5 pressing needs Browns must address this offseason

Browns general manager Andrew Berry has to make these 5 needs a priority this offseason

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Estimated at nearly $20 million over the cap heading into the offseason, Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry is going to have his work cut out for him. Thankfully, there are ways he can get the team under the cap but simply going below the number isn't enough. The Browns also need to make enough room to pay their incoming rookie class, hand out any needed extensions, and sign outside free agents.

In the past several years, Berry has proven he knows how to make it all work. Cleveland was supposed to be in danger last year as well yet had no problem bringing in Za'Darius Smith, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Elijah Moore. They even extended Grant Delpit during the season.

That's why there's no reason to panic. Instead, we can just look ahead and identify the areas of concern that need to be addressed. With that being said, here are the top five needs heading into the offseason.

5. Linebacker

Anthony Walker, Jr., Sione Takitaki, and Jacob Phillips are all pending free agents. Cleveland would be wise to keep Takitaki as a SAM linebacker but the others are likely headed elsewhere. Seeing Walker leave will be tough since he's been a vocal and emotional leader on defense but he's had some injury concerns and lacks explosive athleticism. Adding a younger player to put next to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah would be far more impactful.

Phillips won't be missed as much but that's simply because he really hasn't been there. While he has the talent to be a difference-maker, the former third-round pick has appeared in just 20 games in four years. He might be able to find a way to turn his luck around but it won't be in Cleveland.