3 Browns Cleveland Can't Afford to Let Hit Free Agency in 2024

With NFL free agency opening next month, the Cleveland Browns can't afford to lose these three players to the open market.

Za'Darius Smith is one of three players that the Browns can't afford to let hit free agency.
Za'Darius Smith is one of three players that the Browns can't afford to let hit free agency. / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
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3. LB Sione Takitaki

A former 2019 third-round selection, Sione Takitaki is someone who's gotten better with each passing season in Cleveland.

The veteran linebacker's upward trajectory continued with a strong performance in 2023. Taikitaki made seven starts across 15 appearances, tallying 45 solo tackles, three defended passes, 2.0 sacks, and his first INT since 2020. He was also targeted 28 times by opposing QBs, surrendering only 145 receiving yards and a 65.3 passer rating without a touchdown.

When all was said and done, PFF awarded the former BYU Cougar with a 70.8 defensive grade for his efforts — the 32nd-best mark among 82 eligible linebackers.

After a strong season like that, it's in Cleveland's best interest to re-sign the 28-year-old. The Browns have six linebackers hitting free agency next month, so losing Takitaki would be a massive blow, especially depending on how many others leave.

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