Photo: Getty Images/Jamie Sabau
The lowly Cleveland Browns have a new owner and $45 million in cap space (the second-most in the NFL), so they are a likely candidate to make a splash when free agency opens up in a month.To make things even more interesting, as ESPN’s Tony Grossi points out, several of the big-name players they could go after were on rival AFC North teams in 2012.
The Browns have holes at wide receiver, pass rusher, and cornerback. They could fill those holes with free agents from within their division, and hurt their rivals in the process. The guys they could take:
- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace
- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger
- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe
- Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams
- Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Manny Lawson
Wallace, Kruger, and Williams are all among the best free agents available.
It’s not a given that Cleveland will try to build through free agency. Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns beat writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, says the team has a ton of holes and has to address some of those needs through the draft anyway.
But they can do it if they wanted to, and they could at least drive up the prices of these guys so their rivals don’t have as much money to play with.
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