Andrew Berry’s biggest offseason moves have come via the trade route.
But the Cleveland Browns haven’t completely ignored the NFL Free Agency period.
Berry signed or re-signed 9 players so far, with rumors of more additions every day.
Packers punter Corey Bojorquez just smashed an 82-yard 💣 pic.twitter.com/CXhCkxCj0k
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 17, 2021
None of the players signed are expected to outshine Deshaun Watson or Amari Cooper.
But they fill vital roles nonetheless and will have an impact on the Browns’ 2022 success.
Here is how we’re grading the Browns’ 2022 free agency period so far.
Completing the QB Room
Cleveland threw a lot of money at Deshaun Watson to be the starter for years to come.
But the pair of Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs could make or break a season for the Browns.
With a potential suspension hanging over his head, Watson might yield the field to his backups for a while.
A Jacoby Brissett rushing touchdown on a Thursday night? I know I’ve seen that before… pic.twitter.com/DL1uuTkOjT
— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) November 13, 2020
Brissett has plenty of starting experience under his belt.
And he is quick and mobile enough to mimic Watson in the same offense.
Likewise, the inexperienced Josh Dobbs brings mobility and intelligence as the third-string passer.
Biggest Impact Player?
Andrew Berry signed one of the NFL’s most dynamic punt and kick returners in free agency.
But don’t be surprised to see Jakeem Grant making big plays from the slot this season.
Grant possesses the speed and hands to be an effective target for Deshaun Watson.
🚨 THE FIRST PUNT-RETURN TD OF THE SEASON 🚨
Jakeem Grant takes it 97-yards for his SECOND touchdown of the half 😳#DaBears
— TWSN (@TWSN___) December 13, 2021
To be sure, it is Grant’s 11-yard punt return average and 6 return touchdowns that earned him a 3-year deal.
And his 24.5-yard kick return average is better than anyone the Browns ran out there since Berry arrived.
The biggest question is whether Demetric Felton can find another role on the team.
Berry signed a pair of free agents to man opposite sides of the line upfront.
Center Ethan Pocic comes over from Seattle, while DT Haven Bryan signed after 4 years at Jacksonville.
Both found themselves pushed out by competition but could play important roles in Cleveland.
The @Browns add Center. Ethan Pocic from the @Seahawks via Free Agency.https://t.co/JVQg04RF5M pic.twitter.com/NRgek0JY3f
— @Q92Sports (@Q92Sports) March 30, 2022
Bryan can push for a spot in the interior defensive rotation but should expect more competition before training camp.
Pocic is here to challenge and/or backup the young Nick Harris, but he also played both guard positions in Seattle.
Such versatility gives him an edge over any additional center selected in the NFL Draft.
Andrew Berry re-signed 4 of his own free agents, including one of his defensive signal-callers, Anthony Walker.
Walker’s return, along with re-signed safety Ronnie Harrison, enhances continuity on an improving defensive unit.
Harrison had some high-profile mistakes last year but was solid overall for Joe Woods.
Report: Cleveland Browns re-sign LB Anthony Walker Jr.https://t.co/a1figbZ9xB pic.twitter.com/XTDTnGYQq8
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) March 16, 2022
Chris Hubbard signed a one-year deal to return as the Browns’ main swing tackle.
There is some doubt whether re-signed kicker Chase McLaughlin will survive final cuts this year.
Jarvis Landry and Jadeveon Clowney are among the available former Browns free agents who could help Cleveland.
Overall: Work To Be Done
Cleveland could use another veteran wide receiver but otherwise appears to have a solid offensive roster.
The opposite is true of the Browns’ defensive unit.
Myles Garrett is the only defensive end with any NFL snaps under his belt.
#Browns Myles Garrett said he's been trying to get Jadeveon Clowney to re-sign with Cleveland.
"I want him here."
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) January 7, 2022
Chase Winovich might move forward after playing the edge from an outside linebacker spot in New England.
Likewise, after third safety Ronnie Harrison, there is zero additional NFL game experience at safety.
And utilizing only 3 interior linemen with “potential” labels is not a great strategy to enter the new season.
Overall Free Agency Grade: Incomplete
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