2. Bolster the EDGE with a free agent addition
For two years, the Browns were able to pair Jadeveon Clowney with Myles Garrett, giving them two No. 1 overall picks on the edge. Garrett continued to be their defensive leader while Clowney revived his career in 2021. Then in 2022, the relationship fell apart as Clowney accused the coaching staff of tailoring their game plan to Garrett — which is exactly what any coaching staff should do.
With him out the door, the Browns swung a trade for Za'Darius Smith. He was a solid No. 2 edge rusher but had just 5.5 sacks which was less than he expected. Even so, he's likely going to be able to command a decent amount of money in free agency. Cleveland could see what it would take to land him — or they could swing for the fences and build up their defensive line even more through free agency.
Options they can kick around include Josh Allen or Danielle Hunter who will break the bank. Both had huge campaigns in 2023 and trying to land them would necessitate some creative accounting. There are also more affordable options such as Dorance Armstrong or A.J. Epenesa.
Armstong has 16 sacks over the past two seasons for Dallas and is a strong run defender. Epenesa is also good setting the edge against the run and has come on strong against the pass as well. He's recorded 6.5 sacks in each of the past two seasons for the Bills.
Cleveland can even go for a low-risk/high-reward signing such as Randy Gregory or Carl Lawson. Whatever they do, they need to make sure they have plenty of players who can slow down the opposing quarterback.