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Browns have option to sign free agents without affecting compensatory picks

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I admit -- I stole the idea of using an empty-shelf photo from PFT.
I admit -- I stole the idea of using an empty-shelf photo from PFT.
Tom Hindman/Getty Images

May 12th has come and gone, and we'll see if that affects the Cleveland Browns and their approach to signing free agents.

The Browns opted to let all of their top free agents walk in free agency a couple of months ago, and they only signed one free agent who would cancel out a compensatory pick, per Over the Cap. That one addition really doesn't matter, though, because the club still has four compensatory picks in the bank (three fourth-rounders and one fifth-rounder), and a team is limited to four compensatory picks a year.

The reason that May 12th is noteworthy is because that was the final day that free agents with expiring contracts would have factored in to the compensatory picks formula. Now that it is May 13th, the Browns, if they so desired to, could sign three free agents to massive contracts without worrying about losing compensatory picks.

Pro Football Talk has a list of 147 players who could benefit from the deadline having passed. Cleveland could also consider cutting a veteran player and exchanging them for another if they so desired -- for example, if they prefer Leon Hall to Tramon Williams, maybe you sign Hall and cut Williams for what would end up to be the same net value in salary cap space.

Take a look through the list -- are there any names you'd like the Browns to consider bringing in?