Browns Proposed Landing Spot for Former DPOY if Released

Khalil Mack

Getty Images Khalil Mack of the Los Angeles Chargers.

If Khalil Mack becomes a cap casualty for the Los Angeles Chargers, the Cleveland Browns should pounce at the opportunity.

Mack is a former Defensive Player of the Year and still one of the most imposing pass-rushers in the league. However, the Chargers are in a tight situation with their cap and could decide to designate him as a post-June 1 release, saving them nearly $23 million.

Mack may not be producing at the elite level he did with the Raiders and Bears, but the 31-year-old still has plenty left in the tank. Playing opposite of someone like Myles Garrett — who demands double teams — would only optimize his production.

If Mack hits the open market, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay sees the Browns as a potential landing spot, along with the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams.

“It’s conceivable Mack will want to land with a potential contender. A ring still eludes his decorated career,” Kay wrote. “The seven-time Pro Bowler would fit well with teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns, especially if he’s willing to sign a more team-friendly deal than his current contract.”

Browns Need to Bulk Up Defensive Line

Mack has played both as a standup edge rusher and out of a three-point stance in his career. But regardless of how he lines up, Mack knows how to get to the quarterback — something the Browns were missing last season outside of Garrett.

In nine seasons, Mack has racked up 84.5 sacks, including eight last season in his first year with the Chargers.

The Browns are in desperate need of an upgrade on the edge, with no reliable options returning next season. Jadeveon Clowney filled the role over the last two seasons. His first year was great, notching nine sacks and supplying a hefty amount of run support. However, things went awry last season, with Clowney supplying just two sacks and blasting the team at the end of the year.

“That is certainly a position group that we do value and we will continue to value, no different than the offensive line on the offensive side of the ball,” Berry said in his season-ending press conference. “We will continue to invest in it and make those decisions at the appropriate time.”

Browns New DC Jim Schwartz Has Big Plans for Garrett

Garrett is coming off his fourth Pro Bowl selection after notching 16 sacks for a second consecutive season. He’s been an impact player on the defensive side of the ball but new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz wants to maximize his impact even more.

“It is my job to give him some answers and to be able to put some pieces scheme wise and personnel wise around him to allow him to be free and more productive. When I say more productive, what? [16] sacks?” Schwartz said at his introductory press conference. “That answers your question; the bar is set really high for a good reason.”

But Garrett can’t do it alone. If he has a capable partner on the other end and more established defensive tackles, he could be in the mix for his own Defensive Player of the Year honor.

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