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3 Free Agents the Browns Must Avoid This Offseason

The Cleveland Browns need to avoid these three free agents this offseason.
The Cleveland Browns need to avoid these three free agents this offseason. / Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski overcame the odds and numerous obstacles to win AP Coach of the Year this past season. With a playoff win behind them, the Browns and coach Stefanski will look to continue the momentum with forward-thinking moves during the 2021 offseason.

There are many big-time players hitting free agency, and a ton of competition for the top targets. As the Browns pursue potential players to make their team even stronger, here are three free agents Cleveland should avoid signing.

1. Will Fuller, WR

What the Browns' spending budget is for wide receiver will likely depend on a combination of Odell Beckham's future with the franchise and whether or not they re-sign Rashard Higgins. The Browns could use more vertical speed, which would open up additional space for Jarvis Landry. Will Fuller fits that top speed need. The problem is, he's not on the field enough, with both injury troubles and a suspension in 2020. Fuller will demand more money starting his sixth campaign, but he has yet to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season, and he's not worth the risk.

2. Justin Houston, DE

Defensive end Myles Garrett is a dominator on defense. He's also the only Browns player to record at least five sacks last season. Cleveland needs a counterpart and depth at one of its most important positions. At age 32, Justin Houston's production no longer matches his income, which is near $12 million per year. Houston did have 8 sacks in his second season with the Indianapolis Colts in 2020, but his 25 tackles in 16 games were nearly half of the year prior and did not even rank top 10 on the Colts' defense. Cleveland can't justify spending on Houston for a potentially limited impact.

3. Richard Sherman, CB

Terrance Mitchell and Kevin Johnson are set to hit free agency, and Greedy Williams just missed the entirety of the 2020 season with a shoulder injury. That leaves the Browns in need of players at cornerback and nickel. While veteran Richard Sherman is looking for a place to play on a contender for a few more seasons, he's almost 33 years old and struggled with a calf injury for almost all of the 2020 season. The Browns should pass on his high salary and look elsewhere.

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