Browns: Free agency first look

February, 8, 2012
2/08/12
10:00
AM ET
CLEVELAND BROWNS

Unrestricted (11): RB Peyton Hillis, TE Alex Smith, OT Oniel Cousins, OL John Greco, OL Artis Hicks, OL Steve Vallos, LB D'Qwell Jackson, FS Mike Adams, CB Dimitri Patterson, K Phil Dawson, P Brad Maynard

Restricted (1): DE Marcus Benard

Need to stay: D'Qwell Jackson proved he could be a force again after it looked like he would never return from pectoral injuries. The runner-up for NFL Comeback Player of the Year has to be a priority after finishing second in the NFL with 158 tackles. The Browns might be interested in Mike Adams, who beat out Usama Young in training camp. But Adams won't be guaranteed a starting job. Dmitri Patterson was a solid nickelback and broke up a dozen passes. On offense, Alex Smith and Artis Hicks might return as veteran backups.

Likely to go: There's been mixed reports on Peyton Hillis. Some believe the Browns are interested in bringing him back, but others think Cleveland has had enough of his drama-filled act. I'm siding with the latter. There's no doubt that the Browns want to keep Dawson, who hit seven field goals of 50 yards or longer. But Dawson is expected to go elsewhere after he received the franchise tag instead of a long-term deal from Cleveland last year.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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