5 free agents the Cleveland Browns must sign

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - Defensive end Romeo Okwara #95 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after a big play during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Lions 46-25. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - Defensive end Romeo Okwara #95 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after a big play during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Lions 46-25. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns free agency
Cleveland Browns free agency. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

2. S Tre Boston

Cleveland’s safety room was shaping up to be decent in 2020, with former first-round pick Karl Joseph signed to play strong, and second-round steal Grant Delpit set to play free and literally everything else in the secondary. Then, Delpit suffered a torn Achilles, which threw the room into disarray.

If not for the shrewd trade for Ronnie Harrison Jr., the Browns’ secondary would have been significantly worse than it already was. Delpit seems to be progressing well, but an Achilles tear is a serious injury, one that many players never fully recover from. It’s a shame, but Delpit cannot be counted on to play at a high level this season. The team has to treat the room like he doesn’t exist, and if he can end up returning and playing a key role, that’s a great problem to have.

Until that happens, the Browns need to find two starting safeties, plus quality depth at the position. Defensive coordinator Joe Woods wants to eventually run a base dime look, which would swap two linebackers out for two extra defensive backs, typically safeties. Harrison will man one spot, but there are two more up for grabs. There is a ton of safety talent in this draft class, so expect Cleveland to grab one early in April.

One rookie will not be enough, however, so landing a starter in free agency is a must. Tre Boston has been one of the league’s best cover safeties over the past six seasons but had a down year in 2020 as the Carolina Panthers used him more in the box rather than back deep, which is where he thrives. His $6 million salary for 2021 wasn’t even bad, so if he can get signed for less than that, the Browns would be getting a fantastic value, as long as they move him back to his proper position.

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