Heckert: Browns Not Interested in Manning or ‘Going Crazy’ in Free Agency

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Cleveland Browns General Manager Tom Heckert held an informal session with the members of the media on Thursday morning to talk all about the Browns, the draft, Peyton Manning and his health.

Heckert, who had heart surgery just a few weeks ago, would not go into any details about the procedure but did say he feels good.

One of the biggest questions everyone wants to know, are the Browns interested in free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning?

Heckert squashed that talk quickly saying, “No. He is a great player, we have not talked to him.”

The Browns are interested in Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III but according to Heckert, the organization have not committed to anything yet.

“We have a lot of time here,” Heckert said. “We’re still evaluating. Everyone is on our radar.”

Heckert believes there are four good quarterbacks in the draft that the Browns feel comfortable saying will be good players.  He went on to say that he will attend Griffin’s pro workout later this month.

Are the Browns willing to move up in April’s draft to get Griffin?

“We don’t know, remains to be seen,” said Heckert.  “We feel very comfortable staying at number four and we feel comfortable moving down and getting more picks.  There is going to be a really good player at number four.”

Heckert would not comment on any discussions with Green Bay Packers free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn. He did reiterate that the Browns still think very highly of Colt McCoy, their current starting quarterback.

“We’re not down on Colt McCoy,” said Heckert.  “I think he is a good quarterback.  We still think Colt can play in this league and we need to help him out.”

Don’t expect the Browns to be big players in free agency Heckert said.

“We are not going to go crazy in free-agency. You don’t win football games signing free-agents. There is a always a reason these guys are available.”

On the Browns defense, Heckert said, “Our starting group is pretty darn good.”  Heckert thinks the only thing missing is some depth.

One of the moves the Browns did make this off-season was placing the franchise tag on kicker, Phil Dawson.  Heckert said he left a message for Dawson after they placed the franchise tag on him but he has not heard back from Dawson.

As for other current Browns players, Heckert said Marcus Benard, who was injured in a motorcycle accident last year which sidelined him for the season is, “Doing good.”  Also, Browns offensive lineman, Tony Pashos underwent ankle surgery on Tuesday.

The Browns have the 4th, 22nd, and 37th pick in April’s draft.  What they do with those picks remains to be seen.