The first day of the 2023 NFL free agency negotiating period saw several big moves happen across the league, though none of these are set in stone until March 15 when everyone can officially enter into agreements.
But around the league, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo signed with the Las Vegas Raiders, as did wide receiver Jakobi Meyers; the San Francisco 49ers added defensive tackle Javon Hargrave; the Denver Broncos added right tackle Mike McGlinchey and guard Ben Powers and reached an agreement to keep defensive end Zach Allen in an effort to protect QB Russell Wilson.
The Cleveland Browns did end up signing a couple of players — defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and edge Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, plus they retained center Ethan Pocic and linebacker Sione Takitaki. But fans were a bit disappointed in both the lack of big names and also some of the terms of the deals the Browns did reach.
Some Fans Think the Browns Overpaid Dalvin Tomlinson & Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
On Twitter when the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport announced the Dalvin Tomlinson deal, which is a four-year, $57 million contract with $27.5 million guaranteed, many fans immediately jumped in with comments along the lines of “holy overpay.”
“Holy s***! That’s a lot for a guy who isn’t much of a pass rusher,” wrote one fan.
Another added, “He’s more in to videos games that distrupting back fields. Good luck with that contract.”
A Vikings fan wrote, “Love the guy, but that’s way too much.”
“All this to go 7-10,” wrote another fan, and a Steelers fan added, “Watching the Browns overpay for another mediocre player.”
Another fan wrote, “A last place move for a last place team.”
One fan doesn’t think Tomlinson is the answer, writing, “Browns are never gonna solve the DT position while [defensive end Myles Garrett] is there are they? Pretty incredible they can’t identify a good DT thru draft or udfa (undrafted free agent).”
Some pundits agree that the Browns overpaid Tomlinson. Vikings Central wrote, “Browns, at that price, he’s all yours.”
USA Today thinks it was a good move, but added, “This contract is a shade rich if Tomlinson continues to be a rotational guy, but there’s no denying his excellence when he’s on the field.”
The Athletic is also a little concerned about the Okoronkwo deal, which is a three-year deal at $22 million with $12.5 million guaranteed. They gave the move a “C+” grade and wrote, “It feels like the Browns overpaid a bit for this one given his injury history.”
Several fans called that an overpay as well, with one writing, “Overpriced. We bought high will sell low. You don’t buy that high on a 7 game run.”
Browns Fans Were Also Disappointed on Who Cleveland Missed Out On
It also wasn’t so much the deals the team did make as the deals they didn’t. As ESPN Cleveland’s Nick Pedone pointed out, “The #Browns have now missed out on their Top 3 targets in Jessie Bates, Javon Hargrave, and Dre’Mont Jones.”
Indeed, Jones went to the Seattle Seahawks, Btes went to the Atlanta Falcons, and Hargrave went to the 49ers.
To Pedone’s tweet, one Bengals fan replied, “Thank you for being a realistic Browns fan. This has been an L for them today. Not a great day for my Bengals either, but not awful.”
A Browns fan added, “[GM Andrew Berry] is failing unless he’s got some miraculous trade up his sleeves brewing.”
“I hate this team. I really do. I don’t think they wanna win a Super Bowl! The defense sucks & who have we signed to make it better 🥴🥴 thought Jim shawartz was supposed to attract BIG names and DTs??,” wrote a third fan.
Another added, “500 teams do 500 team things.”
“I told y’all Browns don’t make moves. Coach, it was nice knowing you. Fired by week 8,” wrote another fan.
A sixth fan added, “Whiffed on Hargrave, Whiff on Jones, whiff on Bates. 57 million [for Tomlinson], smells of desperation. Very Danny Shelton like.”
“Little overpay [on Tomlinson] but definitely not mad about it. Wish we got Hargrave, though,” wrote another fan.
But Some Browns Fans Are Excited About the Moves
Not every fan was all doom and gloom about the first day of free agency negotiations. Some think the Browns got a steal with what they’re going to sign with Tomlinson and Okoronkwo.
“Browns boost their [interior defensive line]!” wrote one fan. “Tomlinson has seen his career run-defense grades slowly decline over the past few years but at the same time reached a new career high in pass-rush grade (79.1) and total pressures (29) in 2022 despite missing three games. Browns get the DT next to Myles!”
A second fan added, “Browns got a good one. DT is a monster.”
“Andrew Berry cooking as usual,” wrote a third fan.
A fourth fan wrote, “Love [Okoronkwo]. I approve that signing, his film is damn good.”
The NFL free agency negotiating period continues Tuesday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 15 until 4 p.m. Eastern, when all deals can be finalized as it is the official start to the new season.