CLEVELAND - The Browns moved a step closer to swiping a player from one of their AFC North rivals. Cleveland signed Bengals slot receiver Andrew Hawkins to a contract offer sheet on Thursday, a Browns spokesman said. Cincinnati will have five days — until next Tuesday — to match the reported four-year, $13.6 million deal, which includes a $3.8 million signing bonus, or theyll lose the speedy and elusive Hawkins. The Browns are in the market to fill the slot position after releasing troubled wide receiver Davone Bess last week. The Bengals have not said what they intend to do with Hawkins, who caught just 12 passes last season and missed four games with a high ankle sprain. In 2012, Hawkins had 51 catches for 533 yards and four touchdowns. The 28-year-old Hawkins was in Clevelands rookie minicamp in 2007, but wasnt signed. He played in the Canadian Football League before signing with the Bengals. If he joins the Browns, the 5-foot-7 Hawkins would provide a nice complement for Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon and another option for quarterback Brian Hoyer, who at this point is the favourite to begin next season as Clevelands starter. As they await Cincinnatis decision on Hawkins, the Browns are exploring other options and are believed to have interest in New Englands Julian Edelman, a free agent who caught 105 passes last season as Tom Bradys primary target. Edelman took over the role once held by Wes Welker and finished with 1,056 yards receiving and six touchdowns. The former Kent State quarterback also handled punt return duties for the Patriots. He has another local connection because he was a teammate on the Patriots with Hoyer, who backed up Brady for three seasons. On Thursday night, the Browns hosted Houston free agent running back Ben Tate, who could fill a major hole for Cleveland. Tate was supposed to meet with the team on Wednesday but his visit had to be postponed because of a severe winter storm. Tate rushed for 771 yards and four touchdowns last season, his third with the Texans. He has been on Clevelands radar for months, starting soon after the club traded Trent Richardson to Indianapolis for a first-round draft pick. Tate has averaged 4.7 yards per carry and hes rushed for 1,992 yards and 10 TDs. The Browns didnt adequately replace Richardson and their rushing game was almost nonexistent. Earlier in the day, the Browns signed tight end Jim Dray to a three-year, $5.62 million contract, with $2.25 million in the first season. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder spent the past four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, setting career highs with 26 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns last season. Primarily a blocker, Dray gives the Browns depth at tight end behind Pro Bowl Jordan Cameron and Gary Barnidge. Dray was impressed that the Browns showed early interest in him. "Just hearing from my agent that the Browns were pretty aggressive from the start of free agency," said Dray, drafted out of Stanford in the seventh round in 2010. "I thought that theyd be a great fit for me, so the feeling was mutual and Im really excited to be here. Ive been watching (offensive co-ordinator) coach (Kyle) Shanahans offence for Washington the past couple years, and the way they used their tight ends seemed like a good fit." The Browns also are waiting for what happens with Pro Bowl centre Alex Mack. They placed their transition tag — worth $10.039 million for one year — on him last week and will have five days to match any offer if he signs with another team. Mack has until July 22 to sign his transition tag and its possible his situation could drag on. Billy Price Jersey
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.ca has you covered for whos in, whos out and what to expect from all 30 teams. NEW YORK -- Add Dan Harens pitching to Ryan Zimmermans hitting, and Washington again looked like a playoff team. Too bad for the Nationals they cant subtract nearly a whole seasons worth of muddling along. "The math keeps getting smaller and smaller," Haren said. Haren threw one-hit ball for six innings, Zimmerman hit another home run and the Nationals won their fifth straight game, beating the New York Mets 3-0 on Wednesday in a night full of 9-11 tributes. The Nationals improved to 22-9 in their late charge toward a playoff spot. They remained six games behind Cincinnati for the final NL wild-card spot with only 17 to play. "I dont know how many more games we could lose," Haren said. Zimmerman hit his fifth home run in five games. He also stole a base, but was hit in the back by the throw and left in the bottom of the ninth. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Zimmerman was stiff and would get treatment. Denard Span extended his hitting streak to a career-high 22 games and Anthony Rendon added a two-run double that broke it open in the eighth inning. Jayson Werth delivered another extra-base hit and Bryce Harper beat out an infield hit after missing four games because of a sore left hip. Haren (9-13) and the Washington bullpen held an overmatched New York lineup to three singles. The Mets started five rookies and lost for the eighth time in 10 games -- on Monday night, they were shut out on one hit by Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez. The Mets were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention during the day. "I know theyre young. Thats all part of it," manager Terry Collins said. "But, as we said before, in the growing stages in this part of the year, we want to see some guys get better. And part of that getting better is being able to gather yourself on the side and get into the batters box and put a good at-bat on." Battered by the Mets and Marlins in his previous two starts, Haren dominated. He gave up a single to Juan Lagares in the fourth, struck out eight and walked one. Haren had no complaints about getting pulled by Johnson on a humid night. "I lost his confidence a little bit after the last two starts," Haren said. "I get it." Xavier Cedeno, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano combined for three scoreless innings of relief. Soriano closed for his 41st save, giving up a bunnt single to Lagares.dddddddddddd Zack Wheeler (7-5) gave up one run and eight hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one. He wound up with his third loss in four starts. Zimmerman opened the sixth by homering beyond the leap of left fielder Eric Young Jr. His 22nd home run came on an 0-2 pitch and was the first long ball permitted by Wheeler in 36 innings -- he was tagged for nine homers in his first 57 innings this year as a major leaguer. The Reds 6-0 win over the Chicago Cubs was already posted when the Nationals took the field. They got off to a fast start when Span led off the game with a single and Werth lined a one-out double. Wheeler escaped by striking out Harper and Ian Desmond. Werth has gone 11 for 23 during Washingtons winning streak with two homers and six doubles. Collins wore an NYPD hat during batting practice, and there were several remembrances on the field, on the scoreboard and over the public-address system of those affected by the terror attacks 12 years ago. Before the game, the dugouts were filled with applauding players, managers and coaches as representatives of first responders from Sept. 11 marched into the middle of the diamond. The Mets and Nationals then lined up along the baselines for a moment of silence, followed by the national anthem. A member of the New York Fire Department performed "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch. NOTES: Zimmerman was 0 for 8 against Wheeler before homering off him. ... Lagares ended an 0-for-12 rut with his single. ... Mets INF Justin Turner will be "down for a few days" with a strain in his right hamstring. He hurt himself running the bases Tuesday night. ... Mets 3B David Wright (strained right hamstring) ran the bases before the game and will increase his workouts this weekend. Hes been out since Aug. 2 and theres no target date for his return. ... Nationals LHP Ross Detwiler, sidelined since early July because of a back strain, threw his second bullpen session. ... Before the game, Johnson admitted his preseason boast of "World Series or bust" had come too soon. "We had some injuries. We didnt have a lot of depth in pitching," the retiring manager said. "I wouldnt have been as cocky coming out and saying were going to dominate and win the World Series if all those things I knew werent set in place." Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys
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