Report: Jabaal Sheard Visiting Patriots
The Cleveland Browns have not been active in free agency so far but there has been activity with their own free agents. Jabaal Sheard could join Buster Skrine in the AFC East as he is visiting with the New England Patriots.
Skrine signed with the New York Jets for a big deal but Sheard is not likely to break the bank. The Patriots are looking for a rotational defensive end instead of a full time starter. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are reportedly also interested in Sheard and would be more likely to get more money from the Bucs.
For the Browns, Sheard was misfit as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. He worked hard to be a decent ‘backer but is far better with his hand on the ground as a defensive end. After 8.5 sacks as a rookie his sack total dropped every year since. From 8.5 to 7 to 5.5 and only 2 last year.
His lack of impactful plays likely means he signs a 1 or 2 year deal to try to push up his value. As a 25 year old, Sheard may be looking more for opportunity than money this contract. The Patriots likely competitive, winning ways could draw Sheard. Being a part of a winning program could rise his stature.
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Sheard could be a steal at the rate that he is expected to sign. Bill Belichick could be the right guy to make the most use of Sheard’s talent. Last year the Patriots traded for Akeem Ayers, little used by the Titans, and made something out of him. He had 4 sacks in 9 games after only having 9 total in 3 plus seasons in Tennessee.
Sheard’s market could develop over the next couple of days if he doesn’t sign in New England. We will update you when he signs but don’t expect it to be with the Browns.