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Browns Gamble on Troubled Free-Agent Addition

Larry Rupp
The Cleveland Browns gamble on a troubled free agent in defensive tackle Malik McDowell.
The Cleveland Browns gamble on a troubled free agent in defensive tackle Malik McDowell. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have built one of the scariest defensive lines in the NFL centered around Pro-Bowl caliber players in Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. Well, they decided to add more depth at the position by taking a gamble on free agent defensive tackle Malik McDowell.

McDowell was originally a second round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 2017, but some off the field issues have caused him to not play a single NFL snap yet. He has been arrested a couple times and was subsequently released by the Seahawks back in 2019 because of that.

Browns News: Malik McDowell

If McDowell can figure everything out, he has the skills to develop a role on this defense as a rotation or depth player. He racked up 88 tackles (24.5 for loss), 7.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 interception over the course of three seasons with the Michigan State Spartans.

McDowell suffered an ATV accident that left him with a head injury shortly before his first training camp was set to begin. Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry says the team believes McDowell is in a "good place, personally and medically," which is why he decided to take a chance on him.

This is a perfect example of a low-risk, high-reward type of signing. It could work out for the Browns in the future, but it won't cost them much if that isn't the case as well. Cleveland heads into the 2021 season with Super Bowl aspirations after making the playoffs last year for the first time since 2002.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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 their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.