Jerry Hughes Nearing Deal with Buffalo, Sorry Browns Fans


Many Cleveland Browns fans were hopeful that Jerry Hughes would join his former Defensive Coordinator, Mike Pettine, with the Browns this year. The free agent outside linebacker had options and the Browns were reportedly in on him when free agency unofficially started yesterday.

Yet Buffalo and Rex Ryan made Hughes an important target and, according to former Browns beat writer Vic Carucci, they kept the pass rusher in New York:

For the Browns it is a tough blow but not one that they were not prepared for. As we have written about today, all of our Free Agency stories can be found at the link at the end of this story, Trent Cole is in town for a two day visit and could end up signing before he leaves. The Browns could also go after a few other free agent options or look to address their pass rush need in the NFL Draft.

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If the Browns don’t sign Cole, or someone similar, expect them to draft a OLB higher in the draft than expected. With a bunch of players, including Randy Gregory, Shane Ray, Vic Beasley, Dante Fowler and Bud Dupree, expected to be 1st round, impact guys, the Browns could see one of them falling to them at #19.

While it is not what Browns fans want to hear, Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer have made it clear that they plan to build this team through the defense. A nose tackle/defensive tackle at 12, a pass rusher at 19 and a wide receiver in the 2nd round, where there are likely to be quite a few, would certainly help build the team quickly.

For now we can hope that Cole or another free agent can help round out our OLB rotation, expecting Jabaal Sheard to leave for certain. Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills got their man and many Browns fans are likely to be disappointed.

Did you expect Jerry Hughes to sign in Cleveland or him returning to Buffalo make the most sense?

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