Cornerback is another position that is going to have battles throughout the entire depth chart. The one spot that is certain is Denzel Ward being one of the two starters. After that, it is anyone’s guess how the depth chart will play out.
The Browns have a large investment in Carrie after signing him to a four-year, $31 million contract this off-season. Carrie has starting experience, but split his starting time on the outside and in the slot for the Oakland Raiders. By giving such a large contract to Carrie, the Browns must feel that Carrie’s play-style is a great match in Gregg Williams’ defense.
Battling Carrie is Gaines, who had the best season of his four-year career last season as a starter for the Buffalo Bills. He has experience in Williams’ aggressive press-man defense, but did not excel until he was playing in more of a zone coverage defense. Unless getting the time as a starter helped his game grow, it will be interesting to see what Gaines will do back in Williams’ defense.
Whoever does not win that starting job will likely be kicked into the slot, or even Carrie slides into the slot when the Browns play their nickel defense. Gaines could be a solid fit as the nickel corner if he does have problems playing press-man coverage on the outside.
There will also be a battle for who will be the fourth corner in the dime defense, as the Browns have two players that can play well covering the slot.
The team signed Terrance Mitchell this off-season, as Dorsey is familiar with Mitchell from his days in Kansas City. He may have been added as a depth piece that has starting experience, but his ties with Dorsey cannot be ignored.
There is also Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who has been the team’s nickel cornerback the past two seasons. With so much talent added to the secondary this off-season, Boddy-Calhoun’s role is very much in the air.
He spent time at safety during off-season workouts to add versatility. But with Ward, Gaines, and Carrie in front of him on the depth chart, it may take an injury or the Browns making a roster move with either Carrie or Gaines for Boddy-Calhoun to regain his nickel corner job.
On top of Mitchell and Boddy-Calhoun fighting for a large role in the defense, the Browns also have Simeon Thomas and Michael Jordan fighting to earn jobs.