Three Veteran Free Agents for the Browns Sign Before Training Camp

Three Veteran Free Agents for the Browns Sign Before Training Camp

Ayden Fahlstrom
1 year ago
3 min read
Texans tight end Darren Fells celebrates with wide receiver Will Fuller after scoring

The Cleveland Browns did the bulk of their offseason shopping on the trade market, acquiring star quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Amari Cooper. But after an 8-9 record and a possible Watson suspension looming large, more work is still to be done.

Cleveland gave a single multi-year contract to a free agent this offseason, signing Jakeem Grant to a three-year deal with just over $3 million guaranteed. Even after re-signing edge rusher Jadaveon Clowney to a one-year deal for $10 million, the Browns have an NFL-leading $40 million in cap space on the first day of June.

That cap space is only temporary, as Watson’s cap hit goes from $10 million to $55 million in 2023. But the Browns should still consider adding a few free agents on short-term deals before another team snatches them up.

WR Will Fuller

Cleveland’s wide receiver room has a much different look compared to previous years. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry have been replaced by Cooper and third-round rookie David Bell, with Grant in the mix as well.

However, there is one more receiver the Browns should pursue, especially with Watson behind center.

Before suiting up for just two games with the Miami Dolphins in 2021, Fuller spent five seasons with the Houston Texans. With Watson as his QB, the former first-round pick reeled in 24 touchdowns, including a career-high eight scores in 2020.

Fuller has failed to play more than 11 games since his rookie season due to various injuries and a PED suspension in 2020. But considering his undeniable chemistry with Watson, the 28-year-old would give Cleveland a potent deep threat who elevates its offense even more.

CB Janoris Jenkins

With Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II in the fold, the Browns don’t have an immediate need at cornerback. But after trading Troy Hill during the draft, Cleveland is counting on third-round rookie Martin Emerson to step up and compete with Greedy Williams on Day 1.

If the Browns want to add a veteran stopgap until Emerson is ready, there are a few qualified options available, headlined by the corner they call “Jackrabbit.”

Jenkins is a free agent after starting the majority of the year with the one-seed Tennessee Titans. The one-time Pro Bowler has always been a ballhawk, registering 27 interceptions in 10 seasons.

With Newsome pegged as more of a nickel corner, Cleveland might want some stability on the outside. Jenkins can provide that for at least one season.

DT Linval Joseph

While Clowney and Myles Garrett are both back for another go-around, Cleveland’s interior defensive line took some hits this spring. Both Malik Jackson and Malik McDowell are gone, leaving players like Jordan Elliot, newcomer Taven Bryan, and Day 3 rookie Perrion Winfrey to shoulder the load.

With no veteran leader like Jackson in the mix, the Browns have a clear option for who can take his place at D-tackle.

Since entering the league with the New York Giants in 2010, Joseph has been one of the NFL’s most consistent defensive tackles. The 33-year-old hasn’t played in fewer than 13 games since his second season, earning back-to-back Pro Bowl nods with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 and 2017.

Even in his last two seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers, Joseph has demonstrated an ability to stop the run and get after the QB from time to time. Cleveland would be wise to send out an offer to the well-respected veteran before another team does.

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