[WEDNESDAY DAY 3 BROWNS FREE AGENCY LIVE BLOG]
Day 2 of Cleveland Browns and NFL free agency, specifically the "legal tampering period," kicks off Tuesday. Will the Browns have any other tricks up their sleeve? Fans were getting anxious for much of Monday when other teams were landing the big-name defensive tackles, but then late at night, the team scored a win with DT Dalvin Tomlinson. That followed up a day of the team retaining C Ethan Pocic and signing promising DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, a pass-rushing specialist from the Texans.
Follow the live blog below for news and rumors regarding the Browns and free agency throughout the day! You can catch up on yesterday’s live blog here.
2023 Browns Free Agency Live Blog - Day 2
7:45 PM: Former Browns safety Jabrill Peppers, a part of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, is sticking around with the New England Patriots after spending last season there:
New England is re-signing S Jabrill Peppers to a two-year deal, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2023
7:45 PM: Former Kevin Stefanski WR Adam Thielen will take his first visit after Minnesota released him. The Carolina Panthers will get the first crack at him:
This is interesting: The #Panthers are expected to host former #Vikings WR Adam Thielen on a visit tomorrow. The veteran has plenty left and Carolina will get the first look.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2023
6:35 PM: You can eliminate a Cleveland homecoming for defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, but the veteran will stay in the AFC North after agreeing to a three-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Free-agent DT Larry Ogunjobi is headed back to the Steelers on a three-year, $28.75 million deal that will pay him $21.75 million in the first two years, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2023
Ogunjobi was with the Browns from 2017 to 2020, played one year with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021, and spent last season with the Steelers.
3:50 PM: LB Sione Takitaki has reportedly signed his new contract for slightly more than the original report had stated.
3:20 PM: Kevin Cole does a really good job of showing us how teams have improved compared to each other with a simple chart every year. As of this afternoon and including how much NFL draft value the team has, the Browns are doing quite well if you click here to see.
2:15 PM: DT Sheldon Rankins is still a potential Browns target. The Jets would like to retain but have bigger fish to fry (Packers QB trade). Posited that Rankins could get a deal around 3 years, $35 million that David Onyemata got Monday.
2:10 PM: Jets WR Elijah Moore, who could be a perfect fit in Cleveland and has been the target of trade rumors, is not available reportedly:
March 14, 2023
2:00 PM: While everyone is waiting for the Browns to do something today in free agency, it is a perfect opportunity to learn a bit more about some of the available free agents that we profiled here at DBN over the past few weeks:
- Wide receiver Parris Campbell
- A trio of tight ends
- A pair of defensive ends
- Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Sschuster
- A couple of safeties
12:00 PM: Two defenders becoming available that could help Cleveland. First, Seattle is releasing DT Quinton Jefferson. Jefferson has 20.5 sacks in his career including 10 between the last two seasons. An adequate, depth piece if the Browns don’t find a better option.
The other is a nickel cornerback that is being made available by the Carolina Panthers as they go through their regime change:
The #Panthers are not tendering DB Myles Hartsfield as a restricted free agent, meaning he’ll be unrestricted free agent, source says. Surprising, as he started 19 games over the past two seasons and had 59 tackles in 2022. Should have interest elsewhere.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 14, 2023
Last year, Hartsfield lined up as a slot corner for 343 of his snaps while playing free safety 256 times per Pro Football Focus.
Cleveland still needs depth players no matter who else they sign at the top of free agency, Jefferson and Hartsfield are those types of players that can be helpful to a winning team.
11:55 AM: With the Browns presumably still in the market for a wide receiver, it may be worth keeping an eye on Las Vegas now that Jakobi Meyers has signed with the Raiders.
Wonder if the Meyers signing means the Raiders are shopping Hunter Renfrow.— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) March 14, 2023
While not a speedy receiver that can “take the top of defenses” that some fans lust after, Renfrow catches the ball (74.8 percent rate in his career) and has a career average of almost 11 yards per catch as a slot receiver. If the Raiders are shopping Renfrow, it may be worth general manager Andrew Berry’s time to give at least a cursory call.
10:11 AM: Now that the Browns have made their big splashes on defensive line signings, here are 10 non-DT signings that Cleveland might want to look into.
9:48 AM: Digging through Mary Kay Cabot’s article on the Browns’ big defensive tackle signing last night, she says that DT Dalvin Tomlinson was the team’s preferred option. It’s unclear as to whether that is purely from a talent/fit perspective, or if he was their preferred option because of cost factor too. She also adds that the team “still likes DT Jordan Elliott and DT Perrion Winfrey.”
The Browns liked Hargrave and Jones, but Tomlinson was their preferred option. The Browns also still like fourth-year pro Jordan Elliott and 2022 fourth-round pick Perrion Winfrey at the position.
9:15 AM: We have some more specific contract details out for DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, who the Browns agreed to terms with yesterday. -cjp
Ogbo Okoronkwo 3 years, $22.5M $12.49M gtd, $5.5M sign bonus, salaries $1.08M (gtd), $1.66M (gtd inj at sign, full if on roster 3rd day 2024 yr, $2.235M; $7.505M option bonus; $3M sacks, All-NFL base escalator 2025 lg yr, $4.25M 2024 gtd option bonus, $3.225M 2025 option bonus— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 14, 2023
9:00 AM: It never fails seeing the Texans wind up with former Browns players. We know that DE Chase Winovich was signing there — and it was a 1-year, $2 million deal. So for that cheap of a rate, I’d say that Cleveland really showed no interest in retaining him.
The other former Brown they are signing is QB Case Keenum. He’ll get a 1-year, $6.25 million deal with the Texans. Some of these quarterbacks make a heck of a living off of being a backup. -cjp
8:56 AM: As of last night, the Eagles and Buccaneers are the teams showing interest in QB Jacoby Brissett, according to Aaron Wilson. The only backup quarterback on the Browns’ roster right now is Kellen Mond.
#Browns veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett has drawn interest from teams, including #Buccaneers #Eagles others at start of #NFLFreeAgency, per league sources. Passed for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns, six interceptions, and rushed for 243 yards, two scores last season— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 14, 2023
7:23 AM: Glad we gave you some options because it looks like we will see another defensive lineman reportedly signing with the team sometime today if things go well: -Jared
Source: #Browns are not done adding help to the defensive line. The team will continue to hold talks with free agent defensive lineman and the expectation is they sign at least one more.— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) March 14, 2023
7:15 AM: While we wait for more news and process a possible Mack Wilson return, we also provided you three defensive tackles that could be interesting for the Browns to add to the Tomlinson and Okoronkwo on the defensive line. -Jared
7:12 AM: What’s old is new again? Last night, Brad Stainbrook of ESPN Cleveland reported that LB Mack Wilson is drawing interest from several teams, including the Browns. Last year around this time, the Browns traded Wilson to the Patriots in exchange for DE Chase Winovich. Winovich will sign a reported deal with the Texans. -cjp
Source: LB Mack Wilson is drawing interest from Texans, #Browns, Patriots, and the Cowboys.— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) March 14, 2023
Talks between Cleveland and Wilson occurred today. pic.twitter.com/IhEIFtNPqN
7:00 AM: Good morning, Browns fans! We summarized Cleveland's Day 1 moves in the introduction to today's blog, but it's also worth reminding that we're still in the legal tampering period. While 99% of reported deals will go through, technically, the players can't put pen to paper until Wednesday at 4:00 PM ET. -cjp