As we noted earlier today the Cleveland Browns defense is what is expected to carry the team, but could they continue to “add to the pile” on that side of the ball? Today the Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran Jason Babin after re-signing him this off-season:
Babin is a 11 year veteran who has played for a number of teams before having his best years with the Tennesee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles in 2010 and 2011. In 2011 Babin had 18 sacks but struggled the following year only playing in 11 games before being released by the Eagles. He was snatched up by the Jaguars but wasn’t able to make a huge impact as an every down player in his year and a half in Jacksonville.
For the Browns, or any team looking to pick up Babin, they would be signing a player on the decline who could be useful as a 3rd down specialist but who has the experience to be an excellent low snap, low contract pick up. The Browns seem to be loaded with outside linebacker, Paul Kruger, Barkevious Mingo and Jabaal Sheard, but with Mike Pettine’s creative, flexible defense Babin could be inserted as a rusher on third downs all over the field. When the Browns go small Babin could lineup inside next to Phil Taylor with Mingo and Sheard rushing as 4-3 ends.
Babin won’t command a huge salary, most likely a 1 year deal for around a million dollars. The Browns could benefit from another veteran, who can still be productive (7.5 sacks last year). Ray Farmer most likely won’t get into a bidding war for his services but would take him on as a low risk signing. The Browns have a flexible roster and could benefit from a number of veterans that could become available via cuts by the end of Training Camp. Farmer will have to balance out developing youth versus veteran production in all of these decisions.
Do you think Babin is a fit as a veteran, low salary addition?