The Cleveland Browns just keep on making moves this off-season. Yesterday, they traded linebacker DeMario Davis to the New York Jets for safety Calvin Pryor. Both players just happen to be set to become unrestricted free agents after this season. Swapping players is just another step to improve the horrendous defense of the Browns.
Calvin Pryor was drafted 18th overall in the first round of the 2014 draft. He was a hard-hitting safety out of Louisville but has had his struggles in the NFL. Pryor is a tackling machine and has 190 tackles in three years to prove it. He is even responsible for the hit that helicoptered Josh McCown. Unfortunately, Calvin isn’t a strong cover safety and his two interceptions in 38 starts justify that statement.
Although Cleveland fills a position of need at safety, they lose a starting inside linebacker. It was assumed that Davis would start in the middle between Jamie Collins and Chris Kirksey who moved to weak side linebacker. However, that is a whole other topic.
It will be interesting to see what formations Gregg Williams has in mind for the current roster. We could see formations with five down linemen and just two linebackers or even plenty of nickel packages (five defensive backs). Pryor could play alongside rookie Jabrill Peppers and Jason McCourty who is expected to play some safety. Your mouth may be salivating right now, but there is no guarantee Pryor will get the starting job let alone making the team.
Pryor’s contract guarantees him $1.6 million, but that is a minimal risk for a young, talented safety trying to revitalize his career entering his fourth season. This is also a chance for the Browns to bring in a versatile player with some veteran experience. Pryor should definitely help to stop the run, but the jury is still out on his pass coverage.
Max Gold is a Senior Writer for Cleveland Sports Talk
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