Thursday, March 20, 2014
Guards enter Browns' free-agent picture
By Pat McManamon
The Cleveland Browns dipped their first toe into the the guard waters Wednesday when they had Seattle's Paul McQuistan in for a visit. There are good reasons why it didn't happen sooner.
One is the list of guards on the market. It's not overwhelming.
The Browns also clearly prioritized safety, inside linebacker, receiver and running back in free agency, and there is no arguing those decisions. While the Browns were active at those spots, the best guards were coming off the board.
But that is not a terrible thing, because guards often can be plugged in. The thinking on them is they generally do not warrant a top salary because they can be protected by good players around them.
If the Browns retain center Alex Mack, that helps the guards more.
At this point any guard signed as a free agent would be a lower-priced guy with potential.
Here are the top available guards, per the free-agent tracker of ESPN’s Bill Polian , along with a brief synopsis of the players’ abilities from Polian. For more on the list and the players, check out this link, which gives Polian's complete analysis.