5 Early Cleveland Browns 2022 free agent targets
1. Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback
Yes, Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome are both first-round picks and will both be starters for a long time in the NFL. They’ll also both be under contract in 2022 since Newsome was just drafted and Ward had his fifth-year option exercised this offseason.
Cleveland can even go deeper than that with Troy Hill, who was signed this offseason in free agency, and Greedy Williams who was their second-round pick in 2020. Having said all that, three of those players have some questions surrounding them.
For Ward, Newsome, and Williams, it’s the same question — health. Ward has yet to play a full season whereas Williams missed four games as a rookie and all of 2020. Newsome also struggled to stay on the field playing in 17 games for Northwestern while missing 14.
Hill doesn’t have any injury issues but he will be 30-years-old in August and is best served a slot corner. All of that is said to set up the final free agent to look at in 2022 — Marshon Lattimore.
Another Ohio State product, Lattimore was born and raised in Cleveland and we all love to see a hometown kid come back and star for the Browns. A three-time Pro Bowler and the 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Lattimore will cost a ton of money when he does hit the open market, but that’s why Cleveland has a shot at landing him.
His current team, the New Orleans Saints, might not have the space to extend him since they kicked the can down the road with so many players trying to win a title with Drew Brees.
Adding Lattimore doesn’t mean they would have to part with any of their younger players either since we all know it’s impossible to have too many corners. But if your top three guys are Lattimore, Ward, and Newsome, it would be hard to move the ball at all against that defense.