Browns season never stops. Especially when you have the third most salary cap space and an aggressive GM in John Dorsey. This is where he shines: free agency and drafts. I know I can’t wait for the Browns to start the 2019 season, just like everyone else in Cleveland and this is where it all starts. In that case, I decided to pick three free agents that I could legitimately see the front office going after in the off-season that can all be beneficial for the Browns. So, I chose John Brown, Geno Smith and Trent Brown.
Coming off his best season since 2015, Brown is an interesting free agent to go after. Before coming to Baltimore last year, he had two seasons in a row with injuries but was able to bounce back and play in all 16 games. He started off hot with three touchdowns and three games with over 80 receiving yards in the first four games. He somewhat dropped off after that but was able to finish with 42 receptions and 715 receiving yards.
There are two things that I love about the Browns possibly signing Brown. For one, he can be signed for cheap. He has never been a leading receiver in any of his five seasons and is coming off a one-year contract where he wasn’t anything special. Getting a player cheaper than they might be worth is always a great thing. Secondly, he is a great deep threat. Last year, he averaged 17 yards per reception and averages 15 yards per reception in his career. I am drooling just over the thought of him and Baker Mayfield pairing up. The Browns need to improve the wide receiver group to add more talent around Baker and Brown is a solid option, especially when the market isn’t great for wide receivers.
An underrated need for the Browns in the off-season is a back-up quarterback. We all know Tyrod Taylor won’t be back for next season and Drew Stanton is past the point of playing. Stanton is simply there as a veteran to help Baker develop. That is where Geno Smith comes in. It is an interesting pick for this job, but I love that Smith has experience as a starter and a back-up. He can come here ready to take on the back-up role but can be ready if there is ever a need for him to play. On top of it all, he is still young. He can be a great scout player for the defense. As the Patriots can attest, having a solid back-up, like Brian Hoyer, is crucial to your defense’s success. I think Hoyer is probably better than Smith, but I like that he is athletic and young, allowing him to take on the roles of more opposing quarterbacks. Smith could be an interesting addition to the quarterback room.
Possibly the most important position to be fulfilled in the off-season is left tackle. Greg Robinson was able to come in and keep the offensive line afloat, but he isn’t someone you would be confident in to protect Baker for long. The popular option is to fix this issue through the draft, but signing Trent Brown might be an even better option. He is coming off a Super Bowl win with the Patriots, but he wants to get paid this off-season. The Patriots aren’t expected to offer him much, so this is the perfect player to spend the money on. According to Kyle Shanahan, “he is the best pass protection tackle I’ve ever seen in my life.” As a matter of fact, pass protection is exactly what we need. He doesn’t have the most experience, but he started all 16 games and three playoff games, protecting the most important quarterback to protect, Tom Brady. The best part is that he’ll only be 26 by the start of the season. He isn’t quite a top-tier offensive tackle, but he still has plenty of time to improve. Protecting our franchise quarterback is the most important thing right now, so this is where we need to spend our money.