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Browns 2023 Free Agency Tracker: Which players are coming to Cleveland, which are headed out

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Posted at 10:54 AM, Mar 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-24 14:46:33-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns have some work to do this offseason to fill some positions of need and bolster the roster, and that work starts in free agency. With the 2023 free agency signing period set to begin Wednesday at 4 p.m. and legal tampering (the two-day negotiating window) open Monday at noon, there will be a lot of moving pieces around the Browns' roster.

Some new faces will join the team, and some familiar ones will find themselves elsewhere. Such is free agency. The moves the Browns make will be listed below as they develop. Make sure to check back for updates as the week goes on.

Another WR on the way
After trading for speedy wide receiver Elijah Moore, the Browns made another move in the room, agreeing to terms with free agent wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, a league source confirmed. Goodwin, who is coming from the Seattle Seahawks, recently visited the organization. Not long after the visit, Goodwin and the Browns agreed to terms, and the receiver will soon sign a one-year contract with the team.

Goodwin, 32, has spent time with the Bills, 49ers, Eagles, Bears and Seahawks over his nine-year career. While he's not as young as Moore, Goodwin also adds a burst of speed to the wide receivers room. Goodwin entered the NFL with the third-fastest 40 yard dash time at the NFL Combine, running a 4.27. Last season with the Seahawks, Goodwin played in 13 games, starting in two, recording 27 catches for 387 yards and four touchdowns. Over his career, Goodwin has played in 102 games, recording 187 catches for 3,023 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Browns make a trade
Since free agency started, the Browns have been targeting areas of need, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. But the team switched gears Wednesday, trading for the Jets speedy wide receiver Elijah Moore, a league source confirmed.

The Browns will send their 2023 second round pick—pick No. 42—to the Jets in exchange for Moore and third-round pick No. 74. Moore is on his rookie deal, entering his third season in the NFL.

RELATED: Browns trading for Jets speedster wide receiver Elijah Moore

Veteran leader returns
The Cleveland Browns are bringing back a veteran leader presence to the roster, re-signing linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. to a one-year deal, a league source confirmed.

Walker had recently entered free agency after spending the past two seasons playing for the Browns on one-year contracts.

Before agreeing to terms to come back to the Browns, Walker visited with the Washington Commanders, exploring his options in free agency, ultimately returning to Cleveland on the one-year deal.

RELATED: Browns re-signing LB Anthony Walker Jr. to 1-year deal

Another weapon for Bubba
The Browns continued their efforts of adding talent to new special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone's unit, signing linebacker and special teamer Matthew Adams Tuesday.

Last season, Adams played for the Bears. Before that he spent time with the Colts, who selected him in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

So far in his career, Adams has played in 68 games with 12 starts, recording 57 total tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Adams has also contributed 24 stops on special teams.

Backup comes back
The Cleveland Browns are piecing together their roster through free agency and will be bringing back a familiar face as they signed quarterback Josh Dobbs to a one-year deal, his agent Mike McCartney confirmed Monday.

Dobbs returns after sending much of last season on the roster while Deshaun Watson served his 11-game suspension. After the Browns waived him last season, Dobbs played for the Titans where he started in a playoff-implication game for the squad.

RELATED: Browns bringing back Josh Dobbs as backup quarterback

Special teams acquisitions
The Browns gave the new special teams coordinator some weapons to work with, signing cornerback and gunner specialist Mike Ford, a league source confirmed.

Ford, 27, comes from the Atlanta Falcons where he shined on special teams. Ford previously played for the Broncos and was initially signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2018.

Additionally, the Browns re-signed linebacker and special teamer Jordan Kunaszayk to a one-year deal.

Kunaszayk played in 15 games for the Browns last season with two starts, 22 tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble.

Linebacker departs
The Browns saw unrestricted free agent linebacker Tae Davis land on a new team as he signed with the Atlanta Falcons Friday.

Davis signed a one-year deal with the Falcons. Davis had a history with the Browns, playing in five games for Cleveland in 2022, 13 games in 2020 and nine games in 2019. Davis was primarily a practice squad player but saw elevations at different points in his tenure.

Greedy's gone
The Browns saw a free agent depart and land on a new team after the Eagles signed cornerback Greedy Williams to a one-year deal.

Williams was an unrestricted free agent.

Selected by the Browns in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams has been relatively inconsistent for Cleveland due to a string of injuries. Williams was out the entire 2020 season with a nerve injury in his shoulder sustained during training camp. He missed time last season with a hamstring injury.

Over the three seasons and 39 games he played in, Williams recorded two interceptions, 12 passes defended, a forced fumble, and 99 total tackles.

Deshaun Watson reunited with teammate
The Browns added a new tight end to the roster, signing Jordan Akins, his agent David Canter confirmed.

Akins, 30, is coming from the Houston Texans, a team where he's had two stints. During his first stint with the team which began in 2018 when they selected him in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Akins played for three seasons with quarterback Deshaun Watson.

That established chemistry may bode well for Akins and the Browns this season.

Over his five seasons in the league, Akins has played in 73 games with 26 starts, recording 151 receptions for 1,755 yards and eight touchdowns.

Cowboy comes to Cleveland
Continuing to revamp the defensive line, the Browns are signing defensive lineman Trysten Hill to a one-year deal, a source confirmed.

Hill, a 24-year-old defensive tackle coming from the Cowboys, was selected out of the University of Central Florida by Dallas in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

In his 31 career games, Hill has started in five, recording 39 total tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Hill joins the defensive line rotation that has seen movement in and out with players like Jadeveon Clowney and Chase Winovich no longer on the roster and players like Dalvin Tomlinson and Ogbo Okoronkwo added to the mix in free agency.

More D-Line help
The Browns added some depth to the interior defensive line, agreeing to terms with defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, a league source confirmed.

It's a one-year deal for Hurst, who is coming off a torn bicep that sidelined him for the entire 2022 season. Before the injury, Hurst played with the 49ers, and the Raiders before that.

Hurst has played 42 career games, recording seven passes defended, an interception and force fumble, two fumble recoveries, eight sacks and 78 total tackles in that time.

Superbowl safety signed
The Browns addressed a need in their secondary on Wednesday, signing safety Juan Thornhill to a three-year contract, a league source confirmed.

The deal is worth $21 million with $14 million guaranteed.

Thornhill, a two-time Superbowl champ with the Kansas City Chiefs, has played in 65 career games over his four seasons in the league, recording eight interceptions, a defensive touchdown, 20 passes defended, a forced fumble and fumble recovery, a sack and 234 total tackles.

The Browns needed to add to the room after releasing safety John Johnson III as a post-June 1 designation and did so in a big way with the addition of Thornhill.

Takitaki returns
After a brutal injury, an ACL tear that ended his season in Week 13, Sione Takitaki has been working to rehab for a 2023 return, and on Monday that return became official as the Browns agreed to terms on a 1-year deal with the linebacker, a league source confirmed.

The deal to sign Takitaki is worth about $2.5 million, a low-cost deal for a player returning from a serious injury but one with promising upside when healthy and strong leadership skills that will prove useful to the reshaping defense.

Takitaki was a standout last season, playing at a high level after linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. was lost to injury for the season earlier in the year. The Browns shifted him from a predominantly rotational role-playing SAM (strongside linebacker) to MIKE (middle linebacker) where he thrived in the role of calling defensive plays and stepping up as a leader for his team.

Defensive tackle targeted
The Browns addressed one of the biggest areas of concern on the roster late Monday night, agreeing to terms with defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, a league source confirmed.

Tomlinson and the Browns agreed to a 4-year, $57 million contract, giving a massive boost to a room that was in desperate need on the roster.

The 29-year-old defensive tackle comes from the Minnesota Vikings where he's spent the past two seasons and notched five sacks, 81 tackles, 17 QB hits, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and two passes defended. Before his time with the Vikings, Tomlinson spent four seasons with the New York Giants, who drafted him out of Alabama in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

While Tomlinson's most efficient skillset is in his pass rush game, the interior defensive lineman has proven to be more than capable at plugging gaps along the line and stopping the run effectively as well.

Edge rusher headed to Cleveland
The Browns made a move to bolster their defensive line, adding edge rusher Ogbonnia "Obo" Okoronkwo to the roster on a 3-year, $19 million dollar deal, sources confirmed.

Okoronkwo's contract could be worth up to $22 million, and $12.5 million is guaranteed, according to a source.

Coming from a season with the Texans where he recorded five sacks, a forced fumble and two passes defended, Okoronkwo had the 3rd-highest pressure rate in the NFL last year. He is set to fill a hole the Browns had with Jadeveon Clowney headed to free agency and Chase Winovich signed by the Texans.

Before his season with Houston, Okoronkwo played three years for the Rams, who drafted him out of Oklahoma in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The 27-year-old took to Instagram Monday after the news broke, sharing a message on his story that read "To The Land! God is good!"

The upside Okoronkwo showed last season gives the Browns options to use the edge rusher as strong depth or as the piece opposite of star defensive end Myles Garrett.

Center re-signed
The Browns shored up their offensive line in the negotiation windows, agreeing to a deal to re-sign center Ethan Pocic, a league source confirmed.

It's a three-year, $18 million deal for Pocic, who had a standout year at center for the Browns last season after joining the team as a backup and stepping up after a slew of injuries put him front and center. Graded among the top centers in the league, the team hoped to return Pocic to the roster and succeeded in that goal Monday.

The Browns now have the player who became the starting center back on the roster with Nick Harris available for depth.

Chase Winovich Texas-bound
Browns defensive end Chase Winovich, set to be an unrestricted free agent, finds himself on a new team as the Houston Texans have been in negotiations to strike a deal with him, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Winovich was traded from the New England Patriots to the Browns last year in exchange for linebacker Mack Wilson. While the defensive end brought high energy to the locker room and participated heavily in community give-back events, on the field Winovich was unable to make much of an impact—injured for most of the season.

Active for just eight games, Winovich recorded one pass defended, one sack, 20 tackles and three QB hits in his year with Cleveland.

Deshaun Watson contract restructure
Kicking free agency off, the Browns cleared up some cap space in order to be active participants in the free agency player hunt by converting quarterback Deshaun Watson's base salary into a signing bonus which opened up nearly $36 million in cap space.

RELATED: Browns restructure contract of QB Deshaun Watson, clear nearly $36M in cap space

A cornerback is back
The Browns retained one of their strongest depth pieces before he hit free agency, re-signing A.J. Green to a one-year deal.

RELATED: Browns re-signing CB A.J. Green to 1-year deal

Jacoby Brissett to Washington Commanders
Browns former quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who played 11 games with Cleveland in the absence of Watson during his suspension, is expected to sign with the Commanders, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini.

Brissett was recognized at the end of the season by earning the Dino Lucarelli Good Guy Award, an honor annually awarded to a player to highlight their cooperation with the media and for the way a player carries themselves in the community and with their team.

Taven Bryan heads to Indianapolis
Former Browns defensive tackle and unrestricted free agent Taven Bryan has signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Colts, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Bryan was with Cleveland for one season after spending the first four years of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hjalte Froholdt finds new team
If you hadn't learned how to pronounce offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt, (it's Yel-da Fro-holt for those wondering) it may be too late now as he departs to a new team.

The Arizona Cardinals announced they signed the former Browns lineman to their roster. Froholdt had embodied the next man up mentality, filling in across the line when other players found themselves out with injury.

Browns release two
The Browns said goodbye to two players Wednesday, announcing the release of safety Johnson III and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

RELATED: Browns release DE Jadeveon Clowney, S John Johnson III

Browns remaining internal free agents:

  • DE Stephen Weatherly (unrestricted)
  • DE Chris Odom (restricted)
  • LB Deion Jones (unrestricted)
  • LB Anthony Walker Jr. (unrestricted)
  • LB Reggie Ragland (unrestricted)
  • LB Jermaine Carter (unrestricted)
  • S Ronnie Harrison (unrestricted)

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