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The Great Gastsby

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Cleveland has an intriguing option at guard now that the Bears have released Rex Tucker, brother of Browns right tackle Ryan Tucker.

The Browns don't have a pressing need after adding veterans Joe Andruzzi and Cosey Coleman in free agency, but guard has been a chronic problem for the franchise, and overall line depth is poor.

"We would entertain going to Cleveland," Rex Tucker's agent, Joe Coletta, told The Repository on Tuesday. "There have been no discussions.

"Ryan and Rex are very close. You look at Rex, you see Ryan. Them playing together would be quite a thing."

Ryan, who turns 30 in June, has been one of the Browns' most stable players and leaders in recent times.

Rex, born in Midland, Texas, 18 months after Ryan, was a third-round pick of the Bears in 1999. He developed into a Pro Bowl alternate.

Chicago liked him so well it kept him out of free agency in 2002 by giving him a $4.5 million signing bonus. Since then, he has been plagued by injuries, prompting the Bears to re-think where he fit under the salary cap.

Although Rex Tucker has played in just 11 games during the last three seasons, Coletta said he is healthy and eager to play in 2005. He missed time in 2004 with a dislocated elbow and a hamstring injury.

"Each time he's been hurt, he came back very hard," Coletta said. "He's a hard-working guy with a lot of talent. If you know what Ryan's like, you appreciate that."

Ryan is listed at 6-foot-6, 325 pounds. Rex is listed at 6-5, 320.

The Browns are unlikely to pursue any more free agents until after this weekend's draft.

Notebook

ON THE NOSE. Veteran nose tackle Jason Fisk, who has played for the Titans and Chargers, said he has found a crowd in Berea. "We have more people working out here than any offseason program I've been involved with," the recently signed free agent said. Fisk enjoyed being on a 12-4 playoff team last year in San Diego, but Northeast Ohio is more his speed. "Cleveland is very much a football town, as opposed to San Diego, which is more of a surfing town," he said. Fisk, 33, was signed

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