Cleveland Browns: Reclamation projects to consider in free agency
Daryl Williams, Offensive Tackle
It will be interesting to see how teams value Daryl Williams during the free agency period this off-season. He has shown that he can be an effective blocker at right tackle. With dominant edge rushers being moved around the field, right tackles have become almost as valuable as left tackles.
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However, there will be concern about Williams after he suffered a major injury to his knee during the first game of the 2018 season. During training camp, Williams suffered a dislocated right knee cap and a torn MCL. He managed to play in the season opener, but re-injured his right knee and underwent surgery.
Despite his knee injury, Williams is still expecting to receive a lucrative contract this off-season. The Carolina Panthers are likely to let the 26-year-old reach free agency because they do not want to offer Williams the money he is asking for.
Since it is rare for quality, young offensive linemen to reach the open market, many teams will be interested in signing Williams. The biggest question will be if teams are comfortable signing Williams to a long-term deal after his knee injury. Teams desperate for an upgrade at offensive tackle will likely be more willing to offer a long-term deal than others.
If Williams does not have the market that he expects he will get and is forced to take a one or two-year contract, the Browns should be one of the teams talking to him. Cleveland’s play from their offensive tackles improved after Kitchens started to call plays, but there is room for improvement.
Chris Hubbard was arguably the worst of the five offensive linemen for the Browns last season. If the Browns want to move on from Hubbard, Williams would be worth taking a flyer on if his market does not develop. A healthy Williams would be an improvement over what the Browns currently have. But Williams has a better chance of getting a multi-year contract compared to Eifert, so the Browns may not be able to offer a short-term deal.