The Cleveland Browns had an incomplete season in 2022, and it’s tough to know what to make of them. Deshaun Watson didn’t make his Browns debut until December and finished with a 7-10 record for last place in the AFC North. This is an important offseason as Cleveland moves forward and looks to build around Watson in his first full year under center.
Cleveland Browns free agency preview
Positional needs: WR, DT, EDGE, LB
Watson is a bit of a wild card looking toward next season, which is a bit scary given the investment the franchise put in him. The Browns would be smart in providing him with dynamic playmakers at wide receiver, so that’s a spot they should upgrade during the offseason, potentially through free agency.
If Watson plays at a high level as he did with the Houston Texans, the offense will be fine. If the Browns are still confident in the Watson move, defense is where they should make the majority of their moves, especially on the defensive line. Stopping the run was an issue, and that can be fixed by adding a big-bodied guy at defensive tackle.
It seems like every team is in need of a quality edge rusher, and Cleveland is no different. The defense was a bit exposed at the linebacker position due to injuries, so adding depth might not be the worst idea this offseason.
Players to target
If the Browns want to add to their wide receiver room, a strong fit could be DJ Chark. He has had injury issues during his career, which could lead to an affordable price on the free agent market. A healthy Chark would be a solid addition to this offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive tackle David Onyemata could be worth a look. He also missed some time last season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, which could lead to a cheaper rate than he otherwise would be worth. Elsewhere on defense, edge rusher Lorenzo Carter could step in and provide a spark to the Browns’ pass rush.