April 29, 2006

Saints Trade Out of 34th Overall Pick, Acquire Center: Former Browns first-round pick Jeff Faine arrives as Browns and Saints swap picks

The Saints traded the 34th overall pick to the Cleveland Browns for the 43rd overall pick and veteran C Jeff Faine.

Ironically, the Saints and Browns have swapped starting centers, as the arrival of LeCharles Bentley booted Faine off the roster.

Faine, who was the Browns' first round pick in 2003 and highly regarded by the Saints administration at the time. Out of Notre Dame, Faine was the 21st overall pick, unusually high for a center.

Tough, smart and experienced, the Saints essentially picked Faine up for what is an early fourth round pick according to the draft pick value chart. Faine struggled early as an immediate starter but has steadily improved.

Faine is regarded as more of a finesse center, as he plays under 300 pounds at 6'3. The Browns have been shopping Faine all offseason and reportedly received interest from the Packers and Eagles as well. One of Butch Davis' former draft picks, Faine is not powerful enough to play guard but is still regarded as a solid player. Despite the fact that Faine was on the trading block this offseason, head coach Romeo Crennel said that Faine's attitude was good and that he was "doing all the right things this offseason."

Faine missed the last two games of the 2005 season with a torn right biceps muscle.

The Browns took Maryland LB D'Qwell Jackson, an inside linebacker that could have challenged for a starting job in New Orleans. With the 43rd overall pick, the Saints took Alabama S Roman Harper.

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