Browns: 5 players Cleveland must sign after missing on J.J. Watt

Browns Justin Houston (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Browns Justin Houston (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Browns Carl Lawson (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

1. Carl Lawson

It remains to be seen whether the Bengals will hit Lawson hit free agency. Their is a rumor floating around the annals of the interwebs claim Mike Brown will use the franchise tag on him.

However, if Cincinnati lets him hit the market, Lawson is a player analytics should favor in that he’s just 26, so the Browns would be getting him for his prime seasons.

And while he didn’t post elite money sack numbers, he did get to the quarterback with 64 pressures in 2020, which was the fourth highest total in the league, per Pro Football Focus. Overall, Lawson graded out as PFFs ninth rated pass rusher last season.

Much was made about what J.J. Watt could bring to the Browns with Myles Garrett drawing so much attention, but perhaps the same is true of Lawson. Perhaps some of those pressures become sacks

The franchise tag for a defensive end is expected to range from $15.85 million to $16.29 million, depending on where the cap settles, which is expected to be between $180-$185 million.