Cleveland Browns Active in Early Stages of Free Agency
The Cleveland Browns have been active in the early stages of free agency, taking advantage of the legal tampering period to address both sides of their roster. The team has completed contracts with edge rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, and center Ethan Pocic so far.
Okoronkwo’s deal is reportedly worth $19 million with incentives, while Tomlinson’s is a four-year, $57 million contract with $27.5 million guaranteed. Pocic re-signed for $18 million over three years.
Last year, Okoronkwo was also a free agent, however, the Browns re-signed Jadeveon Clowney and acquired Chase Winovich through a trade, as well as drafting Wright and Isaiah Thomas. This year, Okoronkwo felt his position was at risk due to the Browns' decision to replace their coordinator and their need for a fast edge rusher.
Okoronkwo gives them someone to replace Clowney, who’s a free agent and won’t return after registering two sacks and publicly criticizing the front office and coaching staff. At 28 years of age (April), Okoronkwo is thought of by the Browns as a player with a great amount of unrealized potential.
Before adding Okoronkwo, the Browns came to terms with three in-house free agents, re-signing A.J. Green and Sione Takitaki who are each valuable depth pieces on defense, as well as center Ethan Pocic.
Okoronkwo is 6-foot-1 and 253 pounds and is probably not an every-down player at defensive end, but the Browns will have both new roles and new players in what new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has promised will be an attacking scheme. The team intends to keep working on Alex Wright, their 2022 third-round selection, who stands at an impressive 6-foot-5 and weighs 267 lbs. He is additionally a more traditional, hand-on-ground type of player. The Browns are expected to bring in two more defensive linemen by April's end and are likely to prioritize versatility when doing so. Okoronkwo has some experience playing the linebacker position, and Wright can take the inside position on third downs.
0. “Browns: Grading the Ogbonnia Okoronkwo NFL free agency signing” Browns Wire, 13 Mar. 2023, https://brownswire.usatoday.com/lists/browns-grade-ogbo-okoronkwo-nfl-free-agency
1. “How does Ogbonnia Okoronkwo fit in Browns defense? Why Cleveland added late-blooming edge rusher” The Athletic, 13 Mar. 2023, https://theathletic.com/4305535/2023/03/13/cleveland-browns-ogbonnia-okoronkwo-free-agency-fit/
2. “Defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo agrees to 3-year deal” BrownsZone with Scott Petrak -, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.brownszone.com/2023/03/13/defensive-end-ogbonnia-okoronkwo-agrees-to-3-year-deal/
3. “Browns Free Agency 2023: Arrivals, departures, and rumors from Day 1” Dawg Pound Daily, 14 Mar. 2023, https://dawgpounddaily.com/posts/browns-free-agency-2023-arrivals-departures-rumors-day-1