Cleveland Browns: 3 Important Players Who Are Free Agents In 2024

rsz dm 240113 hunts 2nd td
rsz dm 240113 hunts 2nd td

The Cleveland Browns were one of the pleasant surprises of the 2023 NFL season. In a year that saw quarterback injuries and issues run rampant around the league, the Browns were one of the teams most affected.

Impressive Run For The Browns Comes To An End Against Texans

The keys to the offense wound up in the hands of Joe Flacco, who spent the first half of the season sitting on his couch, but the veteran was able to lead the team on a hot streak to close out the regular season.

Cleveland finished with 11 wins for just the second time since 1994, and qualified for the postseason as the 5th seed in the AFC. But their magic ran out in their Wild Card Weekend game against the Houston Texans, getting blown out by a score of 45-14 to end their season, a game that featured Flacco throwing a pick-6 on back-to-back drives in the second half.

Playing in the wildly competitive AFC North, they will have to make some changes and tweaks to their roster during the coming off-season. They have some key players that have expiring contracts, and they are currently projected to be $13.9 million over the cap before they begin their transactions and restructures. Will they be able to bring the big names back?

Three Important Players That Will Be Free Agents:

Here are three important Cleveland Browns players that are set to become free agents this off-season:

Sione Takitaki – LB

Takitaki has been one of the most consistent defenders for the Browns over the past few years, and started seven of the 15 games that he played in during the 2023 regular season. He finished third on the team in tackles with 65, and notched two sacks while having three passes defended. If the Browns want to keep their top-rated defense together, bringing Takitaki back could be an off-season priority.

Kareem Hunt – RB

Nick Chubb went down with a gruesome injury early in the season, and the team was forced to go to a running-back-by-committee attack that featured Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt. While Ford was the attempt and yardage leader, Hunt was the touchdown scorer. He got into the end zone nine times, easily more than any other player on the Browns.

Hunt’s contract is up, and it is unclear whether Cleveland will choose to keep the running back who will be 29-years-old at the start of next season.

Za’Darius Smith – DE

Myles Garrett gets the accolades for the Cleveland pass rush, and rightfully so, but they’ll likely want to hold on to their other edge player if they want to continue to run things back with the defense. Smith finished second on the team with 5.5 sacks, and had 20 hits on the quarterback while starting all 16 games (starters rested in Week 18).

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