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Browns Free Agency: Players who could join their former coaches in Cleveland

A list of 2024 free agents that could potentially follow their former coaches to Cleveland

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. on March 13th, and the Cleveland Browns are going to be fairly active in the market once again.

Despite being $19,622,046 over the salary cap as it currently stands they can restructure, extend, and cut players to create around $50M+ in extra cap room. They should realistically have more than enough resources to add quality players to the roster this offseason.

Here are 8 players who are set to become free agents in March that the team could be interested in, and attempt to lure to Cleveland using their past relationships with the team’s new additions to the coaching staff.

Ken Dorsey - Offensive Coordinator

WR Gabriel Davis - Buffalo Bills

Davis has been a steady contributor in Buffalo’s offense over the past four seasons as their WR2. He has excellent long-speed and has a nose for the endzone, averaging 16.7 yards per catch and racking up 27 receiving touchdowns since 2020.

This Cleveland offense needs more speed and playmaking ability in the wide receiver room, and that just so happens to be what Davis would bring with him.

Projected APY: $12,419,000

RB Damien Harris - Buffalo Bills

Harris was injured for most of the 2023 season in Buffalo, but he was very productive in New England before that as their top rotational and early-down back. In 2021 he rushed for 929 yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

Harris would give the Browns some above-average depth at the position, and a player that could undoubtedly handle a larger workload if need be.

Projected APY: $1,550,000

WR Trent Sherfield - Buffalo Bills

Sherfield has been an adequate depth player over the past three seasons in San Francisco, Miami, and Buffalo. He played 58% of total snaps for the Dolphins in 2022 and filled the role of WR3 for a good portion of that year, mostly being utilized as their “field stretcher” due to his speedy nature.

He’s started at least one game in each of his first 6 seasons since going undrafted in 2018, and that says something about his overall skillset. Sherfield would bring more speed to Cleveland’s offense and be a reliable depth piece going forward.

Projected APY: $1,298,000

Duce Staley - Running Back Coach

RB Craig Reynolds - Detroit Lions

Reynolds has been a beloved teammate on and off the field and has always developed great relationships with his coaches. Duce Staley in particular is the one who gave him his nickname “Netflix” during his time coaching Reynolds in Detroit during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Reynolds has shown the ability to be fairly effective while rotating in on passing downs and being a steady RB3 for the Lions. He is someone who’s shown the potential to handle more work, and he could be a solid addition to Cleveland’s running back room for depth purposes.

Projected APY: $1,988,000

RB Raheem Blackshear - Carolina Panthers

Blackshear has largely been utilized as Carolina’s kick returner on special teams over the past two seasons, but he’s also a very good pass-catcher out of the backfield. He’s less of a traditional running back and more of a gadget-type playmaker who could provide a team with an explosive play here and there.

If the Browns are in the market for a kick returner who can also rotate in on passing downs and gadget plays, then Blackshear would be a cheap option in this mold.

Projected APY: $572,000

Jacques Cesaire - Defensive Line Coach

DT Sheldon Rankins - Houston Texans

It would be very surprising to see Rankins leave Houston without being extended, but if he does, he’s exactly the type of player that Cleveland wants at 3-technique. The Browns were reportedly interested in him last offseason and if he hits the market again in March, they’ll most likely be interested again.

He’s been an above-average interior pass rusher for a while now and was especially effective in 2023 while under the tutelage of Cesaire in Houston. If Coach Cesaire can lure him to Cleveland this offseason, the Browns’ defensive line could get even more dangerous.

Projected APY: $7,363,000

DT Teair Tart - Houston Texans

Tart had a falling out in Tennessee, which saw him get waived and claimed by the Texans in 2023. When he was initially waived, the Browns put in a waiver claim for Tart but unfortunately got beat out by Houston. He’s been highly regarded as a very good run-stopper since being drafted in 2020 and was a stalwart in the middle of the Texans’ defensive line for 11 games.

Tart would still be on Cleveland’s “wish list” this offseason regardless of their draft plans.

Projected APY: $4,304,000

DE Derek Barnett - Houston Texans

Barnett was “okay” but fairly underwhelming for the most part in Philadelphia between 2017 and the first half of 2023, but looked better for Houston during his 6 games there. He was very consistent rushing the passer once rookie Will Anderson Jr. got hurt last season, and formed a productive duo with Jonathan Greenard over the final 4 games of the year.

Barnett would give the Browns another effective pass rusher in 2024 alongside Myles Garrett, Ogbo Okoronkwo, and Alex Wright.

Projected APY: $2,423,000


Which of these free agents would you like to see in Cleveland? Join fellow Browns fans in the comment section below.