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NFL Free Agency: 3 players the Cleveland Browns should target to improve their defense

Members of the Cleveland Browns defense
Members of the Cleveland Browns defense
Nick Goodling
ANALYST

The Cleveland Browns defense has been two-faced this season. They've played in six games in which they have allowed less than 17 points to their opposition. But in the other five games, they've given up an average of 36.6 points.

Their edge rushers, Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, have lived up to expectations. If anything, they've exceeded them. But the secondary and linebacker units have been inconsistent throughout the year.

The Browns are 6-5 and alive in the playoff mix. But to win a playoff game, their defense has to be exceptional, especially with the offensive struggles Baker Mayfield and company have had.

Here are three free agents who the Browns should sign to bolster the defensive side of their roster ahead of the home stretch.

Tre Boston and two others who could end Browns' defensive woes

#1 - Tre Boston

If you had to pinpoint a position group the Browns defense has struggled with most, it would be their safeties. John Johnson III and Ronnie Harrison have had issues with coverage. In addition, takeaways have been hard to come by for the Browns defense.

Tre Boston fixes their turnover issues single-handedly. Since entering the league in 2014, the former Carolina Panthers standout has 15 career interceptions. He's always had good ball instincts.

Boston is also a fast and rangy player. He's versatile and can lineup in multiple positions. In addition to his interceptions, he's broken up 42 passes in his career. Boston has been a good player his whole career, and the fact that he's still unsigned is baffling. The Browns would benefit majorly from his services.

Panthers release safety Tre Boston. He was used around the line of scrimmage much more than in previous years. Still a very good free safety.From 2017-20, one of the best free safety @PFF coverage grades in the league https://t.co/j0s9RUrmiN

#2 - Geno Atkins

For as good as Clowney and Garrett have been on the edges, the Browns' interior defensive line has left something to be desired. Malik Jackson and Malik McDowell are okay, but they don't make a big difference on the field.

Geno Atkins is one of the biggest game-wreckers of his generation. At the age of 33, his prime years of double-digit sacks are behind him. But Atkins is an equal-part run defender and pass rusher who can help the Browns in both areas.

A moderately productive Atkins would force opponents to watch for three defensive linemen on every play. He has 75.5 career sacks, so why not take a chance on him?

Only two DTs registered 500+ pressures from 2010-20191. Geno Atkins - 5772. Ndamukong Suh - 509 https://t.co/00v6cjHVr0

#3 - Brian Poole

Brian Poole has bounced around from one practice squad to another this season. He hasn't been given a chance, which is shocking given he's just 29-year-old and a slot specialist. At his best, Poole can hold his own in the slot and be solid, if not unspectacular.

Denzel Ward is having a phenomenal season at cornerback. He has rookie Greg Newsome II playing well alongside him, but after that, it gets shaky. Troy Hill has been a big disappointment in the slot this season, so Poole can fill his shoes without affecting the development of their young players.

The Browns defense is going to be paramount to them succeeding for the rest of the season. The offense ranks 19th in points per game. So it's up to the defense to step up and be the identity of their team. These three moves would help with that transition.


Edited by Piyush Bisht
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