Welcome back to the eighth installment of the series. I am taking a deep dive into the Browns roster and how they can best fill the holes in their roster. Each day I will be releasing a different position room.
For every position room, I have outlined how the NFL structures that position on the roster. The players we have in four categories: starter, rotation (play some snaps), depth (injury backup/special teams) and other (likely cut). Then I will lay out the options currently on the roster, available in FA as well as via the draft for all 53 spots.
The average NFL team has 9.1 DLs on their roster. The interior defensive line room should contain four players. You have your two starters playing around 60% of snaps, similar to the starters at the edge. Then two backups who play 33% each. Deciding which player is a 1T & a 3T I found by far the hardest piece, bare with me if there was one or two that jumped into the wrong list based on the scheme.
Starting 1T: ?
Roster – While Larry Ogunjobi is a fan favorite his play has been declining since he has been in the league, after his impressive rookie season.
FA – After coming off a down year Michael Pierce is due to command $5m a year. He would add talent to the DL as well as helping to plug the issues we have with the run game. The other name on the market at 1T is Shelby Harris. Mike Daniels is the third name in DT FA with a similar price range. He is more of a 3T based on his snaps but he could offer something if you want to go more aggressive on the DL in terms of pressure over the run defense.
Starting 3T: Sheldon Richardson
Roster – Sheldon Richardson had a very good season last year and will be a lock for the roster next season. It is likely his final year with the Browns as he is unlikely to see out the third and final year on his deal. He was signed to a deal that was at the higher end of the spectrum and with only a $1.7 million dead cap alongside a $12 million savings, the writing is already on the wall.
Rotational 1T: Larry Ogunjobi
Roster – With Larry Ogunjobi’s continued decline over the last three seasons they have to decide what to do with him moving forward. He has lost weight since his rookie year so they can decide to leave him as a backup 1T or ask him to transition to 3T for his remaining season. The other option is to check the trade market. There might be another team with a player in their final rookie year who also wants to move on and run the tiers on someone else.
FA – If the Browns need to chase FA for a 1T then some names are: Andrew Billings, Mike Pennel, Nick Williams & Tyler Davison. Generally, you want to avoid paying for depth so it would need to be a very cheap deal to get this done.
Rotational 3T: ?
FA – There are plenty of names available in FA but the Browns would need a basement one year deal from one of these players: John Jenkins, Zach Kerr, Christian Covington, Rodney Gunter & A’Shawn Robinson. Many are unlikely to take the one year deal as they probably don’t see it as a shot at a Super Bowl as well as being sat behind Sheldon Richardson.
Draft – If it is to be the final year for Richardson then it would be a good idea to invest in the draft to find a player who could be his long term replacement. Depending on how the board falls this could be a player they go after from rounds 3 onwards. Upside will be more important than instant production, any step forward makes moving Richardson on easier.
Other: Eli Ankou, Brandin Bryant, Daniel Ekuale, Justin Zimmer
Check back tomorrow for the Linebacker deep dive.
Any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @JackDuffin. The DMs are open for any salary cap/roster construction questions you have.