Browns Free Agency: Targeting Mike Iupati
The Cleveland Browns season is over. We will spend a good amount of time reviewing the season but we will spend even more time preparing for the off-season. Browns free agency seems destined to be an interesting one. The Browns spent a little bit of money last year with anticipating of building through the draft for long term success. The 2014 was expected to be another down year with high expectations towards the future.
Instead the 2014 started off strong and ended with a thud. Now the Browns are full of salary cap space, even though they have a few free agents of their own they might like to sign, as well as 10 picks in the NFL Draft, including two 1st rounders. It is likely that GM Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine see a greater need for more veteran talent on a very young roster and we expect them to be aggressive in seeking to bring in that talent during Browns free agency.
In preparation for such we will be taking a look at certain players that we think the Browns could target. Keep in mind we are not saying that these are players they are targeting, although some rumors may start to leak of the Browns having interest in them, instead these are players that we think the Browns could or should have interest in. Our profile will try to include as much information as possible to prepare you for free agency.
6’5″ 331 lbs
San Francisco 49ers
2014 Free Agent Signing Comparison Contract
Jon Asamoah – 5 year, $33 million with $14.5 guaranteed
Asamoah is not in the same class as Iupati but was considered the best offensive guard last year and got paid like it. Expect Iupati to get a larger deal.
Fit with the Browns
Iupati is a big hulking guard who also has nimble feet and can fill a big need on the Browns offensive line. He would replace veteran John Greco and solidify the right side of the offensive line. With Joel Bitonio, Alex Mack and Iupati the Browns middle of the line would be the best in the league, by far. Iupati could also assist Mitchell Schwartz and make life easier for the right tackle. He is a perfect fit for a run-centric team.
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Browns Player Signing Could Impact
Greco would be moved to a versatile backup who can play any of the inside positions. The Browns struggled when linemen were injured this year so having Greco as a swing backup could be important. Schwartz could also be impacted if the Browns bring in someone to start at right tackle as well. Many assume Schwartz would just move inside if they do that. Signing Iupati would eliminate that chance.
How Signing Could Impact the NFL Draft
The Browns have spent a ton of energy trying to find the right pieces on the offensive line. Signing Iupati could allow them the freedom to go in another direction early in the draft but it wouldn’t be a shock to see them continue to try to build their team from the inside out.
Medium-High – Signing a veteran, stud offensive linemen may be higher on Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine’s list than on any fans list. Trying to get a feel for how Farmer and Pettine value things is not easy but based on their short history it seems defensive line, offensive line and even linebacker/defensive backs are higher on their list than wide receivers. They have spent a ton of time mining lower levels for offensive linemen but drafted Bitonio in the 2nd round as well. A stud tackle could also be drafted giving the Browns a line any run oriented coach would love.
What do you think about targeting Mike Iupati in Browns Free Agency?