Top free agents available for Browns before free agency officially begins

Arik Armstead, Jerome Baker top the list of available free agents

Arik Armstead
Arik Armstead / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past couple of days, there have been a lot of contract agreements announced but none can be signed until 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 13. That's when free agency officially begins and there could be even more breaking news when that happens as teams not only sign players but they can officially release them as well. For the Cleveland Browns, that could help them as they continue to build their roster.

So far, they've retained three key members of their defensive line by agreeing to terms with Za'Darius Smith, Maurice Hurst, and Shelby Harris. They also signed Jordan Hicks, who replaced Anthony Walker, Jr. The big news, however, has been their decision to let Joe Flacco walk and instead sign Jameis Winston as the backup to Deshaun Watson.

There will be more than enough time to dig into the roster before the season begins but for now, we continue to look at which players remain available for the Browns to sign. Here's a look at some of the top names

Arik Armstead, DT

After not coming to terms on a restructured deal with the San Francisco 49ers, Arik Armstead is expected to be released when the new league year officially begins.

Armstead would be a home run signing for Cleveland but it won't be easy to land him. He's a disruptive 3-tech who was playing on a five-year, $85 million deal signed in 2020. He might not make that much but he's not taking a discount to join a new team when he wouldn't give one to the 49ers.

D.J. Reader, DT

D.J. Reader would be a solid run-stuffer in this defense and the Browns were reportedly interested. He's set to meet with the Lions, so if they want to make something happen, they might have to wait and see what happens there.

Jerome Baker, LB

A former Ohio State standout, Jerome Baker was released by the Miami Dolphins after six seasons with the team. He dealt with some nagging injuries in 2023 and missed four games but has been very durable outside of that season. Adding him along with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Jordan Hicks would be impressive.

Other free agents

Those are the top three targets for the Browns but there are some others they can consider as well. Here's a look at a few free agents who could fit.

D'Onta Foreman, RB
J.K. Dobbins, RB
A.J. Dillon, RB
Sheldon Rankins, DT
Tim Settle, DT
Isaiah Simmons, LB
Cody Barton, LB

More Browns coverage