The offseason has begun, and the Browns coaching staff should finish coming together quickly now that Joe Woods will be on board as the defensive coordinator. While we wait for them to finish filling out that staff let’s take a look at three free agents that should be on the Browns radar. They might not be the ones you expect. (Joe Schobert and Rashard Higgins need to be back)
Ereck Flowers, G, Free Agent
I know…I know, what am I thinking. There is a perfectly good right guard the Browns could take in Brandon Scherff. While that is true, locking up big money in another offensive linemen may not be the best course of action. This is especially true with so many young guys looking to get paid soon. While Scherff got all the accolades, rightfully so, Flowers had a fine first season at left guard in the nation’s capital. Oh yeah, he was also coached by our new offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Please stick with me on this one for now.
The Redskins signed Flowers last offseason to a one-year $4 million deal after flaming out in New York and Jacksonville. They decided to move Flowers from tackle to guard. Flowers did the rest, earning the starting spot at left guard. Ereck played in all 16 games and finished the year with a respectable 65.4 grade for Pro Football Focus. Flowers was charged with four penalties on the year and allowed 2.5 sacks.
While Flowers doesn’t have the star power of Scherff, he had a solid first season at a new position. He easily provides an upgrade at right guard for the Brown. Flowers is only 25 years old, and under Callahan had finally shown progress. Maybe the Browns need to consider letting that trend continue in Cleveland.
Best Offer: Three years $19 million/$7.5 million guaranteed
Jimmie Ward, 49ers
Ward has been a do-it-all safety for the 49ers as witnessed in this year’s Superbowl. It is unlikely they let him walk, but with Joe Woods expected to take the Browns job, you never know. Ward is young and talented, looking to make a more prominent name for himself in the NFL. This move could be his chance with a coach he is familiar with. He fits the mold of a front office looking for young veterans that maximize the value of a contract.
The main concern with Ward is the missed games in his career. He has never played a full season in the NFL. He did start and play in a career-high 13 games this past season. Ward posted a Pro Football Focus grade of 84.2 over those 13 games. He also provided 60 tackles, 46 solos. He also had eight passes defended, and two tackles for loss. Ward is a very talented safety that could help the back end of the Browns defense.
Best Offer: Three years $22 million/10.25 million guaranteed
The Browns will need another edge rusher after cutting Olivier Vernon and his hefty contract. Robert Quinn is the best 4-3 free agent edge rusher on the market. Quinn is a little bit older at 29 that the Browns front office likes but brings what they need. He has racked up 80.5 sacks over a nine-year career along with 90 tackles for loss. If the Browns want to amp up the defense for next season, this is the man to help.
Last season as part of the Dallas Cowboys defense Quinn racked up 11.5 sacks. He also had 36 total tackles, with 13 of them going for a loss. Quinn graded out at 68.5 per Pro Football Focus carried mostly by his pass-rushing ability. Even at the age of 29, Quinn should easily be on the Browns free agents wish list.
Best Offer: Four years $32 million/$18.75 million guaranteed
There They Are
If the Browns could come away with these three free agents, then things would be going right. The resurrection of Ereck Flowers under Callahan’s watchful eye should help solidify the right side of the line. They will need more help at both tackles but showed in 2018 that a strong interior is essential. Baker had a lot more success when teams had a hard time getting in his face. Ward gives versatility, and a player Joe Woods can trust on the back end. Quinn helps create more pressure and depth along the defensive line. Not a bad haul and at a value that should not inhibit the front office going forward.
Previous article: Andrew Berry Hired by Browns
Follow me on Twitter for more great content @WeirdJBronavich.
Be sure to check out our partners at Repp Sports! They offer the first-ever crowd-sourced, no carb, no sugar, energy drink called RAZE, and much more! Use the link above or add the promo code OTH1 at checkout to get 30% off your order!