The Cleveland Browns have more remaining salary cap space than any other franchise in the NFL, and the front office continues weighing the best options for how to spend it.
The defensive line could use some help and the name of Ndamukong Suh has been kicked around as a potential solution. There have also been rumors of an addition to the secondary in the form of former Browns cornerback Joe Haden, which have been fueled by his own Instagram posts. But perhaps the most obvious area of need on the offensive side of the ball, and arguably the entire team, is an inexperienced wide receiver group led by the recently acquired Amari Cooper.
The list of options at the position is relatively thin, though another former Brown in Odell Beckham Jr. and two-time All Pro Julio Jones remain free agents. But the most sensible addition at receiver may be Will Fuller, a bonafide deep threat with connections to Cleveland’s new quarterback Deshaun Watson.
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Browns Must Consider Adding Second Experienced Receiver in 2022
The Browns’ chances for success this season remain in considerable doubt, with Watson facing a disciplinary hearing for off-field actions that could result in his suspension for several games. The Baker Mayfield drama also continues in Cleveland, as he remains on the roster amid swirling trade rumors that renew more or less daily. Meanwhile, the franchise has said it is preparing for Jacoby Brissett to take the reins to begin the year if neither of the aforementioned quarterbacks are in a position to do so.
Alex Kay of Bleacher Report contended that in the midst of all the questions over who will run the Browns’ offense and how well that player can be expected to perform considering the circumstances, the franchise would be doing itself a favor by adding another weapon next to Cooper.
No matter who lines up under center for the Cleveland Browns this year, the team needs to add at least one more veteran wide receiver.
Kicking the tires on Will Fuller V could be Cleveland’s best option. He’s coming off an abysmal season with the Miami Dolphins in which he suited up for just two games and caught four passes for 26 yards, but the six-year veteran still has massive potential.
Fuller is still only 28 years old and is only a year removed from a career-best campaign in 2020, one in which he tallied 53 catches for 879 yards and eight touchdowns for the Houston Texans.
If Deshaun Watson is allowed to play this year, pairing him with Fuller could lift the Browns offense significantly. The Watson-Fuller battery was one of the league’s most dangerous during their time together with the Texans.
Watson and Fuller connected on 22 touchdowns as Texans teammates, as the receiver averaged between 15-17 yards per reception in three of four seasons with Watson in Houston.
Browns Should Have Cap Space to Address Areas Outside of WR
With more than $42 million in cap space, the Browns don’t have to stop at the addition of Fuller and/or some other wide receiver they believe equally suited to help the team.
The defensive front is probably the weakest group on Cleveland’s roster, even despite Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney serving as bookend pass rushers who combined for 25 sacks last season. Both starting defensive tackles are gone from what was already one of the more suspect interior lines in the league last season.
Suh, a three-time All Pro, continues to be an ironman in the NFL. He has missed just two games across his 12-year professional career and would bring a level of toughness up the middle that Cleveland has indisputably been missing.
Based on their salary projections, the Browns could afford to add both Fuller and Suh and still have a lot of money left over to make more roster moves ahead of the regular season opener against the Carolina Panthers on September 11.