With NFL teams trimming their 80-man rosters down to 53, there will be a mad scramble for position players for both depth and in case a starter would go down due to injury.
In the case of the Cleveland Browns, whom recently have had injuries to starters such as left guard Eric Steinbach and third-down running back Brandon Jackson during the pre-season, Cleveland may explore the idea of adding a couple of players for depth and need.
Cleveland is currently looking to start rookie left guard Jason Pinkston in place of Steinbach and are leaning towards rookie running back Armond Smith to replace Jackson, Cleveland has other areas that may need upgrading both in terms of skill and depth.
Cleveland needs to upgrade at the wide receiver and safety postions if they hope to contend in 2011.
The Browns current group of wide receivers features rookie Greg Little, Mohammed Massaqoui, Brian Robiskie, Joshua Cribbs and Jordan Norwood, Cleveland may also look to add another young and talent up-and-coming receiver such as Donnie Avery formerly of the St Louis Rams.
Browns head coach, Pat Shurmur may be high on Jordan Norwood , but Avery has the advantage of experience in the West Coast offense as well as being a productive player in the NFL.
Avery, 27, played in Shurmur’s West Coast offense while in St Louis and he would be a great fit either opposite Massaqoui and Cribbs or inside at the slot position as the third receiver.
The 5’11 187 pound Avery would play all 16 games for the St Louis Rams and catch 47 passes for 589 yards and five touchdowns. Avery would also average 12.7 yards per catch.
Cleveland also seems to have issues at safety with free agent pick-up, Usama Young being out with a leg injury and the uncertainty of Mike Adams, the Browns may also look to target former first round pick, and two-time Pro Bowl free safety Brandon Meriweather formerly of the New England Patriots
Meriweather, 27, had 68 total tackles, three interceptions and one forced fumble in 2010 for the Patriots, Meriweather was also plagued by inconsistency and a lack of motivation during his tenure in Foxboro.
With the uncertainty at safety in Cleveland, Meriweather could come in immediately and play free safety while strong safety, T.J Ward would stay at his run-support duties.
An upgraded secondary of Sheldon Brown, Joe Haden, Ward and Meriweather in Cleveland would make it a lot tougher to thrown downfield on the Browns in 2011.
While this is just mere speculation right now, If Cleveland is serious about contending in the near future—or even in 2011—then they would be wise to look into the possibility of acquiring either Avery or Meriweather to upgrade their current roster and build depth for the future.
Follow me on Twitter, @RobertCobb_NFL