If history tells us anything, Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry is about to make significant changes to the team’s roster. Not only do the Browns have 26 pending free agents and eight selections in this year’s NFL draft, but Berry has the salary cap flexibility to open up a lot of space.
Having owner Jimmy Haslam’s deep pockets and willingness to spend money upfront also helps Cleveland’s GM do some shopping.
Since taking over the team, Berry has done just that. From Jack Conklin and Austin Hooper in Year 1 to Dalvin Tomlinson, Juan Thornhill and Ogbo Okoronkwo last year, the Browns roster has constantly been updated with highly-rated free agents. Not all of them have worked out as expected but Berry has been active in free agency every year.
As we prepare for this year’s NFL free agency, it is interesting to look at players connected to Cleveland. In their piece looking at just quarterbacks and receivers, Pro Football Focus has the Browns connected to Minnesota Vikings WR KJ Osborn:
Osborn lined up primarily in the slot in 2022 and shifted outside in 2023. He’s a WR3/4 but has been productive in a very high-volume Vikings passing attack. Untimely drops plagued him in 2023 but he’d provide solid depth for a lot of teams, and one has to imagine with the addition of first-round rookie Jordan Addison and the emergence of Brandon Powell this past season that perhaps Minnesota works a bit harder to retain the speedy Powell on a cheaper deal.
PFF has Osborn ranked as the 142nd overall free agent with a projected contract of two years with $10 million total. In four seasons, Osborn has combined 158 receptions for over 1,845 yards and 15 touchdowns. All of those stats have accrued over the last three seasons.
QB Joe Flacco doesn’t make the list of top 150 free agents but former Browns QBs Baker Mayfield and Jacoby Brissett do. Mayfield is expected to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but PFF notes the Denver Broncos as a potential fit as well. Brissett, #126 on the list, is projected to either the Las Vegas Raiders or New England Patriots.
Does Osborn interest you? If he’s the best free agent receiver the team signs, what would that tell you about the offseason?