster.

What's next: The Dolphins will hit the road next week for a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 17. The Dolphins will continue to evaluate their two quarterbacks while also facing one of the exciting young quarterbacks in the league in Carolina's Cam Newton.

Mangini ready to face some friendly ghosts

November, 11, 2010
Eric ManginiJason Miller/US PresswireA week after beating one former employer, Eric Mangini sets his sights on another in the N.Y. Jets.
BEREA, Ohio -- Like a proud father flipping through a photo album of his children, Eric Mangini leaned forward in his office chair to display the New York Jets' offensive and defensive depth charts to a visitor seated across from his desk.

Mangini pointed at player after player after player after player. These were the guys he once coached. As he rattled them off, he tacked the phrase "was with me" after each name. Mangini articulated the names with an emphasis that reflected their importance to him.

"You go right on down the list," Mangini said from his spacious office that overlooks the Cleveland Browns' practice fields. "It's a core group of guys, and you know so much about these guys. You've had so many shared experiences with them, and now you're playing against them."

Mangini is in between games against his previous employers, referring to these two weeks as his personal version of the film "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past."

He gleefully embarrassed the New England Patriots last week and will coach against the Jets for the first time since joining the Browns on Sunday.

Mangini unwillingly departed the Jets 22 months ago. They fired him after a 9-7 season that began with a promising 8-3 start and Super Bowl chatter but disintegrated along with Brett Favre's right arm.

An outsider might assume the games create similar feelings for Mangini. They don't.

Mangini has faced his former mentor, Bill Belichick, several times. They've exchanged many frigid handshakes. Mangini, a former defensive assistant ruled a turncoat for joining the Jets, has a long history with the Patriots. The subsequent Spygate scandal drove the wedge deeper.

Still, the Patriots and Belichick are in his coaching DNA. Mangini is from them, of them.

"Being with Bill as long as I was there," Mangini said, leaning back in his leather chair and eating purple grapes from a cup, "you understand things change and parts change there each week, but philosophically it doesn't change."

His three years with the Jets were more of an association. Unlike his time with the Patriots, though, he had ownership of the Jets' roster. Those were his guys, and many of them remain on Rex Ryan's squad.

"Those are guys that I was instrumental in bringing in and developing and coaching and teaching," Mangini said.

"I told those guys when I left -- I got to address the team -- and I said 'Look, fellas, we were close here, and we made mistakes. There's a new head coach coming in here, and you guys have worked too hard to fight that guy and set yourself back. Embrace that guy and allow him the opportunity to achieve things we could have achieved.'"

Mangini didn't know at the time the Jets would hire Ryan, a gregarious figure who made the transition easier for the players. Most of them quickly embraced Ryan on his own merits, but the fact that he was a stark contrast to Mangini's austerity helped.

[+] EnlargeRex Ryan
AP Photo/Paul SpinelliEric Mangini's successor, Rex Ryan, took the Jets to within one game of the Super Bowl in his first year in New York.
The Mangini-Jets breakup has worked out for the Jets. They made the playoffs last year -- with the same 9-7 record that got Mangini fired -- and are considered among the NFL's top few teams, a Super Bowl contender.

It must be noted Mangini played a significant role in giving Ryan a roster to work with. Still, Mangini insisted he's not bitter about his exit. He has acknowledged the concept of the fall guy, and one was necessary. He remains close friends with Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

"It's cool to see them doing as well as they're doing," Mangini said.

Mangini claimed that what's happening in Cleveland has made this week's preparations for the Jets less emotional for him.

Mangini barely survived his first season with the Browns. They went 5-11 but won their last four games. The Browns hired Mike Holmgren to oversee football operations. Holmgren stripped Mangini of some duties, but the product seems to be improving.

The Browns are 3-5 and enter Sunday's game against the Jets with back-to-back victories over the New Orleans Saints and Patriots.

"This has been pretty satisfying," Mangini said. "Getting the job was great because it meant somebody recognized the great work we did in New York. We had a tough last year, but we developed. This year, we're competitive and we're making more steps. It's starting to pay off to some degree."

Mangini's disparate feelings for the Jets and Patriots are evident in his personnel moves.

He and Tannenbaum have made notable trades.

The Browns sent Braylon Edwards to the Jets last year for receiver Chansi Stuckey, linebacker Jason Trusnik and two draft picks. The Jets were able to get quarterback Mark Sanchez through a blockbuster draft-day trade that sent quarterback Brett Ratliff, defensive end Kenyon Coleman, safety Abram Elam and two picks to the Browns for the fifth overall selection.

Mangini, whether with the Jets or Browns, never made a trade with Belichick.

That fractured relationship is unlikely to heal.

"I appreciate what he did for me," Mangini said. "He was a huge part of my life. We were very close friends for a long time. When things started to go south, it sucked.

"Whether it'll ever get to that stage where we're close friends again, I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. But at no point will I ever stop appreciating what he's done. I feel I know who the guy is as a person, and hopefully at some point the friendship will resume."

That's why the Jets and Patriots are different for Mangini.

But he wants to beat them just the same.
The Cleveland Browns have an interesting situation brewing at inside linebacker.

[+] EnlargeFujita
Kevin Hoffman/US PresswireThe signing of Scott Fujita likely means Cleveland will part ways with either Eric Barton or D'Qwell Jackson.
Sunday's free-agent signing of Scott Fujita adds to a mix of veterans and youngsters competing at the same position. In the end, there may not be enough room for all of them.

Fujita joins Eric Barton, D'Qwell Jackson, Kaluka Maiava and the versatile Jason Trusnik as players who spent time starting at middle linebacker for Cleveland last season.

A starter for the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, Fujita didn't come to Cleveland to be a backup. So let's assume he's a starter next fall. That leaves four players -- Jackson, Barton, Maiava and Trusnik -- competing for one starting job.

Barton signed a four-year deal last season and is a favorite of head coach Eric Mangini. But Barton is coming off neck surgery and his health is in question. Jackson has been one of Cleveland’s most productive defenders, but he's also coming off a season-ending pectoral injury. Jackson has a second-round tender and could generate some interest in the trade market.

Maiava and Trusnik both are young players who can provide depth.

Because the Browns play a 3-4 defense, they would probably prefer to keep a large surplus of linebackers. But Fujita, Barton and Jackson are a particularly odd trio with tons of combined starting experience and just two jobs available.

Fujita isn't going anywhere. So an educated guess is Cleveland's front office, led by new president Mike Holmgren, likely has to decide between keeping Barton or Jackson this offseason.

Browns announce tenders

March, 4, 2010
The Cleveland Browns made their tenders to restricted free agents official Thursday night.

The team's new front office of president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert decided to place second-round tenders on tailback Jerome Harrison, fullback Lawrence Vickers, safety Abram Elam and linebackers Jason Trusnik, Matt Roth and D'Qwell Jackson.

Cleveland also tendered all of its exclusive rights players, which were tailback Chris Jennings and linebackers Marcus Benard and Blake Costanzo.

After finishing 5-11 last season, Cleveland is expected to be players in free agency. The team has money to spend and also is equipped with 11 draft picks.

Final Word: AFC North

October, 9, 2009
AFC: East | West | North | South NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South

Posted by’s James Walker

Five nuggets of knowledge about this weekend’s games:
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Carson Palmer owns a 6-3 record in nine starts against the Ravens.
Who is No. 1: Sole possession of first place is on the line Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) travel to play the Baltimore Ravens (3-1). This is the biggest game to date in the AFC North and will set the tone for the first half of the 2009 season. The Ravens and Bengals have split the past six meetings, but Baltimore swept the season series in 2008 in convincing fashion, outscoring the Bengals 51-13.

Palmer vs. Ravens: Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer is one of the few quarterbacks who’ve had consistent success against Baltimore’s stout defense. Palmer is an impressive 6-3 in nine starts against the Ravens. He’s had some of his best days against Ray Lewis and Co., throwing for 2,235 yards, 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions in nine games. Palmer will need another great performance against Baltimore to catapult Cincinnati into first place in the division.

O-line shuffle: One of the top, young offensive tackle duos probably won't be whole as Jared Gaither is not expected to play Sunday following a recent neck injury. The left tackle’s probable absence will lead to some shuffling. Rookie right tackle Michael Oher will move into Gaither’s spot on the left side, and backup Marshal Yanda will make his first start of the season at right tackle. Oher and Yanda held their own on short notice last week in the second half against the New England Patriots.

Mendy is in: Is there a running back controversy brewing in Pittsburgh? Perhaps. Steelers starting tailback Willie Parker (toe) probaly will sit out his second consecutive game against the Detroit Lions (1-3), which means Rashard Mendenhall will get another start. In Mendenhall’s first start in Week 4, the 2008 first-round draft pick rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, earning AFC player of the week honors. Parker struggled this year when healthy, so if Mendenhall has another big game Sunday against the Lions, a starting job may not be waiting for Parker when he returns.

Different look: How will the offense of the Cleveland Browns look without Braylon Edwards? The Browns made their second significant change in as many weeks, trading the former Pro Bowl receiver to the New York Jets for receiver Chansi Stuckey, reserve linebacker Jason Trusnik and two draft picks. In Week 4, Cleveland benched former starting quarterback Brady Quinn in favor of Derek Anderson and it provided a spark. Now rookie Mohamed Massaquoi will take over Edwards' role as the No. 1 receiver. Massaquoi had a career game in Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati with eight catches for 148 yards. He will start opposite Josh Cribbs or fellow rookie Brian Robiskie.

Posted by’s James Walker

BEREA, Ohio -- The AFC North blog spent Wednesday at Cleveland Browns headquarters following the blockbuster trade of receiver Braylon Edwards.

Here are some notes and observations:
  • Browns coach Eric Mangini definitely sent a message to his team. There’s a strong feeling in Cleveland’s locker room Wednesday that no player is safe until after the Oct. 20 trade deadline. Cleveland is 0-4 and going nowhere. So it may not be the last trade as the Browns begin building for the future.
  • Although Edwards didn’t speak with the Browns’ media before leaving, I’m told Edwards is happy that he’s out of Cleveland. He wanted a change of scenery and was pretty much counting the days to free agency. This is the final year of a five-year contract and he didn’t plan to re-sign with the Browns.
  • Rest assured Jets coach Rex Ryan talked to his twin brother, Rob, to get a scouting report on Edwards before New York signed off on the deal. Rob Ryan is the defensive coordinator in Cleveland and spent enough time with Edwards this year to get a feel for whether the receiver could mesh well with his twin brother as head coach.
  • As far as my personal opinion, Edwards’ tenure in New York can go either way. He usually plays hard on good teams, so it could work out with the Jets. But Edwards also can get frazzled easily if he has a bad game. He often thought Cleveland’s media was too harsh on him, so I can’t imagine how he would react following a bad game with the relentless New York media. From Cleveland’s perspective, I have no problem with the Browns getting something when Edwards wasn’t returning next year. But they should have made this move in the offseason when Edwards’ value was higher.
  • According to some of the former New York Jets with Cleveland, receiver Chansi Stuckey is a smart player. He is at his best in the slot, which makes you wonder if he’s starting material or just a No. 3 receiver. Ironically Stuckey had one more reception (11) this season than Edwards (10) through four games.
  • Finally, Mangini dodged the question twice of whether trading Edwards for Stuckey, special-teamer Jason Trusnik and two draft picks instantly makes the team better. The truth is it doesn’t. Cleveland is a worse team Wednesday than it was a day ago. But the Browns could’ve gone winless without Edwards in the first month of the season. So with two additional players and reportedly third- and fifth-round picks in 2010, the Browns can only hope the trade works out best in the long-term.



Sunday, 1/25