Cleveland Browns: 5 biggest under-the-radar winners of free agency

Cleveland Browns Chris Hubbard (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Chris Hubbard (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Olivier Vernon (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

3. Olivier Vernon

It was a forgone conclusion Olivier Vernon would be a salary cap casualty heading into the offseason. If you would predicted this outcome, it wasn’t insane. Vernon makes a lot of money and routinely gets hurt. That doesn’t seem to mix with the analytics crew at Browns’ HQ.

Well, Vernon’s still here, and pending a major surprise in the NFL Draft where the Browns pass on a tackle to take an edge rusher, it looks like the former Giant will have a job in Cleveland next season.

Imagine for a moment that the Browns did cut Vernon just before the onset of free agency. Remember how much of fuss the talking heads made about releasing Christian Kirksey.

“The Browns are now have another HUGE hole to fill,” many of them said.

What would they would be saying about Vernon? Who’s going to step up and start? Chad Thomas.

Cleveland entered the offseason in need of two tackles, a tight end, a safety and a linebacker. They’ve got two of those things, with the draft yet to come. Perhaps it’s just too much to ask to find pass rusher, as well.

Vernon will make $15 million, which has’s Terry Pluto believing the Browns are looking to acquire another defensive end via trade.

If it happens, it will likely go down around the draft. If not, Vernon gets a shot to redeem his lackluster 2019 season this fall.