The Cleveland Browns have shown some interest in bringing back linebacker Mack Wilson.
The interest in Wilson was reported by Brad Stainbrook of the Orange and Brown Report, who said Cleveland spoke to Wilson on Monday about a potential deal. He added that the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys have also shown interest in Wilson’s services.
Wilson was sent to New England last offseason in exchange for defensive end Chase Winovich — a move that really didn’t pan out for either squad. Winovich was hurt for a chunk of the time he was with the Browns and recently signed with the Texans.
Wilson started just three games for the Patriots, totaling 36 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He also played a role on special teams but never earned a consistent role on New England’s defense.
Wilson initially looked like he could be a steal for the Browns as a fifth-round pick in 2019. He started 14 games as a rookie. However, that number dropped to eight games in Year 2 and six games in 2021. While Wilson’s production fell and he dealt with a few injuries, he was always passionate about playing in Cleveland, displaying his love for the city and franchise on social media.
Browns Plan to Keep Sione Takitaki Around
Wilson wouldn’t be an expensive acquisition for the Browns, who need depth at linebacker as they rebuild the defense under new coordinator Jim Schwartz.
The Browns do plan to bring back Sione Takitaki — who played alongside Wilson for a few years — next season. The sides have agreed to a one-year deal, which will give Takitaki a chance to compete for the starting role. The value is expected to be around $2.5 million, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Takitaki had a breakout season with the Browns, despite playing in just 12 games. He started eight games and notched a career-high 71 tackles. Cleveland was ravaged by injury at the linebacker position, which led to some extra work for Takitaki. However, he suffered his own season-ending injury in December, going down with a torn ACL.
Takitaki had expressed an interest in returning to Cleveland, although he knew the injury would hurt his value for his first free agency experience.
“I feel like I have enough tape to end up landing on my feet eventually, so I’m not really worried,” Takitaki said. “Obviously it sucks, you know what I mean? Could have definitely got hooked up in the next contract, but I’m excited. I still got a lot of tape and I bring a lot to the table and I’m just excited.”
Browns Add DT Dalvin Tomlinson
The Browns made a big signing to open up free agency, inking Dalvin Tomlinson to a four-year, $57 million deal with $27.5 million guaranteed, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Tomlinson missed a few games last season but was a force in the middle for the Minnesota when healthy. He posted 42 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits and a forced fumble in 13 games played.
The Browns were focused on adding one of the big-fish free agents at defensive tackle this offseason. It was a clear position of need and will be even more in focus under Schwartz in his attacking scheme.