Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC North [Print without images]

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Will the 'Cleveland Jets' help?

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

The Cleveland Browns are bringing a lot of players from the New York Jets over to join new head coach Eric Mangini.

But are they good enough to make a difference?

 Bowens
 Elam

The names C.J. Mosley, Hank Poteat, David Bowens and Abram Elam don't strike a chord with many Browns fans. The four spent a majority of their careers as backups or role players.

Yet ironically all four players have a shot for much bigger roles in Cleveland, which provides a great opportunity to shine but also demonstrates how talent-deprived the Browns are.

Bowens and Elam, a restricted free agent, have a chance to make the biggest impact. Bowens has 32.5 career sacks and, despite starting just seven games the past two years, he should start for Cleveland right away. Bowens can play both inside and outside linebacker with the Browns, replacing players such as Leon Williams or Alex Hall.

Elam had 69 tackles and an interception in 2008 and could fill the safety spot left open by Sean Jones, who joined the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jets have one week to match Cleveland's offer for Elam.

Poteat would have to beat out one of Cleveland's young corners in Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald. But at the very least, Poteat, 31, can play the nickel and teach Wright and McDonald the nuances of Mangini's system. Mosley was signed to provide depth on the defensive line, which is also an area the Browns will address in the draft.

All four signings are not overwhelming but could turn out to be solid. And when you're trying to completely rebuild a roster, that's not a bad thing.