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In Cleveland, a $3 bottle of water can cost a lot more than that

One of the problems of pretending to be a quasi-legitimate news organization is that, sometimes, we’ll get beaten to the punch.

In this case, however, we don’t mind.

Our pot-smokin’ buddy (he doesn’t smoke pot -- it’s a slap at John Herrera) Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Browns have fined a player for not paying for a bottle of water that he drank in his hotel room during a preseason road trip.

The bottle of water cost $3.

With the fine, the player could have purchased 567 more of them.

Yes, Browns coach Eric Mangini fined the player $1,701 for not paying for the $3 bottle of water.

We’d heard about this one several days ago, but it sounded so ludicrous that we wanted to be 100 percent sure of it before mentioning it. (We hope NBC’s legal department appreciates that.)

Nuggets like this serve only to bolster the notion that agents will be steering players away from the Browns in the 2010 offseason, essentially forcing the Browns to overpay (2008 Raiders style) in order to persuade players to join the Browns staff.

Meanwhile, if there’s an issue with players not settling up their incidentals invoice from a hotel stay, why not simply deduct the cost of the unpaid bottles of water and Snickers bars (product placement!) from their paychecks? Hell, that’s what we assumed most teams did, anyway.

Then again, common sense possibly ain’t all that common within the walls of the football club residing in Cuyahoga County.