Cleveland Browns: Reclamation projects to consider in free agency
Bradley Roby, Cornerback
Bradley Roby was expecting to get a big payday this off-season. He had made his mark as a nickel cornerback during the beginning of his career and was given a chance to be an outside corner in 2018 after the Broncos traded Aqib Talib.
However, Roby’s move to the outside did not pay off for him, as he played arguably the worst season of his career. Roby played and started in 15 games in 2018, making a combined 50 tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, one interception, and 12 passes defended.
However, Roby allowed a 65.9 catch percentage, according to Pro Football Focus. That was the highest percentage he allowed in his career. With his move to primarily playing outside cornerback, Roby’s value took a hit this season.
Unlike Eifert and Williams, Roby will be a candidate for a short-term deal because of his play and not injuries. If Roby wants to be paid like an outside cornerback, he will need another season to prove he can play with the best receivers on the outside.
Otherwise, teams may view him as just a nickel cornerback. Although nickel cornerbacks are still valuable, they do not get paid like the best outside cornerbacks.
In the case of the Browns, they have one of the best teachers for defensive backs now that Steve Wilks is the team’s defensive coordinator. If the Browns can sign Roby and let Wilks work with him, then the Browns could get the best version of Roby. And if Wilks can improve Roby’s play on the outside, then the Browns could have found the long-term corner opposite of Denzel Ward.