In order to get you all ready for NFL free agency I’ll be looking at all of the free agents for each team and some possible targets for each team. Starting the ball rolling in 2017’s only perfect team, the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately for Cleveland, the fete they achieved was to join the Detroit Lions as the only NFL teams to go winless over a season in the modern era.
As you might expect from a team that has won just one game in two years the Browns are a very young team. They also have very few free agents in 2018. Their key player to resign (and only free agent of note) is Isaiah Crowell, but even he’s not essential. This is especially true if the team has desires on Saquon Barkley. However, Crowell is an underrated back who is unlikely to demand top dollar and rushed for 853 yards and an average of 4.1 yards.
The Browns have a ridiculous amount of cap space to use this season (approximately): $113 million. It’s definitely an amount that will get them several players, should they choose to make a splash. So who should they target to upgrade a team that has so many holes?
Quarterback: Although the team drafted they were linked to AJ McCarron and, but for an error in submitting the trade paperwork, he would have joined the team last year. At 27, the former Bengals backup played a a handful of games and would be brought in on his potential alone. The premium player available this year is Kirk Cousins but he’s likely to want to sign for a contender. If they can keep him healthy, injury prone Sam Bradford would make sense.
Pass defence: The Browns pass defence was a liability for the majority of 2017 and needs a significant upgrade. still need defensive backs. Patriots Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler and Trumaine Johnson would add instant big name clout to the D. If they want to add a superstar they may stretch throw money at Richard Sherman’s feet. The bargain option here could be Eagles fee agent Patrick Robinson. At safety EJ Reid could provide a punch.
Wide Receiver: Kenny Britt was never going to be the answer to the Cleveland receiving woes and he was consequently traded to New England (who thought enough of him to exercise his extra year option). The team benefitted from the return of Josh Gordon from suspension. If he truly has turned his life around then Gordon can take over games but at this junction he’s somewhat unreliable from an availability standpoint and Coleman has been injured and inconsistent and flat out disappointing. In two seasons he’s accounted for 56 receptions for 718 yards and five touchdowns. They need more.
So who should the Browns add? Twenty four year old Allen Robinson has made his share of plays for the Jaguars but ended last season on IR. He also struggled against press coverage. Sammy Watkins was a good complimentary receiver for the Rams and added 593 yards in 2017 and may be an option. Should they decide it’s better the devil you know they may look to bring Terrelle Pryor back to Cleveland.
The Browns made a huge splash before free agency even began. First they picked up one of Miami’s top players, trading a fourth-round pick in 2018 and seventh-round pick in 2019 to the Miami for wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Landry immediately upgrades the Browns receiving Corp and offers a legitimate big play threat from the slot. Despite terrible quarterbacking in 2017, Landry was able to account for 987 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Sorting their quarterback option in the immediate future (and eliminating the fear of AJ McCarron) by trading a third-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Taylor is an underrated signal caller and was partially responsible for the Bills return to the playoffs. He can make plays with his arm or feet and rarely turns the ball over, a concept that seemed foreign to last year’s starter, DeShone Kizer.
Having obtained Taylor the Browns traded away quarterback DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers for cornerback Damarious Randall. The promising Randall will improve one corner spot but I expect the Browns will still add help their.
Finally, the Browns made a mood that I found a bit of a head scratcher. They traded defensive tackle Danny Shelton and a 2018 pick to the Patriots for a 2019 third-round pick. This trade may see the Browns looking for an upgrade by adding the marquee free agent at the position, former Carolina Panther, Star LotuleleI.