There are going to be hundreds of names in the free agency pool this offseason and the Cleveland Browns are in the market for some help. We need to improve at certain positions and add depth for others. The Browns also need to compensate for any departures as well. So without further ado, I introduce to you three potential signings Cleveland could consider.
1.) Dez Bryant 6’2″ 220 lbs
Although he may not be a fan favorite and his passion can often be misconstrued, signing the wide receiver could make sense. After three consecutive seasons of 1,200 yards and signing a five year extension worth $70 million with the Dallas Cowboys, Bryant started digressing. He was limited to nine games the following year and missed some action in 2016 as well. Another “down year” in 2017 forced a tough decision from Dallas to cut him prior to the 2018 season.
Dez Bryant turned down a three-year deal from Baltimore in order to get a one year, prove it deal. Seven months later, the New Orleans Saints called up the receiver to solidify the wide receiver position. Two days into practice and he torn his Achilles.
Now, the 30-year-old really will only be getting a one year, prove it deal with whomever. The injury is a little worrisome, but I’m all about that low risk, high reward. The price will be right and Dez Bryant still has a lot in the tank. The 2016 and 2017 were “down years” not because of the decline in talent or skill but because of Ezekiel Elliot. They have been relying heavily on the run ever since he came in the league. Look at Bryant’s stats from those two years. In 2016, he only had 50 receptions, but averaged 15.9 yards per catch (796 yards) and in 2017 he was a little more involved with 69 catches for 838 yards (12.1 avg).
Dez wants to throw up more of the X and I believe he is capable. He has decent height and a big frame. He would be an amazing red zone target and I think his 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons proves that. Bryant would come at a cheap price and add quality depth to a position of need.
2.) Morris Claiborne 5’11” 192 lbs
Another potential low risk, high reward candidate for the Browns to consider is Morris Claiborne. They can certainly use the help in the secondary and Claiborne may come at a respectable price after entering the league in high regard.
The cornerback was drafted in the first round by the Cowboys back in 2012 and had a decent rookie season with 55 tackles and an interception. After that…injuries took over, letting him play in 47 out of 80 possible games.
When Claiborne’s tenure in Dallas was over, he signed consecutive one year, “prove it” deals with the New York Jets worth $5 and $7 million respectively. He played in 30 of 32 games and performed well. The former LSU Tiger racked up 100 tackles, 22 defended passes and three picks.
He may be looking for a multi-year contract when he becomes a free agent this time around. I would imagine it being in the 2-3 years range with a price tag around $8-12 million. I could see the Browns reasonably signing Claiborne to a two year, $10 million dollar contract. Although Claiborne would be a nice addition to this team, he might ask for more money and/or contract length. The 29 year old would improve our secondary and add depth if a deal was to get done. I think he would give Terrance Mitchell competition for the number two cornerback spot.
3.) Jason Verrett 5’10” 188 lbs
This candidate would definitely qualify for a one-year, “prove it” deal. Verrett has played just one full season since being drafted in the first round by the then San Diego Chargers in 2014. He suffered a
I know, it’s a long shot and most will think I’m crazy for mentioned him, but the theme is low risk, high reward. Verrett showed potential which explains why the Chargers held onto him. I believe he would be worth a look and if a deal was to get done it would probably be $1-3 million range probably incentive based. It makes sense from a depth perspective. The cornerback doesn’t have to play every down and he showed potential when healthy. It may be lost cause, but it couldn’t hurt to give him a chance to make this team.