NFL free agency grades: Browns pass the test during tampering period

The Browns kept several key players and upgraded one important position ahead of free-agency

Browns, Jameis Winston
Browns, Jameis Winston / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Browns overall grade for tampering period

In addition to the gains, and extensions, Cleveland lost a few players. Let's check that out before assigning the final grade.

Jordan Elliott, DT, San Francisco 49ers: Two-Years, $10 million: Winner, Browns

Jordan Elliott indeed showed progress in year four but it's surprising to see he's making more per year than both Maurice Hurst and Shelby Harris. Elliott was the fourth-best defensive tackle in Cleveland, making this a deal the Browns weren't going to do.

Sione Takitaki, LB, New England Patriots: Two-Years, $6.65 million: Winner, Patriots

This is a tough loss. Sione Takitaki is a sure-tackler and is solid against the run. Having him, JOK, and Jordan Hicks would have been great. And he didn't break the bank, so it would have been a good signing for them.

Anthony Walker, LB, Miami Dolphins: One-Year (Undisclosed): Winner, Browns

It was time for Anthony Walker to head elsewhere. He was a great veteran leader but the injuries were too concerning.

Michael Ford, CB, Houston Texans: Two-Years, $4.5 million: Winner, Texans

This loss could be an issue. Michael Ford is an underrated defender who was one of the better special teams players Cleveland had in 2023. Houston had a phenomenal two days and landing Ford was a move no one talked about — but it could pay off.

Browns overall grade: B+

Overall, the Browns had a good couple of days. They made sure they have a starting defensive line and there are two linebackers they feel very good about. Even if Jameis Winston isn't as popular as Joe Flacco, he's capable of winning games in this offense.

Looking ahead, it would be nice to see another running back added and perhaps a linebacker who is capable of starting. They could even stand to locate another ace for their special teams to replace Ford.

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