The Cleveland Browns have signed 14 players to the reserved/futures list and these are the five players to keep an eye out for heading into 2021.
The Cleveland Browns signed 14 players to the reserved/futures list today, which is a group of guys the Browns are securing the rights to just in case a team comes calling to poach them. These guys aren’t stars by any means but they could be future 53-man roster guys, or even starters eventually.
While the team signed 14, five really stand out as guys to keep an eye out on.
These are those five and the reasons why.
CB A.J. Green
This one should be obvious since he signed the largest contract ever for a player on a practice squad. A.J. Green, like the other four on this list, are projects. Guys who need a couple of years to get to a point they can contribute properly. Green is the cream of the crop, on paper and considering how many free agents the Browns have in the secondary, it might make more sense to move on from the struggling veterans and let a younger guy try his luck.
TE Kyle Markway
Kevin Stefanski likes his two-tight end sets. Right now the Browns are set at the position with Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant, and David Njoku, not to mention Steve Carlson. Yet, if someone gets hurt or moves on, then Kyle Markway could be promoted to the main roster. He’s a big blocker, 6’4, 250 lbs, and could be a valuable asset in the run game.
FB Johnny Stanton
Andy Janovich still has two years left on his deal but as we’ve seen before with guys like Mike Alsott and Peyton Hillis, sometimes fullbacks change positions. Who knows what happens in the offseason or even the start of next season. Johnny Stanton is a guy who can not only fill in at fullback but basically everywhere else too. He has played fullback, tight end, quarterback, and linebacker at a high level, so his ability to fill in if needed anywhere and everywhere could be invaluable. Here’s hoping the former UNLV quarterback can finally breakthrough.
K Matt McCrane
With Cody Parkey being a free agent, the Browns may just want to use a guy they already have a working knowledge of. Matt McCrane used to kick for the XFL’s New York Guardians. McCrane may not be a household name but the Browns found a practice squad kicking gem once before in Phil Dawson, so it’s entirely likely that they can do it again. Plus, the odds of Parkey coming back aren’t great.
WR Derrick Willies
For those unfamiliar with the Texas Tech product, Derrick Willies is a 6’4, 210-pound wide receiver with a 4.46 40-yard dash. He’s one big hombre and considering Rashard Higgins (6’1) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (6’2) are the tallest on the team, the Browns would be wise to keep Willies around, especially for red-zone situations. Assuming the Browns move on from Odell Beckham Jr. to save salary cap space, Willies should be viewed as a potential main-roster player.