Browns Free Agency: Jabaal Sheard Staying or Going?
By Paul Noel
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, GM Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine will need to evaluate their own top free agents to determine if they are going to offer them new contracts or let them walk .
For more information on Browns free agents to be that we have previously profiled click their name below to open in a new window:
Brian Hoyer Buster Skrine Ahtyba Rubin Jordan Cameron
Free Agency Status
Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA)
15 Games Played/ 15 Started; 25 Solo tackles, 19 Assisted tackles, 2 Sack, 3 Pass Defended
Grade = 8.2 Rank = 9th Edge Defenders
4 years, $5.09 million, $2.2 million Signing Bonus
2014 Free Agent Signing Comparison Contract
OLB Jabaal Sheard is a hard worker who is going to force the Browns’ front office to make a difficult decision. Sheard had his worst season statistically while getting accustomed to a new role in the Mike Pettine defense, but he was very impressive in run stopping and coverage skills. The Browns’ defense as we are aware was not impressive this season against the run, but Sheard was an unsung hero on the defense ranking second in the NFL against the run and tied for the 12th in coverage. The biggest question mark is his stats as a pass-rusher with just two sacks, this is an area were the Browns’ will need to ask whether it was the player or the scheme. Was Sheard’s stats as a pass-rush low due to the interior of the line struggling against the run? Or was he just unable to get free and attack the quarterback? There will be a market this off-season for Sheard and he can get big money elsewhere if he hits the open market.
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Sheard will be STAYING, the Browns’ will likely see during the off-season evaluation that he has added value to the defense, but with an open market it will make it difficult to keep Sheard. It’s likely the Browns’ will look to use the transition tag to keep Sheard for an additional year (2014 transition tag LB $9.754 million). This will give Sheard an extra year with his new role and allow the Browns’ to address the interior of the defensive line and see if that lead to more sacks for the outside linebacker.
What do you think of our prediction of Jabaal Sheard staying next year?
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