This thread will act as a “live blog” of sorts, with brief but important updates about the latest rumors, signings, or trades involving Cleveland or other NFL teams. You should also use the comments section as your free agency open thread! (Newest updates will be at the top of the live blog below)
2021 Browns Free Agency Live Blog - Day 2
8:30 PM: CB Terrance Mitchell was a reliable player in the secondary for several years in Cleveland, and last year, he played more snaps than any other cornerback in the NFL. But Cleveland either wants to upgrade at the position or expect CB Greedy Williams to be starting, and thus they left Mitchell walk to the Houston Texans:
4:33 PM: Haha, people had a fun 20-30 minutes speculating about WR Odell Beckham’s “2nd act” tweet, before Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer spoiled the fun:
4:10 PM: The Tennessee Titans have released cornerback Adoree Jackson a day before his fifth-year option would have become fully guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
Titans announced they released CB Adoree Jackson. Interesting because they picked up his fifth-year option last year but now rescind it. Jackson's draft class (2017) is the last one for which teams can do this. From 2018 class on, options fully guaranteed at time of execution.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) March 16, 2021
Jackson was a first-round selection by the Titans in 2017 and made 41 starts, but only played in three games in 2020 due to injuries. He might be a player worth watching if the Browns are looking to pick someone up on a one-year deal.
Highest coverage grade when lined up at outside CB since 2018:— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) March 16, 2021
Jaire Alexander 90.6
Richard Sherman 89.0
Stephon Gilmore 87.7
Adoree Jackson 85.6
3:25 PM: ESPN’s Adam Schefter has an update on the contract of DE Takkarist McKinley. It’s a 1-year, $4.25 million deal that has some incentives which could push it up to $6 million.
Comp update: Takk McKinley done with Cleveland, 1-yr $4.25M base value and up to $6M. Signed to play opposite Myles Garrett. https://t.co/LIalf34GPs— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2021
3:11 PM: The Bengals continued to upgrade their secondary, signing nickelback Mike Hilton away from the Steelers. It’s a Catch-22 for Cleveland, because he stays within the division.
3:08 PM: Here is some insight from Brent Sobleski on the signing of McKinley, who adds that Cleveland “certainly isn’t done with the edge rusher position.”
Browns' investment in Takk McKinley is a lottery ticket.— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) March 16, 2021
Cleveland banking on his first-round talent with short-term, prove-it deal. He's young, 25, and flashed, particularly in 2018 with 50 total pressures. Injuries derailed last season.
Team certainly isn't done with edge.
2:50 PM: Signing news! The Browns are reportedly signing DE Takkarist McKinley to a 1-year deal worth $4 million. He essentially replaces DE Adrian Clayborn. A first-round pick in 2017 by the Atlanta Falcons, he was with them for four years but finished the 2020 season with the Raiders.
Browns are signing Takk McKinley, per source. One year deal that could reach more than $4M.— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) March 16, 2021
2:45 PM: Per Dianna Russini, the market for free agent wide receivers isn’t looking good right now in terms of financials. That’s what I projected when I talked about the free agent receiving class a few weeks ago, so it looks like I got at least one right.
Just spoke to a free agent wide receiver to find out what’s going on with all the receivers still unsigned. He said “the WR market is really bad right now”— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 16, 2021
2:08 PM: Because the Browns were previously a team rumored to be interested in LB Denzel Perryman, one can only wonder if Cleveland is still one of the teams in-the-running for his services.
I'm told 3 teams are currently "in the mix" right now for #Chargers LB Denzel Perryman, per source.— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 16, 2021
2:04 PM: Earlier, CB Shaqill Griffin came off the board, as the Jaguars signed him to a lucrative deal. With that said, Josina Anderson says the Browns are still in the market for a cornerback and defensive lineman.
From what I hear, #Browns are still monitoring the market at CB and DL, even as some prospects come off the big board. May let the market cool off just a little.— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 16, 2021
11:00 AM: PFF’s Mike Renner lists the Browns’ signing of FS John Johnson as his favorite move from Day 1 of free agency.
Favorite move from day 1:— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) March 16, 2021
S John Johnson -> Browns 3-year, $33m
Least favorite move from day 1:
Bengals letting Lawson go to sign Hendrickson
10:40 AM: We have a breakdown of FS John Johnson’s year-by-year contract details with the Browns posted here now. Johnson’s cap hit in 2021 will be $5.25 million, so let’s use that to help update how much cap space Cleveland has remaining.
After tendering WR KhaDarel Hodge yesterday, we estimated that the Browns had about $23.52 million in available cap space. With the Top 51 rule, for every player you add, you also must subtract one from the bottom (valued at $780,000). Therefore, the move is a reduction of $4.47 million in cap space. Therefore, Cleveland should have about $19.05 million in available cap space still.
Other sites like Spotrac and Over the Cap have Cleveland between $18.2 and $18.5 million. Overall, it’s a fair estimate to think Cleveland has between $18-19 million in available cap space.
10:08 AM: Well, everyone can put aside the idea of trading tight end David Njoku to New England for cornerback Stephon Gilmore now, as the Patriots have reportedly agreed to a deal with former Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
And New England strikes again: The Patriots are signing former Chargers' TE Hunter Henry to a three-year, $37.5 million deal, including $25 million guaranteed, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2021
Free agency's top two tight ends, Henry and Jonnu Smith, wind up in New England.
9:44 AM: Good morning, Browns fans! Today is Day 2 of the legal tampering period, and Day 1 saw the team score FS John Johnson, but lose DT Vincent Taylor and OT Kendall Lamm. This morning, the list of potential edge rushers slimmed even further, as the Broncos picked up LB Von Miller’s guarantee.