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3 Pass Rushers the Browns Should Sign With JJ Watt Off the Market

Jason Schandl
Browns free agent targets now that JJ Watt is off the market.
Browns free agent targets now that JJ Watt is off the market. / Al Pereira/Getty Images

JJ Watt surprised the NFL world by signing with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday — not one of the likely destinations that had been rumored all offseason.

One of those rumored destinations was the Cleveland Browns, and now the Browns will have to look elsewhere if they want to shore up their pass rush.

Here are three players they need to target now that Watt is off the market.

1. Yannick Ngakoue

Yannick Ngakoue
Browns free agent targets should include Yannick Ngakoue. / Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

The Browns may not have Shaq Barrett type cap space, but they can still afford to make a splash in free agency. Yannick Ngakoue had a disappointing 2020 season, though he was also stuck trying to learn two different new defensive schemes. And he still notched 8.0 sacks. The 25-year-old is up to 45.5 sacks and 96 QB hits since entering the league in 2016, and he will be an immediate difference-maker wherever he signs.

2. Ryan Kerrigan

Ryan Kerrigan
The Browns should target Ryan Kerrigan in free agency. / G Fiume/Getty Images

The 33-year-old Ryan Kerrigan is probably more of a rotational player at this stage in his career, but he can still get it done as a pass-rusher. His drop in sack totals (11.0 combined over the last two seasons) have come with a drop in playing time, but he still received a solid 69.9 pass rush grade from Pro Football Focus in 2020 and 73.2 in 2019.

3. Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen
Browns free agent targets should include Everson Griffen. / Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Like Yannick Ngakoue, Everson Griffen had to learn two different new defensive schemes in 2020. He still tallied 6.0 sacks and 14 QB hits, giving him totals of 14.0 and 38, respectively, over his last two seasons. The 33-year-old clearly still has plenty of gas left in the tank, and his 73.5 pass rush grade from PFF last year represents a slight upgrade from Olivier Vernon's 71.6.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.