The Cleveland Browns head into the 2022 offseason with only four defensive linemen under contract. What will the new D-line room look like?
The majority of the Cleveland Browns offseason focus has been centered on the offensive side of the ball. However, the largest overhaul that needs to take place is on the defensive line.
The Cleveland Browns head into the 2022 season with only four players under contract on the defensive line. What moves need to be made? Which players from 2021 could be brought back?
How could free agency and the draft help revamp the defensive line room?
Who is still under contract on the Cleveland Browns D-line?
The main reason that the Browns defensive line room is empty is not a bigger talking point is the fact that superstar Myles Garrett is under contract. While Garrett being under contract definitely alleviates concerns, it should be noted that he is the only starter currently inked with the team.
But, if you were going to build a defensive line room, Garrett is on the very short list of players you would want to build around.
The Browns do have two young defensive tackles currently still on their rookie deals. Jordan Elliott is due to return to the team, heading into his third season with the Browns. Elliott still has two years left on his current contract. However, if he fails to develop further the team could decide to walk away from their 2020 third-round draft pick. Elliot is going to have to earn his keep if he wants to remain in the Browns’ future plans.
The other returning defensive tackle is Tommy Togiai, a second-year player who showed flashes of potential towards the end of his rookie year. Togiai was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft in hopes to develop into, at minimum, an early-down run stuffer. The rookie was able to crack the active roster towards the end of his rookie campaign, but still has a long way to go before he becomes an integral piece of the Browns defense.
The final defensive lineman still under contract is defensive end Curtis Weaver. It should be noted that Weaver falls under the futures contract provision which is reserved for players that ended the season, not on an active roster. While there may still be hopes that Weaver could be developed, the reality is, at most he will be a bottom of the roster player with rotation potential.