4 Former Cleveland Browns players who could return in 2020
By Mitch Zoloty
Defensive End Jabaal Sheard (2011-2014)
Jabaal Sheard was one of those browns players that always had the talent to succeed in the NFL, it just seemed that he wasn’t the best fit for the different styles of defense the Browns tried to run. His 8.5 sacks his rookie year was the most ever in his career, but he has steadily been able to provide a constant stream of 5-8 sacks every season in his entire career.
Sheard left Cleveland and ended up netting himself a two year, $11 million contract with the Patriots. After that, the Colts gave him a three-year, $25 million contract. He was able to play all of those contracts out without getting cut, and has reached free agency for the third time in his career. Now, 30 years old, turning 31 this year, it is unknown if he will return to Indianapolis.
If the Browns are serious about getting depth on the defensive line, specifically at the edge position, Sheard might be an option. I expect them to address this need in the draft, but I don’t think a team can ever have too much talent that can rush the passer.
Edge rusher is a top-five position most valuable position, and Sheard would be a great option for the Browns if the team decides to cut Olivier Vernon. If not, he could still prove to be a very valuable backup, although it is unknown if he would be willing to take backup money.
Outside of Chad Thomas, there is no backup defensive end on the Browns roster who looks to be ready to be at least an NFL backup. I could see the Browns drafting a backup edge rusher and signing one in free agency, and bringing Jabaal Sheard back to Cleveland would be great.
His veteran experience on a two-year contract would be valuable for the team to have. After his two-year deal is up, the Browns could use the cap space cleared up by Sheard to pay Myles Garrett, who will be demanding a large contract. With a steady player like Sheard, it would definitely be worth Andrew Berry’s time to inquire about his price to Sheard’s agent.