3. Sheldon Richardson, DT
Joe Schobert could really share this spot with Sheldon Richardson, but the big free agent defensive tackle just barely edges him out. This isn’t to say that he’s really the better player but that what he offers is more important in 2019 because he fills a massive need from the prior season.
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While there was a lot to like about the Browns 2018 campaign, there were some issues that had to be addressed. The biggest was their inability to stop the run. Cleveland gave up 135.2 yards on the ground which was worse than all but four teams in the league.
In an effort to fix that issue, general manager John Dorsey went out in free agency and spent a lot of money on the free agent defensive tackle. Richardson was drafted at No. 13 overall in 2013 by the New York Jets. He spent four seasons there and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2014.
Richardson’s time with the Jets ended on a sour note after he received a couple of suspensions. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks but spent just one season with them. He then landed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018 on a one-year deal.
That ended up being a good move on his part as he proved he’s worthy of a longer contract and the Browns offered him that with a three-year, $36 million deal with $21 million guaranteed.