Cleveland Should Tag Cameron
The next off-season period of the NFL starts Monday, February 16th, allowing teams to apply the franchise or the rarely used transition tag on one player of choice. Considering Cleveland has numerous pending free agents, they may use their tag to keep an important position player around for at least one more year. The free agent in question is tight end Jordan Cameron.
Now we’ve all heard the reports that a break up is inevitable, but the Cleveland Browns should contemplate all options. Especially if the Browns don’t plan on being huge spenders in free agency, as stated by owner Jimmy Haslam, “I think you’ll see us playing less in free agency.” Cleveland may not inquire about new acquisitions, but they should at least try to retain some assets.
Consider the fact that the tight end position is one of the cheapest franchise tags. The projected price is around $8.2 million and would leave Cleveland with around $45 million left to spend. This could be a win-win situation for both Cameron and the Browns.
Cameron missed six games due to injuries throughout the 2014 campaign. Obviously, his production diminished as he only caught 24 passes compared to his 80 receptions in 2013. The veteran’s talent is undeniable, but it’s tough to give a huge contract to a player who appeared in just ten games and who suffered three concussions in two years. Even paying the man $8 million is a high-risk, high-reward situation, but it allows a relatively cheap and temporary solution. No long term commitment will allow Cameron to showcase his talents for a contract next year. Who knows, if he can stay healthy and Cleveland shows improvement, they might rekindle their relationship.
Regardless of that, a renting a playmaker for one season allows Cleveland to focus on other areas of concern like re-signing Buster Skrine, Ahtyba Rubin or Jabaal Sheard. Not to mention when you inspect this roster Cleveland is in need of receivers. Josh Gordon is suspended for 2015 while Miles Austin and Travis Benjamin are set to become free agents. Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel are the only rays of sunshine for the Browns receiving core. Additionally, backup tight ends Jim Dray and Gary Barnidge aren’t known for their game changing receiving abilities.
Needless to say, Jordan Cameron may be our only hope at some success. His ceiling is sky high and could regain Pro Bowl form. Cleveland could benefit from his presence even if just for one year. The Browns may address the wide receiver position via free agency or early in the draft, but they should use a middle round pick to draft a tight end. This future Browns tight end could learn and develop while Cameron plays for his next big contract.
Image Credited to: www.nflspinzone.com