The Browns injected four experienced players into key positions Thursday through free agency. [
The team announced the signings of former Bengals defensive lineman Chris Smith, Chiefs defensive back Terrance Mitchell, offensive lineman Donald Stephenson and tight end Darren Fells as they fortify what was previously one of the league’s youngest rosters.
Cleveland, of course, also added Pro Bowlers in quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wide receiver Jarvis Landry and Packers standout defensive back Damarious Randall via trade. Three others – 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, Steelers tackle Chris Hubbard, Raiders cornerback T.J. Carrie – were also added in free agency.
Smith, who spent last season with the Bengals and the previous three in Jacksonville, has 7.5 sacks and 45 tackles in four years. Three of those sacks came with Cincinnati as he continued to earn playing time late in the season.
Mitchell joins Cleveland after two seasons in Kansas City, where he started nine games last season. He finished second on the team with four interceptions.
Stephenson, who enters his seventh season after the past two in Denver, has appeared in 80 games and made 37 starts. He’ll give the Browns additional depth at tackle following the retirement of Pro Bowler Joe Thomas.
Fells had 17 catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns last season in Detroit and joins a tight ends room that includes 2017 first-round pick David Njoku and 2016 fourth-rounder Seth DeValve.