Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Free-agency tracker: Cleveland Browns
By Jamison Hensley
This week, the AFC North blog will be taking a look at what each team has done now that the first wave of NFL free agency is over.
Signed (eight players): OLB Paul Kruger (Ravens), DT Desmond Bryant (Raiders), OLB Quentin Groves (Cardinals), TE Kellen Davis (Bears), CB Chris Owens (Falcons), RB Chris Ogbonnaya, TE Gary Barnidge (Panthers) and CB Kevin Barnes (Lions).
Lost (five players): K Phil Dawson (49ers), TE Ben Watson (Saints), DE Frostee Rucker (Cardinals), LB Kaluka Maiava (Raiders) and QB Josh Johnson (Bengals).
Top remaining free agents: WR-PR Josh Cribbs, CB Sheldon Brown, WR Mohamed Massaquoi and DE Juqua Parker.
What's next: The one starting spot that the Browns have to address is cornerback. Some consider the Browns to be the favorites to land Atlanta's Brent Grimes, who is the top cornerback remaining in free agency. But Cleveland hasn't signed him yet and it's been 10 days since he had his visit there. It makes you wonder whether there is health concerns with Grimes, who tore his Achilles last September.
If the Browns can't get a deal done with Grimes, the other available free-agent cornerbacks are Antoine Winfield (who is visiting the Redskins), Nnamdi Asomugha (who is considering the Saints and 49ers) and a second-tier one like DeAngelo Hall. The Browns don't have a proven starting cornerback besides Joe Haden. Don't try to make a case for Buster Skrine, who committed nine penalties last season (tied for third most among cornerbacks). He will likely compete against Owens for the nickelback job.
Existing needs: Cornerback, left guard and free safety.