Cleveland Browns: 6 moves the team should make right now

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Anquan Boldin
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Anquan Boldin /
2 of 3
BALTIMORE, MD – NOVEMBER 10: Inside linebacker Zach Orr
BALTIMORE, MD – NOVEMBER 10: Inside linebacker Zach Orr /

Sign free agent linebacker Zach Orr

The MIKE linebacker is still a question mark, so why not go after a second team All-Pro middle linebacker from a year ago? A linebacker trio featuring Collins, Kirksey and Zach Orr would almost certainly take Cleveland’s 30th ranked defense into a potentially top-10 defense.

The obvious questions are those that surround his health. Orr retired from the Ravens back in January because of a congenital neck and spine issue, and in June announced that after a second opinion (which he didn’t do originally), that he wanted to return to the NFL.

If Orr passes his physical and is cleared to play, the Browns need to use what they have at their disposal; their cap space. As of today, the Browns have the second most cap space in the league with more $52 million, according to, meaning that they can spare a few dollars to get this man.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 06: Jonathan Stewart
NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 06: Jonathan Stewart /

Trade for New Orleans linebacker Stephone Anthony

This is a personal favorite. Stephone Anthony is entering his third season and has had ups and downs since the beginning. He was on the All-Rookie team at middle linebacker in 2015 with 112 tackles, one sack, one interception, two forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns and looked prime to take over the league.

However, the Saints made a mistake that many teams do and had Anthony switch positions. Despite a very accomplished first year as a MIKE, the Saints chose to switch him to SAM, and as a result he only had 16 tackles in 10 games last season before being placed on injured reserve.

The Saints seem intent on keeping him as an outside linebacker, especially after signing middle linebackers Manti Te’o and A.J. Kline. In addition to these signings, there has been some talk that if Anthony does not learn the outside position or he could end up getting cut.

True, if he’s cut then there’s no reason to trade for him as the Browns would have the first shot at him for a waiver claim, but by make a deal the could secure him and save their waiver priority for another player.

Related Story: In defense of being an optimistic Browns fan

HOUSTON, TX- NOVEMBER 02: Ryan Fitzpatrick
HOUSTON, TX- NOVEMBER 02: Ryan Fitzpatrick /

Trade for Philadelphia linebacker Mychal Kendricks

It was a bit of a surprise to see Mychal Kendricks put on the trade block after he signed his four-year extension. But the Browns should be happy that he is available for the taking.

Before last season, Kendricks had 349 tackles, 12 sacks, 20 passes deflected, three interceptions, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. His 2016 season was his down year as he only posted 32 tackles, one forced fumble and a single pass deflection.

Because of his age, he is turning 27 in September, last season was more of a down year than a sign of a decline in his play.  Whoever the trade partner is will have to be willing to swallow his cap hit, but the Browns are in a position to do so.

However, Kendricks plays the WILL linebacker position, which would likely mean that Kirksey would have to slide back into the middle. Considering Kirksey is a smart linebacker who can play all three linebacker positions, it wouldn’t be a problem. So Kendricks being traded to Cleveland (who was actually a team rumored to be interested in trading for him after last season ended) would end up benefiting all sides.