The Cleveland Browns have been active in free agency, and there are still several options for them to target on defense.
Although the Browns lost cornerback Terrance Mitchell to the Houston Texans, they added edge rusher Takk McKinley and former Rams safety John Johnson III.
John Johnson III even turned down more money to come to Cleveland.
Cleveland is hoping for help at cornerback and on the defensive line.
As we are still in the infancy of 2021 free agency, the Browns are in need of help for their defense after their performance last year.
With the return of Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams as well as the addition of potential new free agents, the Browns can try to boost their defense into the top 10.
3. Richard Sherman, 49ers cornerback
Richard Sherman, who played with the 49ers since 2018, is still playing well on defense:
Only CBs w/ a 90+ coverage grade since 2019:
Jaire Alexander – 90.8
Richard Sherman – 90.1 pic.twitter.com/d8A3lKtp2i
— PFF (@PFF) March 14, 2021
Although he played just five games in 2020, he was a Pro Bowler the previous season.
The 32-year-old Stanford product would not be a long-term addition to the Browns defense, but he will be sure to help.
The former fifth-round draft pick won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks and has important postseason experience.
He also has five Pro Bowls and three First-Team All-Pro selections.
The Browns missed out on William Jackson (Washington, three years for $42 million) and Shaquill Griffin (Jacksonville, three years for $40 million).
However, Sherman, Patrick Peterson, and Xavier Rhodes are all available.
Although they are all at least 30 years old, they can make an impact on the Browns defense.
They can target some other younger corners, but some veteran presence may be crucial for the young core in Cleveland.
2. Melvin Ingram, Chargers edge rusher
Takk McKinley is an impressive addition for the Browns, but they can sign another edge rusher.
The Browns ranked 16th in sacks and 24th in pressure percentage last year.
Therefore, another edge rusher would benefit the Cleveland defense.
Pro Football Focus narrowed down three strong options that can help:
The #Browns addressed edge with Takk McKinley & plenty of options remain if they aren’t done:
🔹Haason Reddick – 11th-highest pass-rush grade (82.6) among edge rushers in 2020
🔹M. Ingram III – 21st (76.3)
🔹J. Clowney – top-25 in overall defense gradehttps://t.co/c9DrtU12Xb
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) March 16, 2021
While there has been a lot of discussion about Jadeveon Clowney, both Melvin Ingram and Haason Reddick should be strongly considered.
Ingram is 31 years old and a three-time Pro Bowler (2017 to 2019).
He has spent his entire NFL career with the Chargers after being selected No. 18 overall in 2012.
Ingram has two double-digit sack seasons under his belt and had double-digit quarterback hits from 2015 to 2019.
He could definitely help the Browns in 2021.
1. Haason Reddick, Cardinals edge rusher
The top option for the Browns should be Haason Reddick.
Although Ingram is north of 30 years old and played just seven games last season, Reddick is in the prime of his career.
Browns fans would be very excited to see him in Cleveland after his improvement from 2019 to 2020:
- 2019: 16 games, 76 tackles (43 solo), one sack, four quarterback hits
- 2020: 16 games, 63 tackles (43 solo), 12.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hits
If the Browns can bring the 26-year-old Reddick to Cleveland, he could be a long-term fit with the organization.
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