Throughout the offseason, we will be bringing you as many profiles of players that could join the Cleveland Browns as possible. Both free agency and the NFL draft are ways that GM Andrew Berry could improve the team so we want to provide you as many and as much information as possible for who those players could be.
Defensive tackle will be a focus for most of the offseason as it is not certain that more than one current interior defender will still be on the 2023 roster. While the Browns brought in DC Jim Schwartz to fix the team’s problems in the run game, it was an “X’s and O’s” and “Jimmy and Joes” problem last year for Cleveland.
Today we take a look at a player that would be helpful against the run and pass in the middle of the defense but could come relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other options.
2023: 16 games, 12 starts, 732 snaps, 36 tackles, six tackles for loss, six quarterback hits, two sacks
Career: 59 games, 25 starts, 122 tackles, 24 QB hits, 11 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks
59.1 overall, 57.5 vs run, 59.3 vs pass
Final year of rookie deal, $2.5 million
Fit with the Browns
Gaines would provide Cleveland with a versatile, depth piece that could start right away while an early rookie develops or could provide rotational depth if multiple veterans are brought in. He has the size to anchor against the run but his low center of gravity helps him shoot gaps and make impact plays in the backfield as his 24 QB hits and 10.5 sacks as a DT show.
Browns Player Signing Could Impact
Tommy Togiai/Jordan Elliott - Neither Togiai or Elliott have made a ton of impact in their roles so far. Elliott, in the last year of his rookie deal, is more expensive and could be the odd man out in favor of Gaines.
How Signing Could Impact the NFL Draft
Given the team’s need, just signing Gaines would have very little impact on what Cleveland does in the draft. If Berry goes after multiple players at the position, it could change but Gaines, by himself, would be a piece of the puzzle but a DT in the second or third round would still be likely.
Medium – Low - Gaines is an interesting player that could be helpful for the right price but may not be a big enough impact to become a higher priority. If the price is right, Gaines is a player that Berry might try to snatch up quickly with a team-friendly structured deal instead of fighting it out for bigger-named, bigger contract players.