ESPN's James Walker did not publish his weekend mailbag today since he is on vacation, but a couple of days ago he did write an article that featured the top seven questions and answers about AFC North teams and free agency.
Two of the top cornerbacks are mentioned by Walker: the Steelers' Ike Taylor and the Raiders' Nnamdi Asomugha. To my surprise, Walker does not think Taylor will be returning to Pittsburgh, believing a team will overpay for him elsewhere and that the Steelers have a history of not being too concerned with having long-term investments at the cornerback position. As far as Asomugha goes, he doesn't think the free agent will end up in the AFC North, but suggests that the most likely team to make a run at him would be the Baltimore Ravens. Yikes!
Then, Walker asked whether the Browns would be aggressive in free agency.
Question No. 4: Will the Browns be aggressive in free agency?
Answer: Yes. The Browns have deep pockets and a lot of needs, which is usually a formula for teams to make significant moves in free agency. The Browns will have plenty of cap space -- if there is a cap -- so look for them to land at least one or two key additions. We mentioned two potential targets recently in defensive end Ray Edwards and safety Donte Whitner. Cleveland won't be able to compete with Pittsburgh and Baltimore until it closes the talent gap, so the Browns need impact players. Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Browns is competing with other aggressive teams and convincing free agents why they should join a rebuilding team this season.
I'm finding it more and more difficult to get a read on what the Browns will do in free agency, or in better terms, their overall acquisition of veteran players. The front office said they won't make nearly the same splash as they did last year. Does that mean the team will sign/acquire fewer players overall but could still make a run at two "somewhat big names" in Edwards and Whitner?
You can also check out Daniel Wolf's latest look at the Browns' top three needs in free agency, which include the positions Walker mentioned above (secondary and defensive end). Can you guess what the third position is?