5 Free Agent Defensive Tackles Cleveland Browns could target in 2023

John Suchan
defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns
Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Khalen Saunders. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Browns target No.1: Khalen Saunders, Kansas City, DT

When you’re watching the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend in an AFC Divisional Game, keep an eye on Kansas City defensive tackle Khalen Saunders.

He’s finishing up his rookie contract after being drafted by the Chiefs back in 2019. He’ll be looking for a raise in his second contract as he hits free agency. While the Chiefs are a winning organization, Saunders might be attracted to play for a coach like Jim Schwartz who has a history of producing Pro Bowlers.

Saunders really came to play in his fourth season as he recorded career-highs in nearly all major statistical categories. While he wasn’t a starter, he still produced while playing close to 40 percent of the defensive snaps.

He tallied 48 tackles this season along with 3.5 sacks. In his best game of the year, a Week 3 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, he had eight tackles and two quarterback hits. He had a grade of 60 with PFF and tied for seventh place with 20 assisted tackles.

His market value is listed out at between $6-7 million, but the Browns might be able to sign him to a deal a bit cheaper with some incentives built in along the way.

While none of these free agents are great bargains at this point, we’ll have to track the market as free agency gets underway in mid-March. Cleveland needs to invest in this part of the team the most and I’d suspect they will figure out a way to pay a player or two a bit more than many of us are predicting at this point.

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