The Browns are hampered by injuries in the secondary, and may have to look elsewhere for reinforcements
An MRI confirmed the worst for Browns rookie safety Grant Delpit, as he’ll miss the entire season after tearing his achilles in practice. Cleveland now faces an uphill battle in their secondary, as outside of Denzel Ward, they’re lacking significant bodies in an AFC North that features Ben Roethlisberger, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow. MJ Stewart, Kevin Johnson and Greedy Williams all face injury, as well, and the season is just weeks away.
The Browns are essentially out of options on their current roster to replace a player the caliber of Delpit, but are there any players on the free agent market at this point in the offseason they could bring in?
Earl Thomas has emerged as an option for the Browns after Delpit’s injury
Thomas brings conflict with him, as he’s left his last two organizations in chaos. In Seattle, he infamously gave Pete Carroll the finger after a season-ending injury. More recently in Baltimore, Thomas was cut after getting in a fight during training camp. His Ravens teammates even advocated for his release. That’s not the type of player the Browns want to bring into their locker room.
However, Thomas’ talent could outweigh the risk, especially if they’re able to get him on a discounted, non-guaranteed deal. Cleveland has a lot of cap room, and they might not even have to use it if John Dorsey can negotiate down Thomas’ expectations. Thomas is a seven-time Pro Bowler, and he’s not that old at 31 years old. The allure of staying in the AFC North to show the Ravens what they’re missing two times next season is a solid bargaining chip for Dorsey, as well as one look at the Browns improved roster heading into 2020.
If Cleveland gets Thomas at his best, he’ll be a veteran presence in a secondary that should be vastly improved heading into 2020. If they get the same Thomas Baltimore was stuck with, he’ll be jobless again in rather short order.