NFL Free Agency 2012: Which Free Agent Should The Cleveland Browns Try To Sign?

By Jason A. Thomas

The Cleveland Browns’ front office have made it clear that they want to build this team through the draft, addressing their needs with young athletes that have bright futures. In last year’s offseason, the Browns stuck to their guns by being very particular in the free agent market, a move that left many Browns fans scratching their heads. After an extremely rough 2011 season, the Browns obviously need some help to take them to the next level. Free agency is very tricky as there are so many variables to consider: fitting the offensive and defensive systems, affecting the team’s chemistry, getting players  to adjust to a new organization, etc. Success in free agency can only be achieved by meticulous film study and preparation, and a whole lot of luck.

Who should the Browns try to sign in 2012? That all depends on how the offseason plays out. Colt McCoy obviously underachieved this past season, and the front office might be looking for a new starter to lead next year’s offense. If Peyton Manning is released by the Colts, he’s most likely the top candidate for any team in the market for a QB. It would be great to see Peyton in an orange helmet, but that’s probably not going to happen as he’ll want to join a contender due to his age. A few teams that have been mentioned as possible destinations for Manning, Arizona and San Francisco, have talented QB’s that will need new homes. Alex Smith is a free agent that is coming off a very impressive comeback year, and Kevin Kolb was one of the top free agents just a few years back. Matt Flynn is one of the hottest names in free agency after his spectacular performance filling in for Aaron Rodgers against a Detroit Lions team that was fighting for home field advantage. Flynn’s success was impressive, but that was with a very talented group of offensive weapons; but could he put up the same numbers with the lackluster crew that is currently on the Browns’ roster?

The wide receiver position is in desperate need of an upgrade, and there is some serious talent to consider with this year’s free agents class. With Dwayne Bowe, Vincent Jackson, Wes Welker and Marques Colston (just to name a few) being available, the Browns could get some serious help for whoever is taking snaps under center next year. Who do you think would be the best free agent to go after in 2012? Rant your choice below, because Shurmur, Heckert and Holmgren are always watching…. (hopefully)

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