Cleveland Browns: 5 Players to sign in second wave of free agency

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Cleveland Browns, NFL Free Agency, Everson Griffen (Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns have the most cap space available in the NFL and could make some big moves by signing these players in the second wave of free agency.

Making offseason splashes didn’t work out for the Cleveland Browns, former general manager John Dorsey and former head coach Freddie Kitchens in the 2019 season. But now with Andrew Berry as GM and Kevin Stefanski manning the sidelines, the hope is that this team has a clearer direction and can vault into success behind Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. and a host of big names.

For the second straight offseason, the Browns have been aggressive to make improvements. Their two big moves in free agency already were to ink tight end Austin Hooper and right tackle Jack Conklin, the two best players at their position on the market. And while they’ve made other moves as well, there is still room to work. And even better, Cleveland has the money to do it.

The Browns have the most cap space available of any team in the league as we’re less than two weeks away from the start of the 2020 NFL Draft. But if they wanted to make a big move before then, they could easily do so. And good news for them, there are several players who could help make Cleveland a potential contender.

These are five of those players, the free agents available in the second wave that the Cleveland Browns should target to sign.

5. Everson Griffen, EDGE

On paper, you have to like what the Browns should be able to do on the defensive line. After a 2019 season marred by his ugly brawl and subsequent suspension, Myles Garrett will return to the fold and should continue his ascension as a star player. Meanwhile, Olivier Vernon is a solid veteran while Larry Ogunjobi and Sheldon Richardson, along with newcomer Andrew Billings, comprise a solid interior rotation.

However, there has been a lot of talk recently concerning the Browns about upgrading on the edge. Garrett is going to be a staple of that group but Vernon struggled in his first year with Cleveland, both in terms of producing and with just staying on the field due to injury. With the potential to cut him with no dead cap penalty, people have wondered if they could upgrade. And one player who would certainly help them accomplish that would be Everson Griffen.

At 32 years old, Griffen has been a consistent force throughout his career with the Vikings. But now that he’s on the open market, he could really help a team make a push on the defensive side of the ball. Griffen has at least eight sacks in five of the last six seasons, the one outlier being a year in which he played only 11 games. Adding that in place of Vernon opposite of Garrett would create an absolute juggernaut in the trenches for Cleveland. And he should come at a cheaper price than Vernon (or other free-agent options) as well.

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