With each passing day, the start of 2022 NFL season is getting closer for the Cleveland Browns.
Training camp and the NFL preseason are right around the corner, and the Browns still have some players they could get from free agency.
The Browns currently have around $21.3 million in cap space for 2022 to play with.
This means they could do a one-year deal with players to help them in 2022.
With defense being a big part of what the team needs in 2022, what two free agents could they land to fill those defensive gaps?
2. Anthony Barr
If the Browns want an elite outside linebacker to help Jadeveon Clowney, then Anthony Barr is a brilliant match.
The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was let go in 2022 and would give the Browns defense a major upgrade.
With him, Clowney, and Myles Garrett as part of the front seven, it will be difficult for teams to run or pass against them.
However, some might worry about his injury issues from 2021, something that kept him out of several games for the season.
#CowboysNation I'm just going to throw a name out there as a free agent that the #DallasCowboys could get on a cheap deal. Anthony Barr, I know he has injury issues the talent is there. pic.twitter.com/PRgtEqykKC
— Terence Watson (@Watson703) March 24, 2022
But when he’s healthy, he’s an outstanding talent on the field.
He’s a four-time Pro Bowl player and was a leader on the Vikings’ defense for eight seasons.
While he is coming off those leg issues, he’s working out to make his comeback to the NFL.
With him on the defense, and healthy, he can lock down the right side of the field.
However, if they make a move for one other player besides Barr, their defense could dominate in 2022.
1. Jason Pierre-Paul
Browns fans might object to this one, but JPP gives the Browns a veteran who can play on the line or as a linebacker.
However, if they put him on the front line, they could move Clowney back into his old linebacker position.
Technically he played lolb last year. Being an edge rusher is a nearly identical role to outside linebacker depending on the scheme. That’s why a guy like Clowney has played at LOLB ROLB RDE & LDE throughout his career
— Matthew St-louis (@MatthewStlouis) April 15, 2021
Having JPP on the front line opposite of Garrett can take pressure off the middle defenders.
This could then give players like Taven Bryan a chance to shine up the middle.
It could also take some pressure off Garrett, as having Clowney and JPP on defense leaves teams with a lot to game plan for in games.
While age might concern some fans, he was showing in Tampa Bay that he can still play at his age.
However, he should only be signed to a one-year deal, something to give the Browns time to draft a replacement in 2023.
With the cap space the team has, they could afford to get him on that short-term deal.
He also brings experience, something the Browns need to help the other young talent they have on defense.
Having him could give the younger players someone to learn from as the 2022 season progresses.
While he isn’t a long-term option for the Browns, he’s someone the team can benefit from in 2022.
He’ll give offenses something to think about whenever he’s on the field.
If they are focusing on Garrett, the powerhouse of the Browns defense, JPP might sneak in for some sacks.
That’s what makes him a great asset next to the current Browns defensive line.