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Reports: Browns will pursue DE Pernell McPhee

Situational pass rusher Pernell McPhee could switch sides if the Ravens fail to re-sign him before March 10.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

No position suffered as many injuries as the defensive line for the Browns in 2014. Thus it comes as no surprise that the club will be looking to reinforce the position in the offseason.

According to multiple reports, current Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee could be part of the Browns' plan. Lane Adkins of the Orange & Brown Report first reported the team's interest.

McPhee is set to become a free agent on March 10. The Ravens will likely attempt to re-sign the 26-year-old pass rusher, but general manager Ozzie Newsome sent a clear message during a press conference on Tuesday that the team will not overspend on the situational lineman. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, Newsome said:  "We can’t pay everybody market value, [we] would hurt our roster."

According to Pro Football Talk, McPhee is looking for a contract of about $8 million per year, which likely higher than his actual value.

McPhee enjoyed a career year in 2014. The 6'2, 274 pound lineman racked up 7.5 sacks, 17 tackles, and four passes defensed. In two games against the Browns last season, McPhee notched two sacks and five tackles.

In his three previous seasons as a Raven, McPhee recorded a combined 9.5 sacks and 47 tackles.

McPhee could give the Browns defense a much-needed pass rusher to add to head coach Mike Pettine's rotational defense. The question is how much money the Browns are willing to shell out for a situational player.

Several other teams will likely pursue the young lineman, too. Jason La Canfora connected the Colts with McPhee, while Wilson calls the Raiders, Falcons, and Buccaneers other potential suitors.

Signing a former Raven is not without precedent for the Browns. The team has snatched several former Ravens in the past, most notably Jamal Lewis and Paul Kruger.