Cleveland Browns free agency grade

Notable additions:

Kevin Zeitler – Guard – From: Cincinnati Bengals

Kenny Britt – Wide Receiver – From: Los Angeles Rams

J.C. Tretter – Center – From: Green Bay Packers

Notable subtractions:

Jordan Poyer – Free Safety – To: Buffalo Bills

Josh McCown – Quarterback – To: New York Jets

Terrelle Pryor – Wide Receiver – To: Washington Redskins

Stephen Paea – Defensive Tackle – To: Dallas Cowboys



The Browns came into this offseason with a ton of money to spend and they certainly didn’t hold back as they made three big money signings in free agency. Cleveland especially made major improvements along their offensive line as they signed guard Kevin Zeitler and center J.C. Tretter to long-term deals. Zeitler is one of the top guards in free agency and he is only 27 years old, so he still has several years of quality play likely left in him. It is very difficult to find quality starting guards these days and give credit to the Browns for signing one of the top guards in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Browns also signed Tretter to a 3-year deal to fill their vacant center position after the departure of Alex Mack last offseason. Tretter isn’t nearly as good as Mack is, but Tretter is still a very good center and he is only 26 years old. The Browns offensive line was already really good with Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, and Cameron Erving. However, the Browns now can legitimately say that their offensive line is one of the best in the entire NFL as they don’t have any weakness along the offensive line. The team continued to improve their offense as they signed former Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt to a 4-year/$32.5 million deal. Cleveland now has Britt and 2016 1st round pick Corey Coleman as their top wide receivers as they now have a decent wide receiver duo. Britt is a big possesion receiver that had his first 1,000 yard receiving season in 2016 for the Rams despite poor quarterback play. The starting quarterback for Cleveland is a major unknown right now, but Britt will give the Browns quarterback a really good option to throw to. I don’t know if Britt is worth $8 million per year since he had never had more than 48 receptions in a season prior to 2016. Britt isn’t an elite receiver, but he at least improves the Browns receiving group by giving them a reliable option in the passing game. Free agency was also good for the Browns since they didn’t lose much as their biggest loss was wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. However, it was probably good that they let Pryor go despite his success last season as last season was only his first full season playing wide receiver after transitioning from quarterback. The Browns have a lot of work left before they are a competitive team and they will need to find a good starting quarterback soon. However, the Browns improved their offense substantially by making their offensive line one of the best in the NFL as well as making their wide receiver group more respectable. Cleveland has tons of draft picks to continue to improve this team, but I give credit to them by making some big signings to at least show that they aren’t just going to try and tank next season.

Grade: A+

kevin zeitler.jpg


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