With plenty of cap room at their disposal, the Cleveland Browns may be very busy during free agency. What players top the team’s free-agent shopping list?
It’s another offseason and more changes for the Cleveland Browns. While the team will have Hue Jackson at the helm for a third consecutive year, there’s a new general manager at the controls in former Kansas City Chiefs’ executive John Dorsey. Yes, the club comes off the second 0-16 season in NFL history and Jackson owns a 1-31 record as head coach with the franchise. But with five picks in the first two rounds in April and an abundance of salary cap room (figures via Spotrac), the Browns could extremely busy during free agency.
So who could Dorsey and the club invest in come early march? Here are five choices that would make the most sense for Jackson’s squad.
5. CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, Los Angeles Rams
A year ago, no team in the National Football League gave up more touchdowns passes than the Cleveland Browns. Hue Jackson’s club allowed a whopping 36 scores through the air, with opposing passes connecting for two or more TDs in all but three contests in ’16. Of course, the Browns’ defense in general was pretty awful as the club allowed the second-most total yards in the league that year. Hence the decision to part ways with coordinator Ray Horton and replace him with Gregg Williams.
Jackson’s squad still has its share of work to do on this side of the football. But the Browns did make progress in this area. The Browns moved up 17 spots in terms of total defense (14th). All told, Cleveland surrendered 12 fewer offensive touchdowns in 2017 (42) and gave up 28 TD passes – eight fewer than in ’16.
You can never have enough good cornerbacks when it comes to the game these days. And in a division in which your defense has to deal with the likes of Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown and Cincinnati’s A.J. Green at least twice a year, you need all the help you can get in regards to the secondary.
Could new general manager John Dorsey take a long look at Nickell Robey-Coleman? In his first season with the Los Angeles Rams, he finished with 46 tackles, a pair of interceptions while knocking down nine passes. All told, the Browns managed only seven interceptions this past year – the second-fewest total in the league.