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Cleveland Browns Free Agent Review: CB E.J. Gaines

Did Gaines do enough to earn another short-term deal from John Dorsey?

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Our next undrafted free agent preview looks at CB E.J. Gaines.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Gaines’ action was limited in 2018 due to injury.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

How and When He Joined the Browns: The Browns signed Gaines in free agency last year to a 1-year, $4 million deal. The veteran was coming off of a solid/underrated season with the Buffalo Bills, and was hoping to leverage 2018 in Cleveland to a bigger contract in 2019.

Productivity Level Last Season: Gaines played in 6 games with 2 starts, registering 13 tackles, 3 passes defended, and 1 interception. He was initially a backup behind CB Denzel Ward, CB Terrance Mitchell, and CB T.J. Carrie. His season came to an end in early November, though, when he suffered his second concussion in a month and was placed on injured reserve.

Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: Gaines has a lot of starting experience in the NFL and would be great depth in case someone gets hurt again. It’s just unfortunate that a year ago, multiple concussions got the best of him.

What the Browns Should Do: This is a tough one. My perception is that the main reason Gaines signed with Cleveland last year was that he thought he would be a starting cornerback from the get-go. The team ended up drafting Ward, and then Mitchell surprised everyone with his strong play to claim a starting role. So, while I personally would be interesting in bringing Gaines back for something like 1-year, $3 million with incentives, I think he will opt to test the free agent market again.

Let us know below whether or not the team should try to re-sign E.J. Gaines!


Should the Browns re-sign CB E.J. Gaines?

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