[DAY 4 (THURSDAY) BROWNS FREE AGENCY LIVE BLOG]
Day 3 of Cleveland Browns and NFL free agency, and with this being Wednesday, that also means that the new league year "officially" begins at 4:00 PM ET today. That's when free agents can sign on the dotted line with their new teams, start doing interviews, etc. Day 2 of free agency may have been relatively quiet for Cleveland, but today should be a bit busier.
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 3
7:02 PM: Cross another need off of the list as Cleveland is reportedly signing FS Juan Thornhill to cover centerfield for them.
6:58 PM: The Browns lost some depth along the offensive line and Hjalte Froholdt is heading west on a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
6:17 PM: Cleveland continues to make signings official, now confirming the signing of DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.
6:14 PM: A potential reunion with DC Jim Schwartz didn’t work out as Fletcher Cox returns to Philadelphia:
Six-time Pro-Bowl DT Fletcher Cox is returning to the Eagles on a one-year, $10 million deal, per sources. Eagles get the “hometown discount” as he turned down more lucrative offers. pic.twitter.com/bEa3yLrJhi— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2023
6:00 PM: In interesting moves for salary cap reasons, Cleveland released both John Johnson III and Jadeveon Clowney today.
5:22 PM: The Browns make another signing official, this time on the defensive line.
4:22 PM: The Indianapolis Colts have signed former Browns DT Taven Bryan to a 1-year deal.
4:10 PM: The Browns officially announced that they have re-signed cornerback A.J. Green to a one-year contract.
4:00 PM: The 2023 NFL league year is officially underway! And with that, our backup quarterback is officially gone, as QB Jacoby Brissett will get a chance to lead the Washington Commanders:
3:14 PM: A potential defensive tackle target got a big one-year deal from the Houston Texans. The Browns had interest but, likely, at a lower rate for multiple years:
The #Texans have signed DT Sheldon Rankins to a one-year, $10.5 million deal, source says. DeMeco Ryans gets a big piece for his defensive front. After two years with the #Jets, Rankins heads to Houston. pic.twitter.com/vYA93fN4u4— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 15, 2023
3:11 PM: The Browns confirmed the re-signing of center Ethan Pocic to a three-year deal.
3:10 PM: For those who were hoping for another receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster, who hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season since 2018 and only three touchdowns combined the past two seasons, just signed with New England for $11 million a year:
Compensation update: Patriots and JuJu Smith-Schuster reached agreement on a three-year, $33 million deal with $22.5 million earned over the first two years of the deal, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2023
1:00 PM: A potential option to fill the opening at safety for the Browns is off the board as safety Jordan Poyer is expected to re-sign with the Buffalo Bills, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:
There are still matters to be worked out, but one of the #Bills stars isn't going anywhere. https://t.co/oJo2Ya7ESZ— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2023
12:15 PM: Former Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield has a new home as he will be joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield reached agreement today on a one-year deal worth up to $8.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per sources. Mayfield is now in line to be Tom Brady’s successor. pic.twitter.com/2ZldEPxHY8— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2023
Mayfield opened last season with the Carolina Panthers before eventually moving on to the Los Angeles Rams for the final five games of the season. Now he gets to be in the mix in Tampa to be the quarterback who replaces the retired Tom Brady, so no pressure!
11:20 AM: While we wait for free agency to officially open today at 4 p.m. and for more news from the Cleveland Browns, let’s take a moment to reflect on the odd fascination the Houston Texans have with former Cleveland players.
So far this week, the Texans are signing free agent defensive end Chase Winovich, who played for the Browns last year, and free agent quarterback Case Keenum, who was with the Browns in 2020 and 2021.
That continues the Cleveland to Houston pipeline, which in just the past couple of years has seen the Texans acquire, among others:
- LB Christian Kirksey
- OL Justin McCray
- DB M.J. Stewart
- DB Tavierre Thomas
- LB Tae Davis
- CB Terrance Mitchell
- DL Vincent Jackson
- S Eric Murray
- QB Tyrod Taylor
- TE Pharaoh Brown
The NFL can be a strange place at times.
10:37 AM: Now we are talking about a possible addition, with TE Donald Parham on the Browns radar. Parham stands 6’8” and showed some very good athleticism. Just 25 years old, Parham is still developing but has been a key redzone threat in his three seasons in the league.
Source: #Browns are expected to have significant interest in former Chargers TE Donald Parham.— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) March 15, 2023
A potential red zone target for QB Deshaun Watson, Parham has 479 career receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. pic.twitter.com/CFYSzhjcdN
10:30 AM: We broke down the details of the Tomlinson contract. It fits the normal contract structure that GM Andrew Berry seems to like.
9:45 AM: A tight end target is off the market on a three-year deal for Hayden Hurst:
The #Panthers are expected to sign former #Bengals TE and first-round pick Hayden Hurst, source said. Another weapon for their new QB (whoever that is).— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2023
9:00 AM: Yesterday we shared how well the Browns were doing compared to other teams in the league, the signing of Dalvin Tomlinson is a big reason for that. Compared to a “replacement level player” or average defensive tackle, Tomlinson is great against the pass and good against the run:
Found my second mistake. Forgot to add Byron Murphy to the Vikings. They're still in the negative, but not last anymore. Peterson is the projection most will disagree with, but his coverage grade and "when targeted" metric were solid last year pic.twitter.com/h8SgCBumW3— Kevin Cole (@KevinCole___) March 15, 2023
8:30 AM: A receiver and special teams player that some thought would follow Bubba Ventrone from Indianapolis to Cleveland is sticking around with the Colts on a reported two-year contract:
WR Ashton Dulin is returning to the Indianapolis Colts.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2023
7:00 AM: We begin today with sort of how we began yesterday's live blog: a Mack Wilson update. According to Brad Stainbrook, yesterday, the Browns and Texans both had "healthy discussions" with Mack. (Again, though, what is it with the Texans and former Browns players?!)