While some teams will spend big money on day one of free agency, look for the Cleveland Browns to scoop up a few second-wave guys for cheap.
The Cleveland Browns enter the 2022 season with a “win-now” mentality. That’s somewhat comical to me as they have a quarterback in Baker Mayfield who was less than impressive last year, but Andrew Berry appears to be all in.
With a few hefty contracts on the team already, don’t expect this team to go hog wild on the high-end, expensive, free-agent targets. I expect them to be extremely aggressive to keep Jadeveon Clowney and David Njoku who will both be considered high-end targets, but a big focus will need to come on the draft.
With pick No. 13 in the 2022 draft after a disappointing 2021 season, this organization needs to land a difference-maker. The last time the Browns had an early pick in 2020 (no. 10), they picked the left tackle from Alabama, Jedrick Wills, who still hasn’t asserted himself as a dominant player in the NFL.
After one or two splashy signings in free agency, look for Berry and the Browns to go to the discount bin. Guys that are in the back half of their career, or guys who were drafted high and just haven’t panned out.
These types of moves are typically low risk and can provide an extremely strong return if you hit big on one. Takk McKinley and Clowney were both guys in 2021 that signed prove-it type deals, and both performed extremely well.
We all want flashy, expensive players, but the discount bin or second-wave players can provide huge dividends if the general manager does him homework scouting. Here are three guys that won’t move on the first day of free agency to keep tabs on.