5 Free agent bargains Cleveland Browns should target

Will Fuller V. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Will Fuller V. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns
Nov 8, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) is tackled by Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks (96) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Browns Free-agent target No. 1: DE Arden Key

Arden Key, the former LSU Tiger was drafted in the third round by the Las Vegas Raiders back in 2018. However, he never had much success with them. He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers last year and had a nice season that included 6.5 sacks.

While he’s not been a starter, he was used off the bench and came in on late downs, and gave the 49ers some solid efforts. He’s only going to be 26 years old and would sound like the type of young player, with a big potential that Browns general manager Andrew Berry would be attracted to.

Key only had a contract last season with San Francisco that paid him a bit more than $1 million. If defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who’s a free agent at the moment doesn’t return to Cleveland, then Key could be a nice inexpensive addition.

Cleveland Browns Free-agent target No. 2: DL Akiem Hicks

A more veteran player that could be a nice pickup by the Browns could be Akiem Hicks, who’s been a mainstay on the Chicago Bears team. Hicks is older and not exactly what Berry might be considered in his prime, but he does bring a lot of experience and that could be an appealing factor.

His highest sack total in any season was 8.5 back in 2017. He’s been pretty consistent in tackles each season. His best stretch as a player statistically was between 2016-2018 when he collected an average of 55 tackles and had 7.5 sacks. He’s still getting to the quarterback in these last few seasons and could really benefit by playing on the line along with defensive end Myles Garrett next year.

Hicks was making $12 million last year with the Bears but he’s in the twilight of his career and would be happy with half from whatever team he plays for next season. The Browns continue to need more veterans on the team to provide that experience to a relatively young Browns team and Hicks seems like a great fit.