COMMENTARY | If the Cleveland Browns are serious about rebuilding their roster for 2014, then that process needs to begin next month.
That's because on March 11, the NFL free agency period begins. While there won't necessarily be that one game-changing player on the market this offseason, there are still a fair number of quality veterans that would be upgrades over what the Browns currently have at certain positions.
Cleveland is in a great position salary cap-wise, and would be wise to utilize some of that cap room in the coming months. These are the three free agents that the Browns would be wise to target this offseason:
Cleveland's receiving unit was a mixed bag in 2013. On one hand, tight end Jordan Cameron and wideout Josh Gordon were among the best at their respective positions in the NFL. Unfortunately, the struggles of wide receivers Davone Bess and Greg Little ensured that Cleveland's passing game wasn't as dangerous as it could have been last season.
Jones has played seven seasons in the NFL, all with the Packers. He has shown during his career that he is more than capable of being a quality number-two receiver in this league. In just 47 career starts, Jones has 37 touchdown receptions and has averaged a very respectable 13.9 yards per catch.
Zach Strief, RT, New Orleans Saints
The right side of Cleveland's offensive line was nothing short of terrible in 2013, and bringing in Strief would certainly help to change that.
Strief is 30 years of age, but doesn't have as much mileage on his body as his age would suggest. He backed up John Stinchcomb for the early part of his career, and has been a regular starter since 2011.
Strief has played well enough in New Orleans that he was named as one of the Saints' offensive captains in 2012.
Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans
The Browns' running game ranged between woeful and non-existent last season, and the lack of a quality starting running back was a big reason why.
Tate may be the most sought-after running back in free agency this offseason, and with good reason. In three years with the Houston Texans, Tate has rushed for 1,992 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has averaged 4.7 yards per carry during his career, and has 58 receptions as well. Tate is still just 25 years old, and has proven that he can be a quality back in the NFL.
Shaun Heidrick is a Yahoo Contributor who has followed the Cleveland Browns for over 25 years.
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