Daylon McCutcheon – 103 (96 Starts)
The 2005 season would see two Browns’ legends play their last snape for the franchise with Orpheus Roye and Daylon McCutcheon both finishing up together. Roye went back to the Steelers for a SuperBowl run, while McCutcheon ended up retiring two years later due to injuries. If Roye was the Browns’ first successful foray into free agency, McCutcheon could be argued was the first successful draft pick the Browns ever had.
While there is a case for Tim Couch and Kevin Johnson, both members of that 1999 class, it was McCutcheon that had longevity. He was a starter for all but a handful of games of his seven-year Browns career.
He was easily the team’s best secondary player, and while that wasn’t a hard feat at the time, with his only competition being Anthony Henry, he was insanely reliable. Maybe never as good as Joe Haden at his peak but McCutcheon’s peak was arguably longer and had a lesser noticeable drop-off.
It’s hard to say what would’ve happened if McCutcheon didn’t end up needing microfracture knee surgery, which ultimately ended his career. He missed all of 2006 and was released right before the Browns 10-6 season in 2007. Had the Browns held onto him, and he was healthy, he may have made the difference and gotten the team into the playoffs that year.