With the news of the Cleveland Browns releasing 2022 4th-round pick Perrion Winfrey due to another off-the-field incident, Cleveland is in the market for a defensive tackle. The unit has been bolstered this offseason with the additions of defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, Maurice Hurst, and Trysten Hill via free agency and the drafting of Siaka Ika in the 3rd round of this past draft.
However, if Dalvin Tomlinson gets injured the team is essentially back to where they were last season in terms of having one of the weaker defensive tackle rooms in the NFL. In terms of names, here are the 3 names the Browns should consider pursuing.
In terms of name recognition, Hicks is one of the best remaining options left on the free agent market. The 32-year-old veteran is someone that is capable of stopping the run and would be a good fit in terms of the scheme.
However, there is some concern in regard to Hicks. Age is a factor as well as his health, Hicks has played in 19 games in the past two seasons with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the Browns sign Hicks to a 1-year deal, it would be a fair deal for both sides. Hicks could bring more veteran leadership to a defensive tackle room and be an impact player for Cleveland this season in limited snaps.
Ioannidis has been a name that many Browns fans have been talking about going back to last season. At the trade deadline, Ioannidis’s name was brought up a lot in terms of trade chatter. Due to Cleveland’s persistent issues defending the run last season, Ioannidis would have made sense but the Browns stood pat.
Ioannidis has been in the league for a while with stops with the Washington Commanders and recently with the Carolina Panthers. In terms of production, he’s a solid defensive tackle and he has the ability to rush the pass passer effectively.
Sliding him alongside Tomlinson on the defensive tackle front would be a solid duo, even though Ioannidis doesn’t necessarily have a high ceiling he has shown to be a productive piece. As far as price goes, Cleveland can essentially bring him in on a deal that is fair for both sides. Overpay is not necessarily needed on a 1-year deal.
It could be a long shot, but the Browns should consider adding Harris. Seattle’s run defense, like Cleveland’s, was a problem last season. However, Harris was one of the lone bright spots for that run defense.
This offseason, Seattle chose to release Harris in a surprising move but it was mainly for salary cap purposes and HC Pete Carroll wanting to undergo a youth movement on defense. Recently on Twitter, Shelby Harris has hinted he could be making a return to an NFL team before training camps begin.
Seattle could re-sign Harris before camp, but if they don’t Cleveland shouldn’t hesitate to pick him up. Harris alongside Tomlinson would be a solid interior defensive lineman duo. The stout defensive tackle has shown he has enough juice left in the tank with last season as an example. Despite his age, Harris can produce and he would be a good addition to this Browns defensive tackle room.
Which of the three do you want the Browns to sign? If not one of these three, who else do you have in mind?