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Free Agency

8 players to watch in next wave of free agency

Plenty of quality free agents remain on the market and could fit into the Browns’ 2022 plans

The Browns have been busy — to say the least — since the NFL's new league year began March 16.

Eight transactions have been completed by Cleveland since the window opened for teams to sign free agents and officially announce trades. Among them were the arrivals of WR Amari Cooper, QB Deshaun Watson, DE Chase Winovich, QB Jacoby Brissett, DT Taven Bryan and re-signings of LB Anthony Walker and OT Chris Hubbard. Before March 16, the Browns also released WR Jarvis Landry, TE Austin Hooper and C JC Tretter and applied the franchise tag to TE David Njoku.

The shuffling, however, is not done. Free-agent signings will continue to trickle through the next few weeks and beyond, and the Browns still have cap space that could be used to add to the roster.

Based on the top positions of need, we're identifying a few free agents who could make sense to join Cleveland. The rankings in parenthesis are from Gregg Rosenthal’s Top 101 NFL Free Agents list.

The Browns have already made numerous additions this offseason, adding WR Amari Cooper, QB Deshaun Watson, WR Jakeem Grant, DE Chase Winovich and DT Taven Bryan.

DE Jadeveon Clowney (No. 18)

Clowney thrived playing on the opposite side of a D-Line with Myles Garrett last season and finished with nine sacks, his highest total since 2018. The 2014 first overall pick will be 29 next season and is regarded as one of the top players left on the market.

DE Jerry Hughes (No. 31)

Hughes, a 12-year veteran, will be 34 next season but has 11 sacks and nine forced fumbles the last three years. The Browns might prefer younger options to fill the DE position, but Hughes can still play at a high level.

DT Akiem Hicks (No. 33)

The only interior D-Line players the Browns have signed for 2022 are Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai and Bryan. The Browns have used veterans to shore up the position the last two seasons since Andrew Berry became GM, and Hicks would fit that trend. He had 3.5 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss last season.

DE Trey Flowers (No. 43)

Flowers only has 3.5 sacks in 14 games the last two years after he recorded 28 sacks from 2016-2019. He'll be 29 next season and could re-discover his form from his first few years in the league by playing alongside an All-Pro player like Garrett.

WR Will Fuller (No. 48)

Fuller only played three games last season due to a PED suspension, personal issue and a broken finger. He's a six-year-veteran with plenty of speed proven to create big plays, though, and is one of the best receivers left on the market.

DE Justin Houston (No. 63)

In case you haven't realized yet, there are a lot of older — but still talented — edge rushers on the market. Houston is 33 and still delivering high production after he compiled 4.5 sacks with the Ravens last season.

DT Larry Ogunjobi (No. 93)

Ogunjobi enjoyed the best season of his career in 2021 with the Bengals and totaled seven sacks. He initially agreed to terms on a deal with the Bears but did not pass his physical.

WR Cole Beasley (N/A)

The Browns could use free agency to address the slot receiver positions after the departure of Landry. Beasley, one of the top slot receivers in the league, was released by the Bills at the start of free agency but still has plenty to offer after catching 82 passes for 693 yards last season.

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