Over at RotoWorld, Evan Silva listed the top 50 NFL Free Agents and forecasted a potential landing spot for each of them. Last year, the Browns might not have been listed. Knowing that the team is in great shape cap-wise this year, coupled with a new front office, means that people are expecting Cleveland to make quite the splash. Silva predicted that the Browns would get his 5th and 42nd ranked players. Who would those players be? LB Paul Kruger and CB Keenan Lewis.
5. Outside linebacker Paul Kruger -- Kruger's free agency buzz was red hot just ahead of and following Super Bowl 47, but it's come back to Earth the past few weeks. While Kruger is a good player and will command a pretty penny, he's a complementary as opposed to franchise pass rusher. He's Brian Robison, and he's going to get paid like Jared Allen. In Cleveland, Kruger could still complete a formidable rush 'backer duo with Jabaal Sheard in Ray Horton's new 3-4 defense.
Free Agent Forecast: Browns on a five-year, $60 million contract.
42. Cornerback Keenan Lewis -- Lewis took off in 2012, playing physical and consistent coverage and tackling efficiently opposite Ike Taylor for the Steelers' top-ranked pass defense. Pittsburgh now lacks the financial means to retain Lewis, who entered the league when Ray Horton was the Steelers' defensive backs coach. Horton is now coordinating the division-rival Browns defense.
Free Agent Forecast: Browns on a five-year, $36 million contract.
Both contracts are pretty sizable, but Lewis' is much more friendly. I'm still not completely sold that Kruger can maintain his effectiveness after leaving Baltimore, especially for a value like Silva suggests. As for the rest of Silva's top-50, shame on him for not listing kicker Phil Dawson anywhere. He may not get a lucrative contract like some of these players, but he is certainly valuable enough to be listed in the top-50 (he didn't even crack the honorable mentions list!).