Best free-agent possibilities
If the Browns are unable to convince Clowney that Cleveland is his best option, then what other defensive end free agents are in play? Names like Chandler Jones, Von Miller, Harold Landry, and Randy Gregory will all be on the market. But outside of Clowney, the chances that the Browns pursue a high-dollar free agent is unlikely unless they are willing to sign short-term deals.
The names to watch in free agency are Jerry Hughes, Justin Houston, and Emmanuel Ogbah. Out of the three, Ogbah probably has the most left in the tank but will be looking for a longer-term deal. The wildcard when it comes to Ogbah is his feelings for the team that drafted him. Both Hughes and Houston could be available for one-year rentals if Berry and Browns decide to go that route.
When it comes to defensive tackle free agents, the pickings get even slimmer. The guys at the top of the free agency board are Calais Campbell and Akiem Hicks. Both are more than proven commodities that can flat-out ruin an offensive gameplan, but both are long in the tooth and come with a hefty price tag. If Berry could persuade one of these mammoths to take a one-year deal, it would be a huge win for the Browns.
The guys that would be more likely for the Browns, although still pricey, are D.J. Jones, B.J. Hill, and Sebastian Joseph-Day. If the Browns could sign one of the three, they would have someone to build the rest of their interior around. Two lesser talked-about names to watch for in free agency are Harrison Phillips and Tim Settle. Expect Berry and the Browns to attempt to nab one of these younger options early on in the free agency process.