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Cleveland Browns Free Agent Review: LB Matt Roth

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We are currently in process of doing brief reviews of all of the free agents on the Cleveland Browns. Today, we take a look at a player who might have already confirmed where he wants to be next season.

LB Matt Roth

How and When He Joined the Browns: In late November of the 2009 season, Eric Mangini claimed Roth of waivers from the Miami Dolphins. It was an unusual situation for Roth in Miami; he had put together several years of good seasons for them as a pass rusher, but suddenly fell out of favor with the organization. Mangini gave him playing time immediately, and Roth thrived, posting 4 sacks and nearly 30 tackles in just 6 games.

Productivity Level Last Season: Personally, I think it was a slightly underwhelming season for Roth last year. That could stem from the fact that I had high expectations. As a backup pass rushing specialist in limited time in 2009, he had four sacks. In 16 games as a starter last year, he had only 4 sacks but seemed to get less pressure on the quarterback. He finished the year with 86 tackles, a career best. I wouldn't call him a disappointment, but how many "Matt Roth" plays do you remember from 2010?

Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: The Browns are making the transition to a 4-3 defense, where we are still short on defensive ends. Unfortunately, Roth has already stated that he wants to play in a 3-4 defense and is basically looking elsewhere. Keeping him might not make sense, which makes it difficult for me to play devil's advocate in this section here. The statistics indicate he did well against the run last year. I suppose if the Browns ran some packages similar to last year, Roth would be good in a backup role.

What the Browns Should Do: Roth seems like the type of player who needs to be happy. The way to make Roth happy is to give him playing time in a system he is comfortable with. That situation does not match Cleveland, but it might match New England, where the Boston Herald calls him the best free agent option for their team. He won't be back.

Now it's your turn -- vote in the poll below on whether or not the team should try to re-sign Matt Roth!