Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry has been busy in his two seasons with the team.
Following in the footsteps of John Dorsey, he’s been tasked with getting the Browns to a contending level.
Not every move he’s made has been perfect by any stretch.
However, as a young, up and coming GM, Berry has flashed brilliance.
In addition to some excellent draft picks, Berry has done well in the free agent market as well.
Knowing there are guys with big paydays coming up has also forced Berry to budget a bit with these signings.
Let’s look at three different bargains Berry has found so far during his time in Cleveland.
1. Jadeveon Clowney, 2021, 1 Year – $8 Million
Jadeveon Clowney is not the same as when he entered the league.
Still, he’s a good pass rusher that has been a nice compliment to Myles Garrett on Cleveland’s defensive front.
Garrett & Clowney combine on the clutch 3rd down sack. #Browns
— NFL (@NFL) September 12, 2021
He’s been more impactful in some games than others.
Still, he’s an upgrade over anyone else the Browns would have fielded at that spot to start the season.
While the contract isn’t dirt cheap, I’d consider it a good deal for Berry considering the production Clowney has given the team.
It’s also just a one-year deal, making this low-risk from the start.
Remember, Clowney only played eight games in 2020 with Tennessee.
Injuries derailed his season, and even when on the field, he didn’t make much happen.
Berry’s low-risk dice roll on Clowney, especially in hindsight, looks to be a good one.
2. Troy Hill, 2021, 4 Years – $24 Million
Cleveland’s defense has struggled with consistency throughout the 2021 season.
The loss in Los Angeles to the Chargers stands as one of the more atrocious defensive efforts in recent memory.
Four weeks later, the defense stands strong against Joe Burrow and the Bengals.
Cornerback Troy Hill was electric in that win over Cincinnati and the team will hope for more of that down the stretch.
Troy Hill has played his best game in a Browns uniform so far today.
— Andre Knott (@DreKnott) November 7, 2021
Coming over from the Rams, Hill provided much needed depth to the Browns secondary.
With the availability of Greedy Williams in question over the summer, Berry brought in Hill to shore up the position.
Similar to Clowney, Hill’s impact varies on a week-by-week basis.
Still, landing Hill in Cleveland for the price he did was a good move from Berry.
3. Malcolm Smith, 2021, 1 Year – $1.2 Million
Sticking with the defensive theme here, Malcolm Smith has been sneaky-good this season in Cleveland.
His play in the Week Eleven win over Detroit certainly stood out.
Malcolm Smith continues to be underrated while he continues to play really well. Against the Lions he had 3 stop tackles, an interception, zero missed tackles, and a 90.5 coverage grade, best on the team (PFF). The veteran LB continues to be a key piece #Browns pic.twitter.com/JN6BsacrDy
— Jacob Roach (@roachizm13) November 25, 2021
An interception in Week Two against Houston is one of the more athletic plays you will see a linebacker make.
Malcolm Smith's diving interception had the defense HYPED!
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 22, 2021
Heading into this past offseason, the Browns linebackers were a group that just about everyone around the league knew needed improvement.
Smith, along with Anthony Walker, were brought in over the offseason by Berry to add depth to that unit.
He’s also become one of the leaders of the defense, a bonus to bringing him in the locker room.
Malik Jackson said Myles Garrett and Malcolm Smith call a defensive team meeting on Thursday's, they watch film together on third downs and it has brought a lot of understanding and clarity to the situation. The Browns last two opponents have gone 6-27 on 3rd downs. #Browns
— P.J. ZIEGLER (@PJFOX8) October 4, 2021
In terms of getting bang for Berry’s buck, Smith has delivered and then some.