Cleveland Browns fix defensive line on Day 1 of Free Agency
The Cleveland Browns did some major work on their defensive front on day one of legal tampering for free agency. They signed two free agents who figure to start immediately for the team and sure up one of the most disappointing units on the roster from a season ago.
Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson agreed to a four-year, $57 million contract with Cleveland, giving them a much-needed starting caliber defensive tackle. This is a huge upgrade for the Browns as they could not stop the run at all from a season ago and Tomlinson comes in as one of the better run stuffers in the league.
The 29-year-old was a former second round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2017 before signing with Minnesota in 2021. Tomlison recorded 42 tackles and 2.5 sacks last season for the Vikings and had a 77.1 PFF grade, which ranked No. 14 among interior defenders.
Cleveland also gave Myles Garrett a new pass rusher opposite of him as they inked former Houston Texan Ogbo Okoronkwo to a 3-year, $22 million deal with the first two seasons of that contract guaranteed.
PFF graded Okoronkwo as the 10th best edge rusher last year as he had 39 quarterback pressures and 5.5 sacks on the season. The Browns must think by pairing him with Garrett, Okoronkwo can turn some of those pressures into sacks in 2023. Okoronkwo should fit in well with the locker room too as former Texans head coach Lovie Smith sang his praises:
Hopefully the Browns have fixed the biggest issue on this team and now can look at other areas for improvement as free agency rolls along. It was always going to be difficult for GM Andrew Berry to draft someone and have that player start right away, especially with no first-round pick. But after signing these two players, The Browns appear to be in good shape on paper.