The Cleveland Browns were one of the first teams connected to Mike Daniels, and they may be the front-runners to sign the defensive tackle.
The Cleveland Browns have not been afraid to get aggressive when it’s come to adding talent to the roster over the past two years. With John Dorsey at the helm, he has shown he will do whatever it takes to improve the roster.
Dorsey has also not shied away from adding players he is familiar with, signing or trading for multiple players from his previous stops with the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Browns general manager has another opportunity to aggressively go after another player from one of his previous stops with free agent defensive tackle Mike Daniels. After being released by the Packers on Wednesday, the Browns were instantly connected to the defensive tackle.
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And those instant connections were not wrong, as the Browns will be Daniels’ first free agent visit since being released. Daniels will visit the Browns on Thursday, which was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Because of his multiple connections with the Browns, including Dorsey, Eliot Wolf, and Alonzo Highsmith, there will be familiarity for Daniels when he takes his visit. And because the Browns front office knows what Daniels can bring to a defense, it would not be surprising if they are doing whatever they can to have Daniels sign before he takes another visit.
However, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reported that Daniels will be taking multiple visits and will not be making a decision on Thursday. It may be Cleveland’s wishes to not let Daniels leave without a deal, but the defensive tackle may be looking at all of his options instead of rushing to make a decision.
It is no secret the Browns are wanting to improve their defensive tackle depth, which is why they aggressively pursued Gerald McCoy in the offseason. After missing out on McCoy, the Browns may not want to take the risk of losing out on another talented defensive tackle. Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan said Thursday he would not be surprised if Daniels is a Brown by the end of the week.
When Daniels was cut, it was reported that he wanted to sign with a contender, which the Browns fit into the category of. Despite multiple teams being interested in Daniels, his decision to make his first visit with the Browns could be showing there is mutual interest. And with training camp underway, if Daniels is wanting to get back on the field as soon as he can, the team with the first visit could have the leg up on the rest of the interested teams.
The Browns have the cap space and the immediate need for a defensive tackle, so there are plenty of motives for Cleveland to aggressively pursue Daniels. And because the front office knows Daniels’ ability – including inside the locker room as a leader – they could use the visit for contract negotiations instead of fact-finding.
With the Browns getting the first visit and with their need for another defensive tackle, as well as the cap space necessary to offer Daniels the money he may be looking for, the Browns should be viewed as the front-runner for the defensive tackle.