NFL Cleveland Browns

5 Free Agents the Cleveland Browns Should Target This Offseason

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5 Free Agents The Cleveland Browns Should Target This Offseason

Cleveland Browns
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns may have been an exciting, interesting team this season, but in the end they were their typically disappointing selves. At times they had the look of a real contender, but they were never able to maintain a high level of play for longer than a few weeks at a time. A team that has quietly been building a solid foundation, they now need to find the kind of players that can take them from also-rans to a playoff team.

Their biggest need is at quarterback, but you don’t address that by signing a free agent in the NFL. Any quarterback even remotely capable of taking his team to a championship will never see the light of free agency because his current team would never be crazy enough to let him test the market. No, they will once again need to look to the draft to find their ever-elusive franchise quarterback.

But, while you can’t find your quarterback in free agency, you can find upgrades at almost every other position. The Browns were especially bad against the pass last year, and so they should think long and hard about getting better in the secondary by singing an impact defensive back or two. They also have needs at running back, offensive line and linebacker. If they can get better at a few key positions, and find a quality young quarterback in the draft, they could easily find themselves in the playoffs this time next year.

There are plenty of good available free agents this offseason, and these are the five that the Cleveland Browns should be targeting.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5 Knowshon Moreno

Knowshon Moreno
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Written off by almost everyone heading into this season, Knowshon Moreno answered his critics emphatically by having his best season as a pro while being the go-to back for the league's best offense. The Browns need a new face at running back, and Moreno could be the guy.

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4. Brian Orakpo

Brian Orakpo
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

You can never have too much pass rushing in the NFL these days. Brian Orakpo would be an ideal fit for the Browns' 3-4 defense, if he can stay healthy.

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3. Branden Albert

Branden Albert
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns already have a left tackle in Joe Thomas, but they could give themselves one of the best pair of bookends in the league if they could convince Branden Albert to play right tackle for them. I'm sure a whole lot of money would do the trick.

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2. Ben Tate

Ben Tate
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Tate is going to be one of the most sought after free agents this offseason. Always productive when given the chance for the Houston Texans, Tate would be an immediate upgrade at running back for the Browns.

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1. Jairus Byrd

Jairus Byrd
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest need for the Browns is at safety, and Jairus Byrd is one of the best in the league. He would give Cleveland the kind of playmaker they've been missing in the secondary. The Browns, who finished 20th in the league in interceptions, could use his 22 career picks.