5 impending free agents the Cleveland Browns should sign in 2023

Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Steelers, Damontae Kazee. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

4. Damontae Kazee, Safety

One of the main issues the Browns have had this season is susceptibility to the deep ball. They allowed Robbie Moore to burn them in Week 1 as the Panthers nearly got a comeback win. In Week 2, the Jets did win with a 66-yard touchdown to Corey Davis being the main reason.

Each of those passes was due to not only communication failures, but a lack of a true deep safety. John Johnson III, Grant Delpit, and Ronnie Harrison all have their good qualities, but they’re also all better in more of a strong safety role.

What they need is a free safety that can defend the deep ball. They would like to go through the draft and pick up a long-term answer but with many other needs (and a limit on picks due to the Deshaun Watson trade), it would make sense to bring in a veteran that can handle the job in case the draft doesn’t fall their way.

Damontae Kazee could be that player for them. A former fifth-round pick from San Diego State, Kazee burst onto the scene in 2018 with seven interceptions for the Atlanta Falcons. His time with them ended with a torn Achilles and he then headed to Dallas for one season. This year, he’s been with the Pittsburgh Steelers and while he missed the start of the season, he’s returned and played well over the past four games.

He would likely be a stop-gap starter but they could do much worse than Kazee.