The Cleveland Browns continue their spending spree as free agency begins by signing former Tennessee Titan tackle Jack Conklin to a deal.
Well, you can’t say this Cleveland Browns team isn’t making an effort. After obtaining the best free-agent tight end on the market, the Browns locked up arguably the best offensive tackle available as well in Jack Conklin. Conklin, only 25 years old, played for the Tennessee Titans for his first four seasons, after being drafted 9th overall in the 2016 Draft.
Injuries and inconsistent play over his first few years caused the Titans to pause some in offering him a massive deal, even after Conklin had his best season to date. Conklin now arrives in Cleveland with a $42 million deal, over three years, with $20 million of it being owed in his first year. The deal will include $30 million guaranteed over the three-year span. The deal was reportedly kept short so that if the NFL salary cap does in fact go up in three years, that Conklin will be able to get one more massive deal. Assuming the cap does rise.
Conklin is not supposed to come in and play left tackle though for the Browns, despite being paid like one. According to Ian Rapoport, Conklin will in fact be brought in to play right tackle for the Browns, meaning the team is still looking to secure the left side of the line as well. With the Washington Redskins wanting a reported second-round draft pick for Trent Williams, and nearly half of the Browns cap space for 2020 being spent already, it looks like the most obvious choice is to still pursue a left tackle in the Draft.
Conklin is young, a Pro Bowl-caliber player, and gives the Browns some much needed positive buzz heading into free agency at a time when a lot of fans are down on the team. This was the right move. With Conklin and the earlier signing of Austin Hooper, it looks like The Browns can in fact afford to trade down to garner more picks. This way they can get a potential steal in Ezra Cleveland, while still keeping spots in the first round.
Can’t say the Browns aren’t doing everything they can to improve the offense. If only they would have kept Joe Schobert too.