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) /
3 of 5
Cleveland Browns
Browns, Daron Payne. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

3. Daron Payne, Defensive Tackle

This one might be the toughest on the list to pull off, but it would fill the greatest need.

There’s no debating what the absolute biggest problem has been for Cleveland this season. We know they’ve given up the deep ball and we also know Cade York has missed too many kicks. But none of that is as bad as the way they constantly get gashed on the ground.

Even teams not known for running have been able to rack up huge numbers on this unit. They absolutely have to make some moves this offseason to become better on the defensive line and the top player available in the offseason that could help them is Daron Payne.

A former first-round pick from Alabama in 2018, Payne has spent the past five seasons with Washington. In that time, he’s proven to be one of the best interior linemen in the NFL. Not only can he shut the run down, but he’s also capable of getting after the quarterback. This season he has a career-high 6.5 sacks.

With Payne being such a productive player, he’s not going to come cheap. He’ll want to get paid in the offseason but if the Browns are serious about making a run, they should see what it would take to make this work. They’ll likely have to release some high-priced players who aren’t producing and could lose Jadeveon Clowney but it would be worth it to add Payne.