The Cleveland Browns have made a flurry of roster moves over the last month, but there are still more transactions that need to be made as general manager Andrew Berry works with head coach Kevin Stefanski on finalizing the roster.
With the NFL Draft and free agency mostly in the rearview mirror, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell broke down “one player on each roster who is likely to be released or become a trade candidate over the next few months.”
For the Browns, Barnwell singled out veteran cornerback Terrance Mitchell, who is due $3 million next season. Mitchell played in 15 games last season with the Browns, starting four. However, even with some injuries plaguing the Browns secondary during the year, he only played 30.6% of the defensive snaps. Mitchell notched 21 total tackles and an interception last season.
The Browns currently have two young corners they like in Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams. Former first-round pick Kevin Johnson was signed in free agency and will likely be the third corner. That would leave Mitchell competing for the fourth cornerback spot on the depth chart, likely against undrafted free agent A.J. Green, who the Browns gave quite a bit of guaranteed money to when he signed.
Do the Browns Have Better Options at Cornerback?
The question for the Browns would be if they really wanted to let go of a player with a solid resume of NFL experience to rely on another, younger and greener option. As Barnwell points out, Berry has said that he won’t simply release players who were signings of the former regime, as Mitchell was.
“The first thing I want to clarify is every player who is on the Browns roster, they are part of our organization and they are a Cleveland Brown. It is not about how they were acquired, who acquired them or anything along those lines,” Berry told reporters this offseason. “The players on our team, they are ours and we are going to embrace them with open arms regardless of how they got here.”
There are still some names on the market who could fill the void as a veteran backup cornerback if the Browns decided to move on from Mitchell. Notable names available include former Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Logan Ryan and Prince Amukamara.
Browns Have Moved on From Other Defensive Veterans
Schobert landed in Jacksonville on a five-year contract with $22.5 million guaranteed. The deal is worth a total of $53.75 million.
Schobert made 133 tackles last season, leading the Browns. He also snagged four interceptions and collected a pair of sacks. It was his third season in a row with triple-digit tackles, totaling 104 in 2018 and 144 during a Pro Bowl campaign in 2017.
Kirksey inked a two-year, $16 million contract with Green Bay. When healthy, Kirksey was a high-producing talent. He had 138 tackles in 2017 and 148 the year prior to that. He had 484 tackles, 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions during his time with the Browns.