4 free agents Browns were wise to avoid

The Browns might have dodged some bullets

Christian Wilkins
Christian Wilkins / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Christian Wilkins, DT

On the surface, it would have made a lot of sense for the Browns to target Christian Wilkins in free agency. He was even one of the names mentioned as a player they would be willing to kick the tires on once the legal tampering period began. However, general manager Andrew Berry did the right thing by never throwing his hat in the ring.

Wilkins, who was the 13th overall pick out of Clemson in 2019, has spent the past five seasons playing for the Miami Dolphins. He's been an excellent defensive tackle with 355 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 19 passes batted down, four forced fumbles, and one interception. He's also been nearly as impactful rushing the passer as he is in run defense.

The problem isn't Wilkins' talent, but it was the contract he signed. The Las Vegas Raiders swooped in and signed Wilkins to a four-year deal worth $110 million, and $82.75 million of that will be guaranteed. As good of a player as he is, that's the type of money reserved for a player such as Myles Garrett, who can carry a defense. Actually, it's more than what Garrett received on an annual basis.

Wilkins is a very good player but the Raiders aren't exactly threatening to go to the Super Bowl now that he's there. And it's hard to say the Browns defense would see enough difference between Wilkins and the duo of Shelby Harris and Maurice Hurst to justify $27.5 million per year.

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