Whether he can get the kind of players he’s been connected to or not, Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry has many in the NFL believing he will make a splash when the league year opens next week. The Browns have been rumored to be pursuing safety Jessie Bates III, Javon Hargrave and a number of other top players in NFL free agency.
With Cleveland’s need for defensive linemen, it is not a surprise that Hargrave would make the list. Prepared to release John Johnson III, safety is also not a surprise.
Yet, both Hargrave and Bates could be two of the top-paid players in free agency. That might make things a little more difficult for Berry to acquire their services.
If the Browns swing and miss on Hargrave or want to go a little cheaper, Denver Broncos DL Dre’Mont Jones might be the next best thing. Jones, the Ohio State Buckeyes star, is younger, more versatile and less proven than Hargrave but still highly valued.
According to one radio reporter and insider in Denver, Cleveland is one of the threats to steal Jones away from the Mile High City:
Jones has 22 sacks in the first four years of his career including 5.5 or more the last three seasons. He also has 38 quarterback hits, 28 tackles for loss, six passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Pro Football Focus has Jones rated as their 22nd overall free agent this offseason with a projected contract of 4 years and $68 million with $42.5 guaranteed.