We are currently in process of doing brief reviews of all of the free agents on the Cleveland Browns. In this post, we take a look at a player on defense who has been a member of the secondary longer than any other player on the current roster.
How and When He Joined the Browns: The Browns signed Adams during the 2007 offseason after he had spent his first three years in the league with the San Francisco 49ers. Adams was signed for depth at the safety position; youngsters Sean Jones and Brodney Pool were the team's starters. Adams became a free agent in 2009, and he reportedly met with several teams. He ultimately re-signed with the Browns under a three-year, $4.1 million deal.
Productivity Level Last Season: Although Usama Young was brought in from the Saints during the offseason to compete with Adams for a starting role, Adams won the starting job by default because of Young's injury during training camp. T.J. Ward's injury during the regular season made it a necessity that Adams remain a starter the entire season, even when Young was healthy enough to play. This was the first time in Adams' career that he started more than 10 games (he started in all 16 games). He did not finish with career highs in other statistical categories, but he played well and had 64 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble on the year.
Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: Out of everyone in the Browns' secondary, Adams has been on the team the longest, so he sort of brings that veteran presence. Unless Cleveland pursues a top-tier starting safety to replace Adams, he is a suitable player to either start or be a backup at the position for a couple of more years.
What the Browns Should Do: Adams is a nice player, but they are not in a crunch to retain him. If Ward and Young are penciled in as starters next year, the coaches might be content with letting Eric Hagg handle some more responsibilities. The potential always exists that Sheldon Brown will move to safety too, which means that Brown would basically take over Adams' duties. Given the entire situation, I think the Browns will try to offer Adams a short-term deal, but that Adams will see if he gets offered anything higher elsewhere.
Now it's your turn -- vote in the poll below on whether or not the team should try to re-sign Mike Adams!