With free agency and a new NFL league year less than 10 days away, rumors are swirling regarding the Cleveland Browns.
1. Justin Houston is set to be released by the Kansas City Chiefs, according to FanSided’s Matt Verdame. Houston’s name had been bloated in the Twittersphere as a possible trade candidate for Cleveland Browns general manger John Dorsey.
A lot of connections will be made to the Browns, and although Dorsey didn’t draft the outside linebacker, he was employed with the Chiefs during Houston’s best season.
Something of note Browns’ fans should consider with Houston is that part of the reason he’s become expendable is because of the Chiefs’ switch to a 4-3 defense. Kansas City is feeling the cap crunch, and with the switch in schemes, Houston, a 30-year-old with injury history, isn’t a part of the future.
That’s the same base scheme the Browns play, meaning Houston would be better suited to play as a down defensive end.
With that said, there are some who think he could make the switch to an outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. It’s not a sure, thing though.
Veradame also reported the Chiefs tried to trade Houston, but found no suitors. It’s interesting, because if the Browns wanted him badly enough, they could’ve coughed up the third- or fourth-round pick it probably wouldn’t cost to take on his contract.
Now, Houston, who had nine regular-season sacks in 2018, gets to decide where he’ll play next.
2. The Cleveland Browns are not close to signing a contract with Breshad Perriman, according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot.
The long-time Browns’ writer suggested Perriman’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, may be trying to set the market through free agency.
Perriman saved his career in a Browns uniform catching passes from Baker Mayfield, so he can’t be blamed for trying to cash in. Heck, his career was almost over and he probably never thought he’d get this opportunity.
But he’s got to be careful, too, because the Browns might just be the right team at the right moment. Terrelle Prior recently spoke about he messed up by passing on a multi-year deal from the Browns to sign a one-year, “prove-it” deal with the Washington Redskins.
He never came close to duplicating the 1,000-yard season he enjoyed with the Browns after he left.
Prior was represented by Rosenhaus, as well.
Look for the Browns to hold onto Johnson this season, because Hunt figures to miss a good chunk of time due to his forthcoming suspension.
With that said, general manager John Dorsey probably wouldn’t hesitate to trade his backup for an offer he couldn’t refuse.
4. In Cabot’s story, she also write Collins will be traded or cut.
If he’s traded the Browns will have to re-work the deal before he’s dealt because no team wants to take on the linebackers $12.5 million salary.
"“If the Browns trade Collins, a team will most likely want to re-work his contract, which includes a $12.5 million base salary for 2020. But he received all of his guaranteed money from his current extension — $26.4 million — from the Browns, so that’s not an issue for a new team,” Cabot wrote."
There’s a lot left to play out regarding the draft and free agency, but the idea of Collins stick around has grown on me just because of the Browns’ lack of depth at the position.
If Collins isn’t going to play there, who will? Genard Avery is hyped as pass rusher and looks promising going into year two, but there are still questions about whether he can drop into coverage.