Not every pending free agent for a team is worth re-signing. And for the Cleveland Browns, a handful of players who have been significant contributors, even as early as a season ago, no longer serve a purpose on the field for the team. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney would be the big name here, especially after his rant to the media, even if he did apologize for his comments.
Who are other names to mention that the Browns should let walk this offseason to gain traction toward a potential compensatory pick? Here are four names the Browns should have little interest in bringing back in 2023.
DE Jadeveon Clowney
Browns DE Jadeveon Clowney. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)
Again, Clowney’s comments were one thing, but his production on the field is also not worth the amount of money the Browns paid him a year ago. Clowney will not sniff the $10 million he made in 2022, and even at a reduced cost, he will not be back in Cleveland.
After a productive first year with the Browns, a year where Clowney racked up nine sacks opposite Myles Garrett, he tallied just two sacks in 2022. While his run defense is still noticeably strong, nobody pays a defensive end for what they do against the ground attack.
RB Kareem Hunt
Browns RB Kareem Hunt. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
There is no doubt that Kareem Hunt is losing juice. His lack of explosiveness in 2022 was notable compared to seasons prior for the Browns. As the Browns drafted Jerome Ford out of Cincinnati in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, his carries may transition onto fresher legs.
Despite playing in nine more games than he did a year ago, Hunt only rushed for about 100 more yards on 45 added carries. For the first time in his career, Hunt’s yards per carry dropped below four yards as his production dropped across the board. This is a less-than-ideal ending to the contract of a player who opted to rescind his trade demand in training camp.
CB Greedy Williams
Browns CB Greedy Williams. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
The Browns drafted a cornerback in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft in emerging star Martin Emerson Jr. Despite trading nickel Troy Hill after the selection, the Browns found little use for Greedy Williams. He even lost snaps to A.J. Green in the secondary for Cleveland.
Now set for free agency, the market for Williams will be steady, mainly because his price tag will be low for a former second round pick. Their stable of cornerbacks is still deep, especially with Green set for restricted free agency, so there is little use in bringing Williams back.
S Ronnie Harrison
Browns S Ronnie Harrison (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
It was a shock to see the Browns and Ronnie Harrison agree to a deal to bring him back in 2022 in the first place. Safe to say, this will not happen again as the two sides both need a clean breakup.
Harrison only saw the field in DIME packages and when an injury took place, and he did not particularly fare well when he stepped between the lines. He lacks range, cannot play in man coverage, and is little more than a faux linebacker in the modern NFL.
As the Browns look for a new defensive coordinator, it seems like a role for Harrison has diminished.