Cleveland Browns: Five free agents to consider this offseason
NFL free agency begins this week, and the Cleveland Browns have plenty of money to spend on some players who could come in and start right away.
Welcome to one of the most interesting and intriguing Cleveland Browns offseasons in quite a long time. This is mostly due to the fact the Browns plan to enter this free agency with the most capital of any team in NFL history.
The Browns own five of the first 65 picks of the draft and are entering the free agency period with over $100M to spend to improve the team, yet one question remains. Can the Browns possibly find a way to screw this up once again?
The Browns have a roster that could use improvement at just about every position and are in a great place to find some solid upgrades in both free agency and the NFL Draft. Since the draft doesn’t begin for another month and a half, let’s talk about spending all that money the team has. Here are five impact players the Cleveland Browns should sign in free agency.
Terrelle Pryor, WR
Terrelle Pryor is the most important free agent the Cleveland Browns need to lock down this offseason. The Browns decided to not use the franchise tag on Pryor because they felt they would be able to strike a long-term deal with Pryor.
Every day that it gets closer and closer to the free agency period, the more and more I feel like the Browns are going to let Pryor test his worth in free agency. Yesterday we found out that multiple teams have shown great interest in Terrelle Pryor. Pryor (28) had his first season at the wide receiver position for the Browns and was one of the shining stars in the darkness of what was the 1-15 season.
Pryor wants to stay in Cleveland, so let’s see if the Browns can strike a deal to keep him here. If not, just remember that Josh Gordon could potentially be back in 2017.
Dontari Poe, DT
Dontari Poe is the big fish I would love to see in a Browns uniform come next season. The Chiefs ultimately had to let Dontari Poe walk due to their issues in with Eric Berry, who they ultimately ended up giving a blockbuster-type contact.
Poe isn’t coming off such a great 2016 season, but Poe (26) was once the centerpiece of the front seven in Kansas City. Poe’s rare combination of size, speed, and athleticism could be a great fit to put on a defensive line with Emmanuel Ogbah, Danny Shelton, and potentially Myles Garrett, especially with the new switch to a 4-3 defensive scheme.
Ronald Leary, G
Ronald Leary has the benefits of playing on one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. We shouldn’t allow that to be a factor when judging his potential, however.
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In 500 snaps last season, Leary held his own and did not allow one single sack. Leary also only allowed one QB hit in 2016, but didn’t give that up until Week 14. The Browns need to add depth and talent to their offensive line that gave up a league high in sacks in 2016.
Leary will be someone who would come in and immediately make the offensive line unit stronger. After all, how do the Browns expect to keep a quarterback healthy if there is no one to protect him?
A.Q. Shipley, C
I’ve said it one too many times, the Browns need to end the Cameron Erving project at the center position. The Browns need to bring in a solid piece to further solidify the offensive line that once was filled by Alex Mack, who the Browns let walk last offseason.
A.Q. Shipley was one of the most consistent centers in the NFL last season. Not only did Shipley stay on the field all season, he was also one of the highest-graded centers in the NFL. One of the most important things in football is building from the ball out and the Browns need the most help when it comes to the center position.
T.J. McDonald, S
T.J. McDonald has been on my radar ever since the recent addition of Gregg Williams to the Browns coaching staff. McDonald is someone who would be able to come in and already be familiar with the culture and playbook due to his history playing for Williams in Los Angeles.
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McDonald is also young (25) with a lot of good football left in him. And in a draft class full of defensive backs, McDonald could still be one of those players to help make it easier to understand this new defensive scheme.