Sean Lee (LB)
Sean Lee is going to be 34 and might just retire. The Dallas Cowboy’s legend is a free agent and with the team needing to upgrade and overhaul a lot of their positions and simply not having the money to retain a lot of veterans, Lee could be a victim of a new regime. Lee isn’t a pro bowler anymore and won’t be worth a big deal if he does hit the free-agent market, but if he does in fact move on from Dallas, Lee could have a lot of worth in Cleveland.
Lee was used to playing in bad weather during his time at Penn State, so moving to Cleveland shouldn’t be that big of an adjustment. He’s versatile enough to play inside or outside still and has the ability to sniff out plays and get tackles. He racked up 86 last year in 13 starts on a team that needed every play they could muster on defense.
Lee has value on the team even if they decide to retain Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert. They’re still in need of a third starter, and Lee should come in on a very fair contract, allowing the Browns the ability to still go after bigger names in free agency. Lee, like the rest of the list, is not a long term solution to shoring up the linebacking corps. Nor is he even guaranteed to start depending on how some of the younger players progress.
What Lee does offer is consistency, leadership, and the ability to fill in as needed; just like he did in Dallas. Like everyone on this list, he’s only as valuable as long as you can get them on a fair deal. Two years, maybe five million total is about the max one should pay for a mid-30-year-old player with an injury history. You can fill the contract with incentives, so if he does sign and does play well, he can up his salary but that’s the deal to give him. He’s not someone you’re signing to be a Defensive Player of the Year. He’d simply be someone to fill the gap until the Browns draft the next starter.