Browns lose two key players to NFC West franchises

The NFC West liked what they saw from the Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns, Nick Harris
Cleveland Browns, Nick Harris / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

When you draft well, it becomes harder to keep players from leaving. The Cleveland Browns are starting to see this as they've had to watch players such as Sione Takitaki sign with the New England Patriots. They also had to watch as the NFC West swooped in and took away two players drafted in 2020.

First, it was defensive tackle Jordan Elliott who signed with the San Francisco 49ers. With Javon Kinlaw heading to the New York Jets and Arik Armstead set to be released, the Niners signed Elliott to a two-year deal worth $10 million.

A former third-round pick from Missouri, Elliott struggled to find his footing early in his career. This past season, however, he blossomed under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. His numbers might not have been wild (21 tackles, 2.5 sacks) but it was easy to see the improvement he made.

Elliott will now find himself going up against one of his former teammates, Nick Harris, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks. For Harris, it's a one-year deal for $2.51 million and there's some irony here since he lost his chance at earning the starting job to Ethan Pocic, who Cleveland signed from Seattle.

Harris played at Washington, so he's familiar with the west coast. While he wasn't the starter in Cleveland, it will still be a tough loss. Harris played in 311 snaps on offense (25 percent of the snaps) and was often lined up as the fullback. He will be replaced by Luke Wypler as the backup center but his ability to lead the way near the goal line will be missed.

Cleveland played the NFC West last season and they were able to knock off the 49ers — handing them their first loss of the season. They then lost to the Seahawks in Seattle two weeks later. Both games were tightly contested and came down to the final minutes.

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