The Browns have the pieces in place to compete/win the AFC North Division. Free Agency this offseason could help place the Browns into the playoffs if they choose wisely.
The Cleveland Browns must make moves during free agency in order to continue their already impressive roster overhaul. Have faith in John Dorsey, buddy boy. I believe he will make the right moves for this team, but I’m going to help him along a little bit.
Cleveland’s number one need is clearly at defensive tackle. The defense needs an animal in the middle. Thankfully, the Browns have options here. Call me crazy but, Emmanuel Ogbah can play inside. Move Ogbah to the inside and sign a veteran defensive end. Or, just the opposite, sign a defensive tackle and leave Ogbah on the end.
Grady Jarrett or Ndamukong Suh are both scheduled to hit free agency. These are the two proven free agents available at defensive tackle that would most benefit the Browns. Jarrett will require some serious money, but Suh is older and should be cheaper. Jarrett and Suh make plays in the middle and would improve the ability of the defense to stop the run a lot of better compares to this last season.
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The second position to be improved during free agency needs to be the cornerback position. Bryce Callahan from the Bears, Steven Nelson from the Chiefs, and Ronald Darby from the Eagles all come to mind. Callahan played 676 snaps last year and was a top ten cornerback according to Pro Football Focus. Nelson played 1,211 plays this past season and was in the top thirty cornerbacks in the league. Darby played 542 snaps and ranked in the top forty cornerbacks this past season.
Callahan is ranked the highest, Nelson has the most snaps, and Darby is the youngest. All these cornerbacks are under 28-years-old. These players have plenty of gas left in the tank and can absolutely contribute to the Browns defense from day one. The go-to guy would Nelson with the new defensive coordinator. Nelson is a coverage corner that can step up and make plays when needed, but mainly a coverage guy which fits Steve Wilks play style.
Callahan would not be a bad pickup either, but he has fewer snaps played this past season. Darby played mostly coverage snaps and graded middle of the road and should be looked at based on age and grade according to Pro Football Focus this past season.
The argument can be made that the Browns need to make improvements at linebacker and edge rusher due to consistent injuries at linebacker and Emmanuel Ogbah’s lack of production opposite of Myles Garret. As mentioned earlier, Ogbah can play on the interior of the defensive line. The option to move Ogbah inside is one the Browns should use if they find another edge rusher.
Jadaveon Clowney is a free agent this year and is the ninth best option as an edge rusher according to Pro Football Focus. Why not take a look at the 26-year-old and sign him long term to sure up the defense rush and keep opposing offenses off the field?
Dee Ford is also set to be a free agent this year and the Browns should absolutely kick the tires on him as well — and they may considering Dorsey’s ties to him from Kansas City.
Obviously there will be difficulties seeing as how Patrick Mahomes is the hands down MVP this year and Ford would be leaving an almost assured playoff team for the next two to three years, but the Browns could also make that case. Especially after what Baker Mayfield did for this team this past season.
Whatever they decide to do, these are all players who should at a very minimum, be on the radar for the Browns during the 2019 Free Agency period.
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