Cleveland Browns: Reclamation projects to consider in free agency
By Dan Justik
The Cleveland Browns may not want to sign free agents to lucrative deals in free agency this off-season, but they could take a chance on some players.
The Cleveland Browns enter the 2019 off-season as one of the most interesting teams to watch. They have a boatload of cap space and plenty of draft assets that will allow them to add talent in the draft or via trade.
Cleveland will have around $75 million in cap space this off-season, according to Spotrac. The Browns also have 11 total draft picks with one extra selection in the third round, two extra selections in the fifth round, and one extra selection in the seventh round.
The Browns already have a talented roster that helped them win five of their last seven games in 2018. With the available capital they have this off-season, it is reasonable to assume that the Browns can gather enough talent this off-season to push for a playoff spot next season.
But the Browns will have to take a reasonable approach in free agency this off-season and not spend most of their cap space on lucrative free agents. Although the Browns have plenty of money to play with, they will have to consider the extensions they will have to start giving out in the next couple of seasons.
Players like J.C. Tretter, Damarious Randall, Joe Schobert, Myles Garrett, and Jabrill Peppers are not going to come cheap. It is important that the Browns leave themselves enough cap flexibility to afford the extensions for these players.
So if the Browns want to try to save some cap space for extensions but still add talent to their roster for the immediate future, one approach they can take is signing free agents that need to rebuild their value.
Whether it be injuries or playing in systems that did not fit their style, there are several players that may sign short-term deals this off-season. Players sign those types of deals so they can have another season to build their value and hit free agency again and potentially hit on a bigger contract.
With their cap space, the Browns can sign players to a short-term, expensive contract, if needed. By doing this, they will add talented players but still maintain their cap flexibility for players that are due contract extensions.
Here are several players that could look to sign short-term deals in free agency that the Browns should consider targeting.