NFL Free Agency: Browns Mock

3 of 6

Oct 26, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (97) against Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won 23-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

While Rubin, Hoyer and Skrine, all important starters, will not return in our Browns Mock NFL Free Agency, there are some important Browns contributors that we believe will return:

Miles Austin – Austin was a solid player for the Browns before getting a lacerated kidney trying to fight for extra yards. If Josh Gordon returns they will want Austin to be an important leader in the locker room. If Gordon doesn’t return the Browns are likely to have some young players, via the NFL Draft, on their wide receiver depth chart. Austin will be important to them as well. Austin returns on a low salary much like last year’s 1 year, $2 million deal.

Jordan Cameron – Much like Buster Skrine, Cameron could get a ton of action in free agency. Unlike Skrine, Cameron was injured for much of last season and that will likely keep him from getting the kind of contract he had hoped for at the end of last season. For the Browns, unlike the CB position, they have no starting level tight end to take Cameron’s place.  The Browns will sign Cameron to a deal similar to Jeremy Maclin‘s 1 year make good deal coming off a torn ACL.

Jabaal Sheard – Sheard is a player that many fans have little positive regard for. He hasn’t had huge numbers as an outside linebacker but his abilities to rush the passer, play against the run and even play in coverage earned him an 8.2 rating from PFF. That is 9th best among “edge defenders” who are free agents this season. He will get attention in free agency but his lack of sacks could actually play in the Browns favor. A 3 or 4 year deal for Sheard is to be expected. His versatility and strength is vital for Mike Pettine’s defense.

Next: Getting Wide Receivers Early