2015 Cleveland Browns: Free Agency and 2015 4 Round NFL Mock Draft
Sep 14, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack (55) against the New Orleans Saints at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns defeated the Saints 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The 2014 Cleveland Browns season started out strong and has fallen quickly. With four straight losses, and a chance to make that five this Sunday, the Browns season has ended in a dud, or thud. It gives us a chance to start to think about the 2015 Cleveland Browns and what their roster could look like.
The Browns have a ton of assets that could lead to an improved roster. They have 2 first round, 2 fourth round and 2 sixth round picks, along with one pick in every other round. Those 10 picks should improve the roster quickly. The Browns are also expected to have about $48 million dollars in cap space to add to their roster.
They have a few interesting free agents that could take some of the cap space including Jabaal Sheard, Tashaun Gipson, Jordan Cameron, Buster Skrine and Craig Robertson. A lot of defensive talent that will likely either needed re-signed or replaced.
Yet even with those free agents, and others, we expect the Browns to have a huge upgrade to their talent base. Here is what their current starting offense and defense will look like Sunday, some depending on injury:
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It is possible that Joe Haden could miss Sunday, further depleting the Browns roster.
But this post isn’t about the negative but about the hope of the ï¿½2015 Cleveland Browns. Free agency starts in March with the NFL Draft at the end of April into early May. Given that we will start with Free Agency and what the Browns could do.
Alex Mack, Tashaun Gipson, Phil Taylor and Armonty Bryant
All four of these players started for the Browns this season. Mack’s injury was the turning point for the season and his return will greatly improve the offensive line. Taylor and Bryant will provide depth on the defensive line, a line that has struggled most of the season. We expect the Browns to add two starters to that unit. Gipson, a restricted free agent, still leads the NFL in interceptions even though he has missed most of the second half of the season.
Own: The Browns re-sign Tashaun Gipson, Jordan Cameron, Miles Austin and Jabaal Sheard.
Special CFL: Duron Carter
Free Agents: Mike Iupati, B.J. Raji and Mark Sanchez
First the Browns take care of their own free agents. Gipson will be a restricted free agent and won’t be going anywhere but the Browns hope to get him signed long term as he is a great fit with Mike Pettine’s defense. Cameron could get a longer term deal but with concerns about concussions on the rise in the NFL, he takes a 1 year make good deal from the Browns. Austin comes back cheap as a veteran helpful receiver.
Sheard will be an interesting player. He has shown he can play in both the 3-4 and 4-3 defenses and is competent in both. Sheard has never broken out as a star outside rusher but provides good run support and can cover a bit in the pass game. The Browns could let him go but Paul Kruger‘s big cap hit could be weighed in while Barkevious Mingo hasn’t been the picture of good health. Sheard could get a bigger offer on the market and the Browns will let him go.
Duron Carter is a unique player and situation. As a CFL free agent he can sign with a team shortly after the Super Bowl. According to reports Carter has talked with Ray Farmer and is going to have a workout that teams will attend. Carter could be a perfect addition for the Browns: A big tall receiver with some professional experience, but young enough to still develop. Carter reportedly is interested in playing for the Indianapolis Colts but could find the kind of money and opportunity he is looking for here in Cleveland. If the Browns don’t sign Carter, or a similar receiver, expect them to address in the draft.
While the Browns have a ton of cap space, we focused on a few players that they could look to add. There likely will be a few lesser signings, like Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin were, that could impact the team as well. For today we are just looking at a few possible starters that could be brought in.
The biggest priced free agent that the Browns could look to add is stud offensive guard Mike Iupati. The San Francisco 49ers have a tight cap space and could be under going a big turnover. Iupati would be a perfect fit with the Browns Zone Blocking Scheme. He is a powerful player with quick feet. Putting him in at right guard quickly upgrades the run game.
Factory of Sadness
B.J. Raji is an interesting player. From much accolades early in his career to quickly having injuries impacting his production, Raji has been on a roller coaster. This year his season ended in pre-season with a biceps injury. Raji can play both the nose tackle and defensive end position in the 3-4 defense. The Browns sign him with an eye toward quickly improving their run defense. Raji would be a quick upgrade to the nose position but might be best served as the Browns starting defensive end across from the Bryant pair, Armonty Bryant and Desmond Bryant, who will share the other end duties.
The final free agent addition we note is signing Mark Sanchez to compete for the starting quarterback position. Pettine has history with Sanchez with the New York Jets and likes a quarterback with experience. Sanchez came back to earth after playing at a high level with the Philadelphia Eagles when inserted into the starting lineup after a Nick Foles injury. While Sanchez is not the type of QB that fans will feel great about adding, he could push Johnny Manziel to step up in his off-season preparation.
On the next page we will give you our 4 Round Browns 2015 NFL Mock Draft
Next: Cleveland Browns 4 Round 2015 NFL Mock Draft