Word on Thursday that the Browns and running back Duke Johnson were close to finishing a contract extension proved to be correct.

Whatever the reason (and I’ll choose to accept the reason he gave), Owens has every right to choose not to go. Though his speech could have been very memorable (and maybe he’ll be delivering his speech on another network, perhaps at the same time Ray Lewis or Randy Moss are delivering their speeches), I’ll never complain about a seemingly endless night of monologues ending a little earlier.

If Owens was planning to boycott the process over the fact that the process had boycotted him, why wouldn’t he have said so a lot sooner? The statement he issued in connection with the decision not to show up for the enshrinement suggests that the catalyst came when Owens went to the Hall of Fame.

Johnson has not missed a game since being drafted in the third round in 2015 and has established himself as a productive pass catcher out of the backfield. Johnson caught 74 passes last season and has 188 catches for 1,741 yards over his first three seasons.

Carlos Hyde and 2018 second-round pick Nick Chubb join Johnson in the Cleveland backfield this season and he’ll likely be partnered with Chubb for a few more years if all goes according to plan.

In the NFL, there are strict confidentiality rules about drug testing and suspensions under the league’s substance-abuse and performance-enhancing substance policies. But in the case of Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, someone spilled the beans even before the suspension was reported today by ESPN.