We are in the heart of free agency and the Cleveland Browns are trying to sign more veterans but who were some of the best free-agent pickups in the past?
The Cleveland Browns have had their share of free agents come through their doors over the history of the franchise. Many of these decisions have been good ones however, one of their worst free agency decisions as a team was when they signed wide receiver Andre Rison in 1995 to a $17 million contract.
Rison had been playing on the Atlanta Falcons for the previous four seasons and the team had hopes that the wide receiver would help them get to a Super Bowl.
Cleveland was in shambles financially at the time, according to their owner at the time, Art Modell. He was reported to have taken out a loan to cover Rison’s $5 million guaranteed signing bonus. (Boy, haven’t we come a long way with the recent news of the Browns new quarterback Deshaun Watson getting a $230 million guaranteed contract). Instead, Rison was a bust, and the team left for Baltimore Maryland, and became the Ravens.
But the Browns organization has had many other free agents that have had more success over the years and left a positive mark on the franchise. Let’s go down memory lane and see who some of these bests were for the Browns.
Cleveland Browns No. 10 best free agent: LB Karlos Dansby
The Browns needed a linebacker in 2014 to replace linebacker D’Qwell Jackson who had just been released that offseason. Jackson had been a vocal leader of the Browns defense and with his surprising release, they needed to find a good replacement that could bring that same level of expertise on the field.
Karlos Dansby was signed after having a nice career with the Arizona Cardinals. He continued to produce and helped the team get close to a playoff appearance as the team finished going 7-9 in 2014. He collected 201 tackles, three sacks, and four interceptions in his time with the team.
The teams weren’t the best for the Browns when Dansby played for them, but he always was a scrappy player and even had some impressive picks in his career.