While the wide receiver position is drawing the most attention by Browns fans, the defensive line might be more important. Currently, the Browns have four players signed to play in 2022, DE Myles Garrett, DE Curtis Weaver, DT Jordan Elliott and DT Tommy Togiai. If we’re going by position, that’s a DE1, a DE4, a DT3 and a DT4. The last two years, the team has kept eight defensive linemen on the final 53-man roster. Everyone is convinced GM Andrew Berry will go wide receiver first in free agency and the draft, but he might not. Last year all the experts were convinced the Browns would address the edge position first in free agency. The team courted DE Jadeveon Clowney and attempted to claim Takk McKinley off waivers several times. So, it was assumed an edge rusher would be signed first. Nope, the secondary was first.
The hopeful feeling is that the Browns will sign Clowney to a new deal According to https://www.spotrac.com/ his market value average per year is $12.7 million. add incentives of $4 million on a three-year deal and I think the Browns would be happy. But would Clowney be happy? Here’s a list of potential replacements with their market values based on a per-year average according to https://www.spotrac.com/ & https://overthecap.com/. Chandler Jones (Arizona)-$14.5 million based on a three-year deal. Randy Gregory (Dallas)-$13.2 million based on a three-year deal. Emmanuel Ogbah (Miami)-$10.1 million based on a three-year deal.
If the Browns are able to re-sign Clowney or any of the above, then GM Andrew Berry only needs to sign a rotational player to replace Takk McKInley. Those currently available are Derek Barnett (Eagles), Charles Harris (Lions), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Rams), Arden Key (49ers) and Melvin Ingram, III (Chiefs). As for their average per year market values: Barnett-$3.5 million, Harris-$ 8.6 million, Okoronkwo-$2.5 million, Key-$2.5 million and Ingram-$5 million.
Looking at the defensive tackle position, the currently available big-name players are Akiem Hicks (Chicago)-$5.5 million based on a two-year deal and Calais Campbell (Baltimore)-$13 million based on a two-year deal. If neither can be signed, then GM Andrew Berry might have to sign two mid-level players. B.J. Hill (Bengals), D.J. Jones (49ers), Sebastain Joseph-Day (Rams), Tim Settle (Commanders) and Maurice Hurst (49ers). All of these players are early-down run stoppers except Hurst who is more of an interior pass rusher. B.J. Hill can do both. As for their average per year market values: Hill-$5 million, Jones-$5 million, Joseph-Day-$3 million, Settle-$2 million and Hurst-$2 million.
Because of the need, the defensive line will have to be addressed both in free agency and the draft. The question is, does Andrew Berry rate the need higher than wide receiver? We soon shall see.