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2018 free agency: Deep group of DBs gives Browns plenty of options

Posted Mar 13, 2018

Cleveland’s looking for competition in its defensive backfield

The Browns could be in the market for more defensive backs, and they enter a free agency period, which begins Wednesday at 4 p.m., that provides a number of versatile options.

Headlined by some household names, we’re breaking down the top cornerbacks and safeties Cleveland could consider.

Who’s slated to be back?

CB Jason McCourty - 14 starts, 65 tackles, 3 INTs, 14 PDs

CB Jamar Taylor - 15 starts, 62 tackles, 10 PDs

CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun - 7 starts, 36 tackles, 6 PDs

CB Michael Jordan - 15 games, 1 start, 17 tackles, 3 PDs

CB C.J. Smith - 3 games, 1 tackle

S Jabrill Peppers - 13 starts, 57 tackles, INT, 3 PDs

S Derrick Kindred - 10 starts, 55 tackles, INT, 6 PDs

S Kai Nacua - 16 games, 3 starts, 13 tackles

S Justin Currie - 3 games, 6 tackles, 1 sack

S Derron Smith - 7 games, 5 special teams tackles

Trevon Hartfield

Reggie Porter

Denzel Rice

B.W. Webb

Corey Smith

Howard Wilson

Top DBs available (Rankings from NFL.com’s Top 101 free agents)

7. CB Kyle Fuller, Bears

He’s technically available, but it won’t be cut and dry for teams to sign him after the Bears placed the transition tag on him.

9. CB Malcolm Butler, Patriots

The two-time Super Bowl champion, Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro selection had six interceptions and 29 passes defensed over the past two seasons.

10. CB Trumaine Johnson, Rams

After receiving the franchise tag in back-to-back seasons, the lockdown corner appears poised to move on from Los Angeles.

13. S Bashaud Breeland, Redskins

He was a regular starter from Day 1 in Washington, piling up 60 passes defensed and eight interceptions over four seasons.

22. S Kenny Vaccaro, Saints

A five-year starter, Vaccaro had 283 tackles and eight interceptions in New Orleans.

23. S Eric Reid, 49ers

The former first-round pick has been a fixture in the back end of San Francisco’s defense for five seasons but has dealt with injuries in the past two.

26. S Morgan Burnett, Packers

Entering his ninth season, Burnett has been a starter in Green Bay since 2011.

31. CB E.J. Gaines, Bills

He had a strong season in Buffalo after being dealt there in a preseason trade.

40. CB Brent Grimes, Buccaneers

The veteran is reportedly poised to return to Tampa Bay.

42. CB Morris Claiborne, Jets

The former No. 6 pick in the draft, Claiborne could be with the third team of his career in 2018.

45. CB Prince Amukamara, Bears

He’s been with three different teams in the past three seasons and could make it four this year. He’s started double digit games in five of his seven NFL seasons.

52. CB Patrick Robinson, Eagles

He played an integral role on the Super Bowl winning squad, finishing with four interceptions and 18 passes defensed.

53. S Tre Boston, Chargers

He’s coming off the best season of his career after a relatively disappointing three years in Carolina.

57. CB Rashaan Melvin, Colts

He’s been with four teams since 2013 but played arguably his best football this past season in Indianapolis.

58. CB Aaron Colvin, Jaguars

The slot corner played a key role in one of the NFL’s top defensive backfields.

68. S Tyvon Branch, Cardinals

The 10-year veteran started nine games before tearing his ACL.

76. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Giants

Another 10-year veteran on the market, Rodgers-Cromartie started the second-fewest games of his career (five) last season.

77. CB T.J. Carrie, Raiders

For the first time in his career, Carrie started every game in 2017, finishing with 70 tackles and nine passes defensed.

81. S Tavon Wilson, Lions

In two seasons with the Lions, Wilson started 23 games and compiled 144 tackles.

89. CB Johnathan Joseph, Texans

He’ll be entering his 12th season. He boasts 28 interceptions and six touchdowns.

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