3 biggest needs for Cleveland Browns during 2021 free agency
2. A Playmaker at linebacker
Perhaps the biggest weakness of the Cleveland Browns roster in 2020 was their linebackers. Mack Wilson was injured early and never looked healthy, Sione Takitaki just lacks elite athleticism to be a good NFL linebacker, and rookie Jacob Phillips struggled with a knee injury.
Berry brought in veteran B.J. Goodson on a one-year deal who did play well but was still just a step behind what is needed. And while Phillips looks to be a potential starter in 2021, the Browns just need one more piece to the puzzle at the position.
There is no doubt that Berry isn’t going to spend a ton of money at the position but finding someone who is good in coverage would be such a bonus. Wilson and Takitaki do a reasonable job at filling running lanes, but Phillips is the only one with any remote coverage skills.
Names like Raekwon McMillian, Avery Williamson, and Neville Hewitt could make a lot of sense for the Browns. Athletic guys who have had decent NFL careers, but won’t break the bank. All are under the age of 30 and may be willing to take a “prove it” deal in order to make more money in 2022 when the cap is expected to have a big increase.
While there will be some other big names available like Melvin Ingram and K.J. Wright, look for Berry to go to the “discount” rack once again at the position. I’m fine with a good deal, but let’s find someone with a little more athleticism in 2021.