Our next free agent review looks at safety Tashaun Gipson.
S Tashaun Gipson
Browns S Tashaun Gipson had his season end last year due to a knee injury. Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
How and When He Joined the T.J. Ward and Usama Young, but ended up starting three games as a rookie.: Gipson signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2012 was an undrafted free agent. He was a backup safety to
Productivity Level Last Season: Gipson had a pretty good year in 2013, but I still questioned whether he was the real deal or not. In 2014, Gipson came into his own, showing why he is one of the best ball hawks in the NFL. Gipson's season was cut short by a knee injury he suffered after a collision in Week 11 with CB Joe Haden as he was going for an interception.
Gipson finished the year with 52 tackles, 8 passes defended, 6 interceptions, and 1 touchdown return in 11 games. Despite his season being cut short, he was still named to the Pro Bowl.
Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: At 25 years old, Gipson is the type of player you want to lock up long-term so that he and Haden can be the staples of the secondary for a long time to come. He reads quarterbacks very well and isn't a liability as a run defender.
What the Browns Should Do: Gipson is a restricted free agent, which applies to players who have at least three years of accrued service in the NFL (i.e. 6 games or more on the roster or IR). The Browns can choose to place a 1st round tender, 2nd round tender, or original round tender on each player. The 2015 tenders are $3.354 million for the 1st round tender, $2.356 million for the 2nd round tender, and $1.542 million for original round tenders. Another team can sign a player you place a tender on, but they would owe that team the corresponding draft pick. If these players are not tendered by the start of free agency, they revert to unrestricted free agents.
There might be some concern that he's coming off of a knee injury, but he was close to being able to play in the Pro Bowl, so he should be fine for 2015. I think Gipson is the type of player who Cleveland would like to sign long-term now, so that they don't risk losing the rights to him in 2016. If they can't strike a deal by March 10th, though, the Browns should place the highest tender ($3.354 million) on him.
Now it's your turn -- vote in the poll below on whether or not the team should try to re-sign Tashaun Gipson!