Maurice Clarett is the anti-LeBron. LeBron James is the northeast Ohio native us Clevelanders were praying would be playing for our team when he was in prep school. We had our prayers answered.
Clarett is the northeast Ohio native Clevelanders (at least this Clevelander) are praying gets snapped up by any one of 30 other teams when the Broncos inevitably release him in the next few weeks.
The Browns are rumored to be among the teams interested in Clarett. A big reason why is probably Jim Brown, who turned into a major advocate for Clarett when he was fighting Ohio State and suing the NCAA to get into the draft a year early, a move that was futile and created a lot of enemies.
The Browns might figure having Brown, who has re-embraced his standing as a Cleveland institution thanks in large part to his relationship with Browns owner Randy Lerner, might be the firm-but-fatherly influence Clarett so desperately needs.
But placing Clarett on the Browns could backfire terribly. It could force Brown to take sides.
Clarett made enemies in Columbus. He's making enemies in Denver. Why would Cleveland be any different? Once Clarett turns higher-ups in the Browns organization against him, he might try to turn Brown against the team he has found new love for in the past few years.
If the Browns try to divorce themselves from Clarett in the future, they might lose Brown in the process if Brown turns a sympathetic eye to his wayward young friend.
The Browns are deep at running back. Even with the injury to Lee Suggs sidelining him for a large chunk of the upcoming season, there are still plently of capable runners to pick up the slack. Once Will Green, Reuben Droughns, Terelle Smith and (hopefully) Sultan McCullough get their touches, what is left for Clarett?
Nothing? That's right.
If Clarett is stuck four or five deep on Cleveland's running back depth chart, what do you think are the odds he'll accept that graciously and work harder to improve himself?
Not good? Right again.
If I know Maurice Clarett like I think I know Maurice Clarett, he'll start spouting off to the media, accusing Romeo Crennel, Phil Savage, offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon, Green, Droughns, Suggs and whoever else he can get his grimy little hands on of a wide-ranging conspiracy to hold him down.
Think I'm overshooting a bit? In Denver, he recently turned down a $400,000 guaranteed signing bonus to take a stab at $7 million in non-guaranteed incentives because he believed, purely and without reservation, that he was going to be the Broncos' feature back this season. Why else would he turn down guaranteed money for non-guaranteed money if not for the unwavering belief he was going to push Mike Anderson and Ron Dayne aside at some point this season?
Clarett's moves and apparent skewed view of the amount of work it is going to take to be a starting NFL running back have already turned off many in the Broncos' organization, an organization that turns almost any running back they find into a 1,000-yard rusher.
If the Broncos think you are beyond saving, that is the biggest red flag that can be attached to a rusher. If the Broncos say you are too slow, too arrogant for you own good, and have the work ethic of a tree sloth, that is a neon scarlet letter pinned on your jersey.
Not that Clarett is heeding any of that. If you aren't telling Clarett what he wants to hear, you might as well be mute.
Savage, for the love of all that is good and decent, if this nightmare from the backfield comes knocking in Berea, bolt the door shut and pretend you're not home.