Defensive end Charles Johnson stayed put with the Carolina Panthers. Starting safeties Quintin Mikell and Eric Weddle also agreed to big deals with the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers, respectively.
That begs this question: Are the Cleveland Browns moving too slow in free agency?
One of the AFC North teams with the most cap space has been dormant so far during this fast and furious free-agent period. All the aforementioned players recently linked to Cleveland have agreed to big-money deals with other teams.
Even the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, who have limited cap space, retained their biggest free agents in guard Marshal Yanda and cornerback Ike Taylor. The Bengals at least found their veteran replacement for Carson Palmer in Bruce Gradkowski. Meanwhile, the Browns haven't used any of their available dollars as of Thursday morning.
In the past the Browns have been a tough sell for major free agents. Coming off back-to-back 5-11 seasons, it's a struggling franchise in a not-so-desirable city for young, rich millionaires. Also, with mandatory spending more teams have money to use, and players have a bevy of choices.
Cleveland's front office says it won't be overly aggressive in free agency. But the truth is, Cleveland is the one team in the division with the most ground to make up in terms of pure talent. This is the Browns' last chance to significantly improve their roster before the 2011 season, and they still have major holes at defensive end, safety, wide receiver and the right side of the offensive line.
Top free agents usually are the first to go. So the Browns better join in the fray before it's too late. The roster Cleveland has right now is nowhere near good enough to supplant the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.