Continuing our preview on the Cleveland Browns’ free agent class, we now take a look at DL Stephen Paea.
How and When He Joined the Browns: The Browns signed Paea just before final cuts of the 2016 season. Paea was a second-round pick in 2011 by the Chicago Bears. In four years with the Bears, he started 40 games and logged 12 sacks. In 2015, he signed a four-year deal with the Washington Redskins, but didn’t crack the starting lineup and was viewed as a disappointment. Cleveland needed help on the defensive line after DE Desmond Bryant was lost at the start of camp to injury.
Productivity Level Last Season: In 13 games with the Browns, Paea was mostly a rotational player, finishing with 12 tackles and 0.5 sack.
Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: At 28 years old, he would be the second most veteran defensive lineman on the roster.
What the Browns Should Do: Cleveland has a new defensive coordinator in Gregg Williams, who will probably expect to have a few new players on the defensive line this year, whether they be draft picks (hello, Myles Garrett) or some low-key veterans who have played for him before.
Last year, Paea got a 1-year, $1.9 million deal from the Browns. I don’t think Cleveland will make it a pressing matter to retain him either as he was sort of a one-year stopgap while Bryant was out.
Let us know below whether or not the team should try to re-sign Paea!