The Cleveland Browns were reportedly interested in free agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland. Now that he is back on the market, should the team take another look?
Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has spent the past week rebuilding the team’s secondary, primarily the cornerback position.
Out after one year is veteran Jason McCourty, sent to the New England Patriots in a trade. In via free agency are cornerbacks T.J. Carrie, formerly of the Oakland Raiders, and Terrance Mitchell, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, among many other teams.
Carrie is a solid pickup, having risen from seventh-round draft pick in 2014 to a productive corner with the Raiders. Mitchell, a fellow seventh-round pick in 2014, is more questionable as he has bounced around multiple teams and struggled to find his role.
The Browns should still be on the lookout for cornerback help, which brings us to Bashaud Breeland, who entered free agency after spending four seasons with the Washington Redskins.
Breeland had agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers, reportedly for three years and $24 million. But the news came out Friday afternoon that Breeland failed his physical with the Panthers due to a non-football injury.
According to ESPN’s David Newton, Breeland cut his left foot earlier this month while in the Dominican Republic. He will need a skin graft to repair the injury and that will keep him sidelined for a few months.
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Breeland suffered a cut in the same place in fourth grade and the new injury reopened that old wound. He originally had a skin graft to repair the injury when he was a child, but pointed out to Newton that he was able to play just fine during high school, in college at Clemson, and with the Redskins.
The Browns were reportedly interested in Breeland prior to the start of free agency, and the injury should not scare them off from bringing him to town and making their own evaluation.
Breeland, who is 5-foot-11 and 197 pounds, started 57 games for the Redskins. During that time has totaled 270 tackles and picked off eight passes, while adding 60 passes defensed and forcing seven fumbles.
Sounds like the kind of player the Browns could use, yes?
Even with a recovery timetable of several months, that would put Breeland back on the field in late July, which would be more than enough time for him to get up to speed and for the Browns to decide if he is worth keeping around.
Money shouldn’t be an issue, at least not on the Browns side, as the team still has almost $80 million in available cap space, according to overthecap.com. The Browns can offer Breeland a fair contract that protects them if his injury lingers, while also rewarding Breeland if he makes the team this fall.
The Browns still need help at cornerback, and while Breeland is not a superstar he is likely better than Mitchell.
Dorsey may have missed out on Breeland the first time around, but with a second opportunity staring him in the face, Dorsey should explore the situation with Breeland in more depth and see if there is a deal that works for both sides.