For once, the Browns had money to spend in free agency and did just that. Whether that method pays off remains to be seen, but it’s hard to deny that the defense is better than it was just a few days ago.
After signing linebacker Paul Kruger to a five-year, $40 million contract, the Browns also signed defensive tackle Desmond Bryant and linebacker Quentin Groves to deals.
Bryant (6-6, 311 pounds) has a five-year, $34 million deal and is coming off a season in which he had 36 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He has totaled 11.5 sacks over the past three seasons.
For Groves (6-3, 265 pounds), he is reunited with defensive coordinator Ray Horton, as both spent last season in Arizona with the Cardinals. His is a two-year deal worth $2.8 million, which is very affordable considering he played in all 16 games last season (starting seven), recording career highs in sacks (four) and tackles (34).
Perhaps the best thing about these deals is the age of the players. Kruger is 27, Bryant is 27 and Groves is 28. These are not aging veterans; these are players entering their prime years, and they were signed to smart deals.
The hunt for a Browns pass rush is on, and these three signings bring them much closer to that goal.