January 24, 2014; Kapolei, HI, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (left), Buffalo Bills safety Jarius Byrd (second from left), New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (second from right) and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) during the 2014 Pro Bowl practice at Kapolei High School. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Free Agency: A Perfect Cleveland Browns First Day


 

NFL Free Agency is about to start today at 4PM. Many rumors will swirl between now and then, and even after. The new format, with conversations allowed before kickoff time today, makes today more exciting. It has the 3 day build up that takes place for months with the NFL Draft. Here is a real quick perfect day for the Cleveland Browns according to FoS:

Safety

We already covered the likelihood of Donte Whitner joining the Browns in this article. For our Perfect First day the Browns also add Jarius Byrd as one of their big ticket items. Whitner, who likes to go by Hitner, replaces T.J. Ward for hopefully half the cost while Byrd provides free safety ball hawking ability. His play in the backend would allow Whitner to drop down into the box often and use his experience to make free lancing plays.

Cornerback

Signing both Whitner and Byrd would put a decent dent into the cap space available but should leave room for a lesser cornerback. Tarrell Brown, Captain Munnerlyn and Brandon Browner could fit the bill here. The other part of a perfect day is the extension of Joe Haden to a big contract. Locking him up gives comfort to the rest of the team, and free agents that the team has a long term plan.

Wide Receiver

This may have already been covered with the possible tipping off by Dexter McCluster. McCluster is a strong candidate as a slot receiver and could find himself creatively used in Kyle Shanahan’s system. We advocated the Browns spending a late round pick on DeAnthony Thomas or Dri Archer so McCluster could eliminate them. Adding McCluster could allow for the Browns to look for a outside guy, someone like Hakeem Nicks or Kenny Britt looking for a make good contract or spend on James Jones.

Offensive Line

Adding a offensive lineman, or two, in free agency and the draft should be a high priority. If the Browns have their eye on a guy in the first round they could pass here. Geoff Schwartz is available and could fit next to his brother, reports in today are that he won’t return to the Chiefs. Michael Oher and Travelle Wharton are a little farther down the list but could fit for the Browns.

Linebacker

The Browns have a hole at inside linebacker. Even if they plan to move Paul Kruger inside, they need to at least add 1 starter level player in either free agency or the draft. This writer is particular to Ryan Shazier in the draft but who knows how far he could fall. The best inside backer in free agency is Karlos Dansby, a older player who could command good money due to the scarcity of the position. Brandon Spikes and Arthur Moats are also options here.

Quarterback

Just kidding. Matt Schaub would be a fine backup, if he is released by the Houston Texans which he has not been. This writer would be okay going into camp with Brian Hoyer, a first or second round pick, a later round pick and either Schaub or Rex Grossman. Nothing in free agency screams first day.

Who did we miss that you would want on the first day? 

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