The Cleveland Browns are frequent offseason winners. It's the other part of the calendar that gives them some trouble.
The team is poised close to the start off the free-agency period Tuesday afternoon to make two big additions to their defense, with reports suggesting they are close to agreeing with both linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Donte Whitner.
A third, more thrilling addition — trading for Darrelle Revis — has been discussed, too.
[Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players, and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players]
Dansby revived his career last season with the Arizona Cardinals after washing out as a big-money signing of the Miami Dolphins a few years ago. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport first reported the future signing, and The Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers reported that Dansby could receive a four-year $24 million contract from the Browns, including $14 million guaranteed and $10 million in 2014.
Whitner, who played locally, appears to want to return home. Although him signing with the Browns is not set in stone, all signs point in that direction. He has spent the past few seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, after being drafted by the Buffalo Bills.
Interesting that the Browns' two would-be signings essentially are replacing players they had on the roster last season. The Browns cut linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, who since has signed with the Indianapolis Colts, and appear to be waving goodbye to the younger T.J. Ward at safety if Whitner comes on board.
But Revis would be an upgrade if the Browns somehow landed him. The Buccaneers have shopped Revis the past 24 hours, and his high price tag — an asking price of multiple draft picks and Revis' $16 million annual salary — might not be deterrents for a Browns club that is flush with salary-cap space, armed with extra picks and desperate for positive attention.
Would the Browns actually pull the trigger on a Revis deal, despite all the potential red flags? Well, he was extremely good last season in Tampa following ACL surgery, is only 28 years old and a potential Revis-Joe Haden combo at safety would have some Browns fans dreaming of a Seahawks-caliber defense.
Still, it's pie-in-the-sky stuff for now. But then again, you can't blame the Browns for dreaming of greatness. It has eluded them for decades.
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