CLEVELAND, Ohio — If the Browns don’t signal J.J. Watt, Von Miller and different high rushers shall be on their radar, they usually’re prone to signal a veteran to switch Olivier Vernon.
That doesn’t imply they gained’t draft one, however they’ve demonstrated that they worth confirmed pass-rushers and are prepared to pay them. Final offseason, as an example, they provided Jadeveon Clowney extra money than anybody else on a one-year deal and made a extremely aggressive multi-year supply.
In addition they talked to the Jaguars about buying and selling for Yannick Ngakoue earlier than he was dealt to the Vikings, and later to the Ravens. By the way, each Clowney and Ngakoue may very well be again available on the market this offseason.
As for Watt, many have speculated that his hometown Packers are the favorites to signal him, and it appeared Friday that they is perhaps attempting to clear some cap area after they launched former Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive deal with Rick Wagner, creating $10.25 million in cap area.
However the Packers are nonetheless over the cap greater than $5 million for his or her high 51 gamers, and longtime Packers beat author Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was adamant on Friday that they’re not signing Watt.
A number of different groups in addition to the Browns have expressed curiosity, together with the Titans and Payments, and he’s weighing his choices. However with common unrestricted free company not starting till March 17 — and the authorized tampering interval beginning March 15 — Watt has time to decide, and groups have time to clear cap area.
If the Browns don’t have him, they’ll contemplate others who hit the market reminiscent of Von Miller, who’s anticipated to be launched by the Broncos.
An eight-time Professional Bowler, Miller is due $17.5 million if the Broncos train their membership choice on March 17. Coming off ankle surgical procedure that price him all of final season, Miller has a cap hit of $22.125 million, an exorbitant quantity for a participant who’s turning 32 subsequent month. But when the Browns can get him for his estimated market worth of a bit of greater than $10 million this season, it will be a discount. He’d pair properly with fellow Texas A&M alum Myles Garrett, and will presumably get again to being the double-digit sacker he’s been in each wholesome season apart from 2019.
Listed below are some others they’ll contemplate if Watt indicators elsewhere:
Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett
Age: 28 Market Worth: $19.7 million a yr (per spotrac.com)
A 2019 Professional Bowler, Barrett led with 19 sacks in 2019. That quantity dipped to eight final season to tie for twenty first, however he tied for the lead with 24 hurries, and ranked sixth with 42 pressures, together with 11 within the NFC Championship Recreation and Tremendous Bowl. A 3-4 exterior linebacker, he’s not essentially a scheme slot in Joe Woods’ 4-3 base, however he has the flexibility to play a number of positions. In 2020, he ranked twenty first out of 108 qualifying edge-rushers by profootballfocus.com.
Pittsburgh’s Bud Dupree
Age: 28 Market Worth: $18.2 million a yr
Dupree notched 11.5 sacks in 2019 and was on his technique to about equaling that final season earlier than tearing an ACL with 5 video games left within the season. Dupree may not be wholesome proper firstly of the season, however ought to be capable to contribute in a giant approach down the stretch. Dupree could be appropriate substitute for Vernon and is able to related sack manufacturing.
Baltimore’s Yannick Ngakoue
Age: 25 Market Worth: $15.5 million a yr
Ngakoue wished to play for the Browns final season, however commerce talks sputtered when he modified brokers. A 2017 Professional Bowler, Ngakoue tied for twenty first final season with eight sacks in Minnesota and Baltimore, and will most likely improve that complete right here with some continuity. He’s not nice towards the run, however may very well be very efficient as a situational cross rusher.
Arizona’s Haason Reddick
Age: 26 Market Worth: $11.6 million a yr
Reddick broke out with 12.5 sacks in 2020, however 5 got here in Week 14 towards the Giants. Heading into 2020, the No. 13 decide in 2017 had solely 7.5 profession sacks. He additionally led the NFL with six compelled fumbles final season. On the proper value, he may very well be rotational participant, and presumably cut up time with a rookie edge-rusher.
New York Giants’ Leonard Williams
Age: 26 Market Worth: $11.2 million a yr
Williams moved inside to deal with final season and responded with 11.5 sacks. The flexibility to play inside and outside could be an enormous plus on this multi-front scheme. He completed second amongst tackles with 18 quarterback hits.
New Orleans’ Trey Hendrickson
Age: 26 Market Worth: $10.3 million a yr
Hendrickson had a breakout yr in his first season as a starter, ending second within the NFL with 13.5 sacks. He tied for twentieth with 14 tackles for loss. He hasn’t confirmed it but on a constant foundation, however he actually put himself on the map and can doubtless receives a commission. He was ranked the Twenty eighth-best edge-rusher out of 108 by pff.com.
Cincinnati’s Carl Lawson
Age: 25 Market Worth: $8.8 million a yr
Lawson notched solely 5.5 sacks in 2020, however is able to doubling that with supporting solid. His pff.com pass-rush grade of 84.9 was ninth amongst edge-rushers who performed not less than 20% of the snaps. Lawson didn’t have a lot expertise round him, and would fare higher on a line that includes Garrett, Sheldon Richardson and former Bengals teammate Andrew Billings, who took the COVID-19 opt-out due to bronchial asthma. General, he was pff.com’s 14th-ranked edge-rusher.
Tennessee’s Jadeveon Clowney
Age: 28 Market Worth: $6.5 million a yr
Clowney missed eight video games final season with a knee harm that required surgical procedure, and didn’t stay as much as expectations in Tennessee. In his first eight video games, he didn’t handle a sack. However he’s nice towards the run, and the Browns preferred him sufficient final offseason to supply him extra money than anybody else on a one-year deal. They might most likely get him at a discount this offseason if nonetheless .
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