The Browns have made a series of roster moves since the start of the "legal tampering" period for NFL free agency on Monday (3/14).
Prior to the start of free agency the Browns said goodbye to two key veterans in center J.C. Tretter and wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The moves opened up over $20 million ahead of free agency.
Cleveland GM Andrew Berry has been very active over this past week in both free agency and the trade market as reloads the Browns roster for a Super Bowl run next season. Let's take a look who Berry has added over the past week.
WR - Amari Cooper
Cleveland acquired Cooper in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys on March 11th. The Browns received Cooper along with the Cowboys 2022 6th round pick in exchange for the Browns 2022 5th & 6th round picks. The 4-time Pro Bowl receiver is coming off a bit of a down 2021 season in which he had 865 yards & 8 TD's after surpassing 1,000 yards his previous two seasons. The Browns are getting a potential #1 receiver in the prime of his career at 27 years old.
LB/EDGE - Chase Winovich
Another trade pulled off by Berry was the acquisition of linebacker Chase Winovich from the New England Patriots in exchange for linebacker Mack Wilson. Winovich was solid in his first two seasons with New England putting up 11 sacks and 33 QB hurries. He fell out of the rotation last season after missing four games due to a hamstring injury.
DT - Taven Bryan
The Browns signed defensive tackle Taven Bryan to a 1-year, $5M contract. The former 1st round pick in 2018 spent his first four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He will compete for a starting spot on the Browns interior defensive line.
WR/KR - Jakeem Grant
Return specialist Jakeem Grant was signed by Cleveland to a 3-year, $13.8 M contract. Grant made the Pro Bowl in 2021 as a special teams specialist. He has 6 return TD's in his 6-year career (4 punt & 2 kick). Grant will add a much needed threat to the Browns kick & punt return game.
QB - DeShaun Watson
The Browns made a trade that shook the NFL when the acquired quarterback DeShaun Watson from the Houston Texans along with a 2024 5th round pick in exchange for the Browns 2022 1st round pick, 2023 1st round pick, 2023 3rd round pick, 2024 1st round pick & 2024 4th round pick. The move officially ended the Baker Mayfield era in Cleveland. Watson is a top 5 quarterback in the NFL and will transform the Browns into an instant Super Bowl contender next season. That was the good. The bad is the 22 allegations of sexual misconduct that come with him. He was not charged by the Grand Jury but still has civil cases to deal with along with a possible suspension by the NFL. After doing their own investigation into the matter, the Browns were comfortable in bringing Watson to Cleveland to be the new face of the franchise.
QB - Jacoby Brissett
The Browns needed a new backup QB after trading Case Keenum to Buffalo for a 2022 7th round pick. In need of a backup to Watson the Browns inked veteran Jacoby Brissett to a 1-year deal. Brissett has thrown for 7,742 yards & 36 TD's over his 6-year career. He has a similar skillset to Watson and may need to start a few games next season if Watson gets suspended.
In addition the Browns also brought back two of their own free agents in linebacker Anthony Walker and offensive tackle Chris Hubbard. Walker is coming off of a solid 2021 season with the Browns. Hubbard will provide valuable depth at the tackle position that saw a rash of injuries in 2021.
Cleveland still has $36.7M in cap space. They will free up another $18M once they move on from Baker Mayfield. It looks as though Jadeveon Clowney is leaning towards accepting the Browns 2-year, $24M offer they have on the table. It is also rumored that Jarvis Landry could be making a return to Cleveland. In addition Cleveland has also been in contact with WR Will Fuller, DT Akiem Hicks & DB Tyrann Mathieu as the second wave of free agency gets underway.
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